Email advertising is the key to surviving the next recession

There is now a 100% probability that a recession will hit the U.S. economy within the next year, according to the latest prediction models. That means advertisers need to be prepared for the economic instability and changing consumer behaviors that come along with it.

In just the last year, historic inflation, increased interest rates, and marketing fluctuations have impacted the way people spend — and thrown brands for a loop in the process.

The good news is, there’s one tried-and-true channel advertisers can continuously rely on: email. For decades, email has been a direct channel to addressable, logged-in audiences who are ready to engage with personalized content. And it’s not going away any time soon.

Check out why email and email advertising will be vital during a recession — and how you can use a robust email strategy to boost performance and ROI even during times of uncertainty.

Brands will be under increased pressure to prove ROI

It’s always important to drive revenue from your campaigns. But during a recession, showing return on investment (ROI) can be the difference between surviving and crumbling under the weight of a poor economy. That means advertisers will be shifting their budgets to performance-driven channels where they can do just that.

As Digiday reported in June, brands are “aiming to be more pragmatic in the second half of the year into the next year,” and many are focused on short-term performance goals to deal with the recession. “I think people are too afraid of missing revenue targets to pull back,” said one ad executive.

Just look at what happened during the COVID-19 economic crisis: Advertisers doubled down on performance marketing to win over customers who were trying new brands and flocking to e-commerce platforms. This time around, brands just need to be sure they’re investing in the right channels — like email — so they can prove performance and ROI.

Logged-in, addressable audiences will be crucial

Along with driving revenue, brands must also have the tools to target logged-in, addressable audiences. Because addressable inventory can be easily tracked, segmented, and optimized for better campaign results.

That’s where email comes in. Email is a logged-in channel that subscribers have to explicitly sign up for and consent to use. And it provides advertisers with one of the most valuable identifiers and pieces of first-party data available on the web today: the email address.

As one performance marketing agency exec told Digiday in June, “We’re trying to get clients who don’t take email marketing seriously to take it seriously because of first-party data [opportunities]. It’s an untapped opportunity for some brands.”

With a robust list of email addresses, advertisers can use an addressability solution like LiveIntent’s nonID to connect their data with the larger ecosystem and expand their reach. Since nonID uses hashed email addresses, it’s privacy-safe for consumers, too.

All signs point to email

Through good times and bad, email remains a dependable, go-to channel for advertisers. And that’s because it’s a dependable, go-to channel for consumers. In fact, 80% of U.S. audiences use email, and people spend over five hours each day with their email.

So, if an economic crisis does occur, email will be key to survival for many brands. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, shoe retailer Samuel Hubbard worked with LiveIntent to acquire new customers through email ads. By targeting Lookalike Audiences, the brand generated over 9,000 conversions and a 2.5X return on ad spend (ROAS).

Ready to prepare your brand for any future changes? LiveIntent has the email advertising tools and identity solutions to help. So you can continue to reach 100% logged-in audiences, deliver personalized ads, and drive revenue.