Retailers see 32% lift in conversions for email ads around holidays, study finds

Dive Brief:

  • Retailers experienced a 32% jump in conversions from their email ads on Black Friday as homebound shoppers responded to digital promotions, per study results that marketing platform LiveIntent and research firm MediaRadar emailed to Marketing Dive.
  • Advertisers in the style and fashion categories experienced the highest conversions on LiveIntent’s platform, while clickthrough rates (CTR) were double the average. Shopping newsletters boosted impressions by 10 times above the average, and hard news newsletters experienced a five-fold gain, the data show.
  • Retailers’ digital ad spend climbed 22% in October and November from a year earlier, according to the analysis of media channels including email, digital, TV and print, as they sought to reach homebound folks during a holiday season disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dive Insight:

Retailers and marketers in a variety of categories not only increased their ad spending during the holidays, but they also saw big improvements in their sales conversions. The results indicate marketers pushed hard to reach people at home, especially among digital channels that provided ways for consumers to respond to a call to action.

The higher conversions suggest retailers were more effective in their targeting, especially in email pushes that reach people who opted in to receive promotions, which bodes well for future digital campaigns, according to LiveIntent and MediaRadar. As for performance, newsletters focused on personal finance and law or on government and politics generated CTRs that were double the average for retail ads. Family and parenting newsletters had the highest conversion rates of two times the average as consumers responded to ads for gifts, the data show.

Retailers’ higher spending on digital ads is another sign of online marketing channels’ growing dominance. Digital ad spending excluding political ads was forecast to rise 5.4% to $110.1 billion last year, and comprise more than half of total ad spending for the first time, according to WPP’s GroupM. The media agency expects the momentum for digital advertising to continue into 2021, with spending increasing 18% to $130 billion, or 54% of the total $240 billion. The growth for digital channels will be faster than for traditional media including national and local TV, print and audio, according to its forecast.

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