Integrating e-mail with online advertising efforts

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Few marketers would dispute the importance of e-mail marketing or banner ads. Unfortunately, though, most companies still keep the planning and execution of these media channels separate—even if both are created in-house. While this won’t kill a campaign, it can result in missed opportunities.

Luke Bone, director-interactive media for interactive agency Tocquigny, suggested these tips to help you integrate online display advertising and e-mail marketing campaigns and get more out of your marketing dollars.

• Consider renting opt-in lists from the properties in which your ads will be running. Rented lists are rarely a great idea, but lists that come from the same publishers that are running your display ads can be an exception, Bone said. “The sites will be asking for visitors to opt in to ongoing communications such as e-newsletters, alerts and other vendor information,” he said. “Typically, any e-mails sent to the opt-in lists are done after the display ads have been running for no less than two weeks. This practice of ‘softening the beaches’ allows for the e-mail recipient to be more familiar with the brand and product due to the probability that this person viewed a display or text ad from that brand before the e-mail is delivered to their inbox.”

Another bonus: You’ll probably get a discount on the CPM for that list.

• Use display ads to collect e-mail addresses for your e-mail campaigns. No matter what the call to action, you should be using your display ads to collect addresses for subsequent e-mails, Bone said. If people care enough to click on an ad, they are probably a decent prospect. At the very least, you’re going to want to thank people for reading your landing page or product information, he said. “There are currently rich media banners that allow for data collection within the banner itself,” he said. “A marketer can capture an e-mail address within a banner ad and then send out follow-up e-mails. Additionally, many display ad campaigns drive visitors to a landing page where an information form is filled out. There, you should always have an ‘opt-in’ field for subsequent communication to extend the life of the campaign.”

• Create an integrated look and feel. This is a simple tactic that few seem to follow, and yet it’s such an attainable goal, Bone said. “The whole idea of an ‘integrated’ campaign should be just that. There should be a similar look and feel across all communication channels—from display ads to e-mails to landing pages,” he said.

• Consider a single tracking vehicle for all your advertising elements. Tracking is a given, but unless you combine all the elements of a campaign, you really can’t see what effect each has on the other, Bone said. “It is important to put the proper tracking in place to track back to your goals,” he said. “These can be accomplished using a single reporting system such as Atlas or DoubleClick for e-mail, display ads and any other channel used. In addition, this tracking should be tied into the client’s CRM system so that you can gain visibility beyond just the click or the lead, but down to the qualified lead and eventual sale.”

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