Email sums up both the problem and solution for targeting Millennials, as well as other demographics or individuals who may not be as attentive to newsletters and offers in their inbox as they once were.
Millennials typify the person who will give an email address and then rarely open any communication that follows. However, in giving a brand that all-important email address they have offered an identifier that can inform how and where they can be reached online. In short, that email address has opened up the world of addressable media, one of the hot topics in digital marketing right now, according to Neil Joyce, managing director of Signal in EMEA.
“It’s applies to anyone but it’s particularly apt for Millennials,” he says. “Young people are at the head of a trend to use an email to sign up for a service because they get the value exchange that it identifies them to validate the service and also allows a brand to communicate with them. However, people are generally finding that Millennials won’t open as many emails as older demographics because they’re put off by other emails that are generally just bombarding them with offers that aren’t always relevant. The key, then, is to use that email as an ID to both target people in display.”
Better Display To Real People
Signal, Joyce explains, prefers to shy away from probabilistic modelling to a more determinist method of identifying someone via an email address or a mobile device code. The key here is that he believes there is a double advantage to using an email address to better inform digital marketing.
“If you’ve got someone’s email address so you can identify them, it obviously at least shows they’re a real person and not a bot, which is no bad thing,” he suggests. “Crucially, though, you can make display incredibly better targeted because you’re actually buying space in front of someone you’ve got some rich data on. You can obviously do this on the addressable sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, but this is a way for brands to do this beyond those services and to have a much better degree of control over the process. It’s their data that keeps getting enriched.”
The second part of this is the rather obvious point that we all know we’re going to be retargeted, so why not use email as the lynchpin in better retargeting. There may be a slight irony here but a channel some may have turned attention away from because of a lack of relevancy just might end up putting an extra injection of relevancy into other channels.
“The classic case is you’ve booked some flights or a holiday and then you go off browsing and even the people you’ve just booked with are trying to sell you the same flights or holiday all over again,” he says. “It’s no wonder that people get so wound up by it. Email can play another great role here, though. You can look at email to see what you’re communicating and how this might better inform display messaging. If you’re confirming a holiday, for example, that should inform your digital display effort — not to try to sell that person the same holiday again but maybe a hire car, airport parking or excursions instead.”
So, for Joyce, email should be recognised for its vital role among even those who make a habit of not acting on offers in their inbox. As an identifier that can lead to more relevant and better targeting — and retargeting — in display, it is invaluable way beyond what the ‘open’ and ‘bounce’ rates may be telling you.