Study Shows Power of E-mail Marketing for Branding
E-mail advertising can provide branding benefits in addition to its typical acquisition strengths, according to recently released Dynamic Logic research findings.
The study tracked eHarmony campaigns that communicated points of differentiation in eHarmony's singles matching service. The call to action was to "review your matches for free."
Dynamic Logic applied its AdIndex methodology, which measures advertising effectiveness across different media, to the campaigns to provide the results.
According to the research, e-mail advertising made 37.7 percent of people aware of one of the campaigns tested in the study. In addition, unaided brand awareness and brand favorability were tested both before and after exposure to the e-mail campaigns. Both awareness and favorability increased by 11.5 percentage points and 7.3 percentage points, respectively, after exposure.
As a result of these findings, Paul Breton, senior manager of marketing communications for eHarmony, says the company will increase its use of e-mail advertising in the future.
"Inbox advertising is fairly new to our media mix -- we added it in early 2007," he says. "Now that we have a better gauge of its ability to provide branding benefits, as well as acquisition benefits, we are confident opt-in inbox advertising will maintain a prominent place in our media mix."
Breton also suggests that brands consider adding opt-in e-mail marketing to campaigns for both its acquisition and branding benefits.
And if they do, to maximize the branding benefits, "the creative should reinforce the message, look and feel of the broader campaign," Breton says. "Also, it should leverage e-mail where e-mail can provide the greatest reach to customer segments or timeliness for certain types of offers."
In a seasonal branding campaign, for instance, "If you are employing other channels," he says, "e-mail might be the only one that can introduce you to precisely the right target markets."
The results counter mainstream characterizations of the inbox online media as an acquisition-only vehicle, says Jason Oates, vice president of media services for Datran Media, but that may be changing.
"Now that the medium has matured and best practices, proof points and a strong regulatory framework are all in place," Oates says, "[companies] that became familiar with e-mail for acquisition are now able to apply all the benefits of the channel, primarily one-to-one consumer engagement and reporting, to their branding methodologies. So, as they use the channel to acquire customers in one instance, they also use it to reach or test new markets in another."
To discount e-mail as strictly a branding or direct response channel, he adds, underuses the power of the medium and leaves dollars on the table.