Brands today utilise every marketing channel at their disposal, from paid search and social to email marketing, PR, and out-of-home advertising. More often than not, these channels work in conjunction with one another, with data points from one activity informing the next. But what happens when the data stops?
Take the brand that uses Facebook advertising to help increase brand awareness by generating video views. The targeting capabilities of Facebook are based on a multitude of data points, including a user’s phone activity. As we know, with the iOS14.5 update, this element of Facebook’s activity is being taken away. We know, the more targeted and personalised the ads can be, the higher the relevancy to the viewer, ultimately leading to higher ROAS. But what happens when that data goes away? On the face of it, it may mean less targeted campaigns and increased ad spend just to maintain the status quo. Social and search channels, despite their success, give brands very little control over who sees their content and when—if they do at all. The ability to selectively and cost-effectively market to target customers is no longer within advertisers' control.
As an example, if Sarah from Sydney is scrolling her Instagram Feed 1 out of 6 posts will at a minimum be adverts from companies trying to sell her products. She didn’t ask for these adverts, just like you didn’t ask for adverts when watching your favourite TV show. The advert may catch Sarah’s attention if it is engaging & a really impressive advert, but most consumers will just keep scrolling. This is where the personalisation of advertising has become so effective. You have been able to present the exact product Sarah is after, on her preferred platform at the right time, based on her activity. With this element being taken away through ATT via iOS 14.5, we will definitely see a decrease in revenue generated from adverts (not to mention the measurement of this).
Email, on the other hand, is the opposite. Customers who receive marketing emails from brands have specifically asked for it. They have taken the time to sign up, confirm their interest, and consent to receiving marketing content from you. With that in mind, their intent is different when they receive an email from you. Email marketing has been on a rollercoaster of popularity, with many brands re-focusing their attention and resources from email onto social platforms over the last 5 years. However, it is making a comeback!! And deservedly so.
According to Omnisend, in 2020 conversion rates for email marketing campaigns ended at 6.5% (up 110% compared to 2019), while automated emails had a 95% lift in conversion rate. These increasing trends have continued as consumers shifted to online shopping throughout lockdown periods, and remain as physical stores resume opening around the globe.
This is great news for those that continue with social media and search advertising, as you can integrate those channels and create personalised advertising campaigns without needing to rely on users opting-in to being tracked on iOS 14.5 devices. Advanced email providers like Klaviyo, make this process easy and effective. For example, say Sarah received an email from a brand for a certain colourway of products, not only did she open it, she clicked on it. This piece of information can be used to inform your advertising campaigns and deliver her a more personalised advert.
Part of the uptake of email marketing in this new privacy-conscious digital age is the ability for subscribers to unsubscribe if they no longer want to hear from a brand. While this was once feared by companies, it is being seen in a more positive light as it means brands no longer spend money on targeting a customer who doesn’t want to hear from them - ultimately, this helps improve both the cost and performance of the channel. Plus, if integrated, you can use this data to inform your paid advertising campaigns. Of course, this is not to say that you should stop monitoring unsubscribe rates (keep those at 0.2% if possible) - but it is worth keeping this in mind.
We could go on & on about the benefits of email marketing, but really we are focused on utilising opt-in marketing channels. Like email, SMS, and web push notifications saw a massive increase in sends in 2020. Not only did the number of SMS messages sent increase nearly 400% last year, but conversion rates increased by more than 100%. With the irreplaceable presence of a phone in a consumer's life, brands are finding value in text messaging, particularly during peak shopping periods or when providing particular offers.
While SMS may be overlooked for the new and 'cooler' social media platforms (TikTok, WeChat, Snapchat, Whatsapp, etc), with so much uncertainty and inevitable change in thse digital platforms, we think the tried and tested email and text messaging are here to stay. And the opt-in data too.