Pro Tips: Driving Conversions from Email

Many marketers will tell you that Conversion is their favorite step in the marketing funnel because it’s where everything comes together. Conversions are, after all, the truest indicator of a campaign’s success.

A key thing to remember when setting goals and measuring conversion results (as I recently discussed at Adweek’s Nextech Conference) is that each channel’s performance must be evaluated individually. Email can’t be compared apples-to-apples with Social or Search, so you should work with your partner upfront to establish campaign criteria.

The following four tips – based on LiveIntent’s decade-plus of experience serving more than 6 billion ads to over 250 million people across 2,000 publishers and brands – will help improve your programmatic marketing for Consideration-stage customers.

1. Improve performance with targeted native and product ads

Email is a different beast when it comes to the kinds of creatives available and the way the content is laid out. Everything is HTML, so rich media ads, like autoplay video or pop-ups, won’t function. But that’s a good thing. People look to email newsletters as an escape from the constant onslaught of content on the web or in social media. They subscribe in order to receive specific content, curated and presented in a simple, clean fashion. Considering that mindset, it’s no surprise that less noisy and disruptive creatives that blend seamlessly into the templates, like native and product ads, perform so well.

Dynamic product ads are particularly effective, since they are generated automatically based on a consumer’s website behavior, which saves time and effort while increasing relevance.

2. Ensure your click-through URLs are relevant and specific

Remember, the key to conversion is making it as easy as possible for a customer to say “yes” to your offer. If you’ve got multiple products, make sure the URL you’re directing to is specific to the product in your ad. Expecting a consumer to find the relevant product on your homepage (or, worse, expecting them to do a search for a particular product) will dramatically decrease your conversion rate. It’s also important to remember that people are increasingly browsing and buying products on mobile devices, so keep those dedicated landing pages mobile-friendly and optimized for conversions on phone.

3. Leverage first-party segments

Email is a logged-in environment, so make sure you’re utilizing your CRM data in your campaigns. By using your CRM data, you can creatively target customers who may not be opening emails on your own list. Most email campaigns don’t see open rates north of 20%, which means 80% of the people on your list aren’t seeing your marketing messages. This can be a particularly big problem for brands with longer buying cycles, like auto companies. For instance, a top 5 auto brand was having trouble reaching customers to remind them that the time was coming to renew their leases. By targeting its current customer segments with specific ads across other publishers’ email newsletters, they saw a 41% increase in the number of lease renewals, which resulted in 13,0000 incremental lease assignees. That’s the power of first-party data when leveraged correctly for programmatic.

4. Work with your vendor to calculate true CPA

Programmatic email advertising makes it possible to tie back every impression to single, hashed email addresses, meaning the data points can show exactly how many people converted. Looking at this bigger picture helps give a more accurate cost per acquisition (or CPA). It also makes it possible to scale campaigns and allocate future spends more efficiently.


Want to learn tips for other stages of the funnel? Watch Nick’s presentation here.