Beyond Leads – 4 Unconventional Uses for Standalone Email Ads
One of the most obvious benefits of standalone email advertising is that you can take as much space as you need to explain complicated concepts. As a result, dedicated email ads have often been used to find new prospects for industries that are complex (like finance or insurance) or whose buying cycle is very long (like autos and home improvement).
While it’s true that email is a good channel for finding new prospects in these industries, that doesn’t mean that other types of businesses can’t make email advertising work for their marketing goals.
Below are ideas for four email ad campaigns to fit multiple business goals.
Email Ad Campaign Idea One: Boost event attendance or in-store traffic.
Who it works for: Retail storefronts, any company that wants to boost attendance at events and generate more new leads in the process (book publishers, food and beverage companies, etc.)
Why it works: Special events and sales are a great way to deepen the relationship you have with current customers.
Old Navy often uses their email marketing to drive customers to shop in-store (as you can see here), but the technique can be used to draw in new customers as well. Chances are you’re promoting an event or sale through social and local media, but email advertising offers the possibility of targeting consumers with an individualized message.
Best of all, you can use performance-based email to pay only for people who RSVP to attend an event or who click through to learn more about your sale. So you get targeted reach that drives real results.
Email Ad Campaign Idea Two: Get new product samples in the hands of consumers.
Who it works for: Consumer packaged goods companies
Why it works: 81% of consumers buy after receiving a free sample, and most prefer to sample at home according to a recent study done by Opinion Research Corp. With the recent explosion in subscription buying services, Walmart.com even plans to create a business out of sampling with its monthly “Goodies” bag that will send samples of artisan food products out to consumers.
If you already have a sampling program in place, email advertising offers a great way to get even more out of it by introducing your product line to new customers. Include the chance to opt-in to your brand’s email and direct mail messages on your landing page; you can even grow your own list through the process.
If you work on a performance basis for your ads, you can even set a cap on the number of sample requests received daily.
Email Ad Campaign Idea Three: Promote a current contest
Who it works for: Any business that wants to drive added returns from a contest
Why it works: The purpose of running contests can be driving engagement with current customers, acquiring new customers, or even increasing your social media presence. As an addition to your own brand channels (like your website, packaging, and social properties), performance-based email ad buys can be a cost-effective way to drive more traffic and exposure for your contest.
This Pear Tree Greetings email even combines their contest with calls to action for their wedding invitation collections. Though their message was designed for their in-house list, it’s easy to see how the concept could be adapted to welcome new customers and introduce them to the company’s contest and product line.
Email Ad Campaign Idea Four: Design your own daily deal or flash sale.
Who it works for: Online and local retail stores, restaurants, even local services
Why it works: Though there’s been lots of talk about the daily deals model running out of steam, it’s hard to deny that the idea creates a certain sense of urgency. However, it can get expensive to run one of these deals depending on the provider you run with, the discount you offer, and the number of units sold.
So why not create your own from scratch using email advertising? Fashion brands can use the opportunity to deplete the last season’s stock, and restaurants and local services can offer special deals for slow days. Again, if you use an email advertising provider who works on a performance basis, you can set a cap on the number of sales redeemed daily.
Takeaway: Email advertising doesn’t have to be all about leads. Because standalone email ads offer a blank canvas to work from, you can engage potential new customers through other marketing efforts like sampling, contests, and events.