How to affect consumer consideration with ads in email

Consideration is one of the trickiest stages of the funnel to manage. It sits in a strange limbo between awareness, when customers first learn about your brand, and conversion, when customers finally make a purchase.

As a result, consideration can be tough to measure and attribute. This is especially true for brands that don’t sell the products they make, like CPG brands and electronics retailers.

The good news is that email can help.

Since email is an opt-in channel, brands can use it to reach people who’ve already signed up for specific content and want to hear from them. They just need the right creative and targeting strategies to meet those audiences and move them through the funnel.

Here are three pro tips brands can use to affect consumer consideration with ads in email.

1. Use soft CTAs, not hard sells

Hard sells are for the conversion stage. When driving consideration, remember to keep calls to action (CTAs) soft. If you push too hard, you risk scaring consumers off before they have a chance to engage and learn more about your brand.

That’s why it’s important to use a gentle, straightforward CTA to grab people’s attention and pique their interest. This way, you can continue building and nurturing customer relationships.

For example, a restaurant chain might want to drive new customers to their new locations. The restaurant chain could do this by placing and advertisement with a CTA like, “Find a location,” that drives to a landing page with an interactive map. This approach enables the restaurant to pique customer interest and encourage engagement without necessarily driving a hard sell.

Use soft CTAs

2. Build simple creatives that convey value

Consideration-stage customers can also be scared off by creative that’s too complex or elaborate. So, just as with your CTAs, keep your images and copy simple and to the point.

Also, make sure you’re using your ad real estate to convey value. How will consumers benefit from clicking through and learning more about what you have to offer? What will this next phase of the customer journey provide? Make sure your creative assets help answer these questions and communicate your value-add to potential customers.

3. Suppress existing customers with your targeting

Use your email marketing platform to segment and suppress existing customers from your consideration campaign. This way, you won’t waste your budget on people who’ve already converted. You’ll also avoid frustrating customers with offers they’ve already seen for products they may have purchased.

Thankfully, suppressing existing customers is easy on the email channel. With hashed emails— the most powerful first-party data on the web — you can identify those who’ve completed a certain action and remove them from your campaign targeting.

Consideration in action: How Penguin Random House drove 200k subscribers with email ads

Book publishers know the unique pain of launching and measuring consideration campaigns. They don’t sell their products to people directly, instead sending customers to other websites to make a purchase. So it’s tough to tie attribution back to their ads and find the most effective channels for engagement.

That’s why leading publisher Penguin Random House used email signups to drive consideration.

Penguin Random House used email signups to drive consideration

They ran a sweepstakes campaign to capture email addresses from potential fantasy book fans. Reaching just the right audiences, they used their existing CRM database to create lookalike models and target readers of relevant, third-party email newsletters. They also suppressed existing subscribers to optimize their marketing spending.

The result? Penguin Random House drove over 200,000 new subscribers in a year at an average 0.2% CTR — roughly 10X the CTR of a traditional display ad. With this robust list of email addresses, the publisher was able to more accurately map the customer journey — from initial ad impression to sweepstakes signup to eventual purchase.

As this success story proves, consideration campaigns don’t have to be so enigmatic. With the right email ad strategies, brands can use them to gather valuable customer insights and build more informed campaigns for the future.