5 Ways D2C Brands Can Make the Most of Email Ad Engagement

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands like Allbirds and Dollar Shave Club have revolutionized digital marketing. They’ve launched robust influencer partnerships, user-generated campaigns, and viral videos that grabbed the attention of online consumers – and they’re not slowing down any time soon.

Advertising spend from D2C brands has increased by 50% from 2018 to 2019, according to AdWeek. Digital spend alone increased by 22%, reaching $140 million in Q3 of this year.

Email plays a big part in this growth. As LiveIntent found, D2C campaigns have driven 25% more clicks and 35% more conversions in 2019 than in 2018. Beauty, cosmetics, and shoe brands have seen particular success, as their email ads drive 2.5 more clicks and conversions compared to the average.

So, how can D2C brands keep this momentum going and make the most of their email advertising efforts? Here are five ways to do it.

1. Launch ads across mobile devices.

LiveIntent found that clickthrough rates (CTR) for email ads is 3x higher on phones than on desktops. Additionally, conversions are 50% higher on phones and cost per conversion is 25% lower. Mix that all together and you have a strong reason to target mobile users with email ads.

To break this data down even further, iPhone users drive 3x more clicks and conversions than Android users do. This fits in with HubSpot’s report that the iPhone is the most popular mobile device for reading emails, with 29% of all email opens happening on these devices.


2. Buy ads in email inventory with certain content.

D2C ads in emails with news, shopping, and travel content generate 5x higher conversions and clicks compared to the average for D2C brands. On the other hand, D2C marketers should stay away from email newsletter categories like real estate, pets, and education, which see 7x lower conversions and clicks.


3. Keep the demographics of email audiences in mind.

According to our data, women respond to D2C email ads with 2x more clicks and conversions compared to men. Add to that a 2017 study from Adobe, which found that working women spend an extra hour on email compared to working men.

Age also reveals a difference in engagement: Email users aged 55–64 and 65+ drive 2x more clicks and conversions than other age groups. Meanwhile millennials aged 18–25 deliver the worst performance – 4x less clicks and conversions than other groups.


4. Distribute ads in the morning and afternoon.

The early bird gets the worm, and that holds true for email advertising. D2C brands see the most conversions in the morning, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. This engagement also carries over through the afternoon, from 2:00–5:00 pm. What’s clear is that clicks and conversions drop as the day wears on. It seems email users are highly engaged on their way to work and at work.


5. Reach email users with people-based marketing.

D2C brands are founded on people-based retail, cutting out third-party vendors and sell directly to their consumers. It’s no surprise, then, that they drive success from people-based advertising – putting the interests and behaviors of real people at the center of their marketing strategies.

D2C brands can continue to build momentum with email advertising by taking these insights into account and reaching audiences where they’re already active and engaged – in their inboxes.

If you’d like to learn more about our work with direct-to-consumer brands, check out this webinar with some of our fastest growing D2C brands.