What Email Marketers Can Learn From Pinterest's Ad Strategy

Pinterest extended its advertising reach Tuesday by announcing Buyable Pins for Android devices. The company offers the feature on iOS devices, but not on the desktop -- to strengthen its mobile-first approach that some believe should include email campaigns. Some 70% of emails in Q3 2015 were read on a mobile device, according to a new benchmark report released Wednesday that analyzes email habits of more than 400 million customers. 

So what can email marketers learn from Pinterest's mobile-first advertising strategy? "Mobile devices and near continuous connectivity are pushing brands to present contextual and personalized messages that resonate in the moment – in that very second," says Ryan Luckin, head of marketing and communications at marketing technology company Bluecore. "As consumers dictate when and where they consume content, retailers are forced to seek out technologies that can deliver on a level of hyper-personalization we’ve never seen, and then automatically extend these stories across all relevant channels on the fly."

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Forrester Research agrees, and released a March 2015 report stating that email marketers should add contextual insights into their email programs to drive revenue.

Contextual data and geotargeting is another aspect of Pinterest’s mobile marketing strategy that email marketers should seek to emulate.

The social media company expanded its Place Pins service to automatically capture the location data of its 100 million users in October 2015 via Foursquare’s API. This enables Pinterest to highlight local store hours and goods for consumers in certain geographic regions.

Email marketers can provide more relevant and personalized messages to consumers by incorporating geographic data into their campaigns.

Emails with maps can also increase click through rates and email marketing ROI. Emails with maps increase click through rates by 66% over emails without maps, according to a March report by Moveable Ink.

The Movable Ink study also states 31% of all clicks are on the map itself, illustrating that consumers look for geotargeted marketing, yet another study from CyberAlert states only 23% of retail marketers use geographic data in their mobile marketing.

Geo-targeted mobile advertising spend is expected to grow 34.5% over the next year to $11.3 billion in 2016, according to BIA/Kelsey estimates.

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