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Display Ads and Email Marketing: Why They Should Work Together

It’s becoming essential for companies in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) online space to tell a cohesive and personalized story about their products and their brand. Why? Because big brands like Nordstrom are doing it (and they’re absolutely nailing it). However, leveling up your marketing strategies to compete with corporate giants is easier said than done — compared to small businesses, they have a lot more money and much bigger teams. So, how do you break through the noisy marketplace? Let’s explore how interweaving your display ads with your email marketing strategy can help you stand out.

Consumers Expect Consistency

Whether customers are engaging with your email marketing efforts, your web ad, Facebook ad, or any other display ad, they’re going to expect all of the information to match. And not just the information, but the tone and design, as well. Giving consumers varying experiences across different mediums and channels isn’t just clunky and unprofessional — it can also cause confusion. 

For example, let’s say you see an ad that says, “Get 10% off our selection of women’s shoes if you use code SHOES10.” Sounds great, right? But then you see another ad for that same company via an email that says, “Choose from our selection of dresses. Use code DRESS10 to get 10% off.” At this point, you might be thinking, “Well, which is it — do I get a discount on shoes or dresses?” This may not seem like a huge deal, but it’s best practice to stay consistent so that your customers don’t get their wires mixed up. 

This scenario happens quite a bit (even with big companies!) because people assume that email and display are siloed methods. You have your email marketing manager and a digital marketing manager, and they’re focused on doing the best thing for each. However, these strategists have to play together and communicate in order to make the messaging and experience cohesive. 

It’s All About Timing 

It’s crucial to align display ads and emails with timing. For instance, let’s think about what an email marketer would do to re-attract customers who went as far as the checkout cart and then abandoned it. They’d build a cadence for re-engagement: A few hours after somebody abandons a cart, an email would be sent out that says something along the lines of, “Hey! You left this in the cart, come back and buy!” If action isn’t taken a day or two later, another email is fired out, saying, “We’ve noticed that you still haven’t finished your purchase.” If a lack of action exceeds that point, the emails start to become less about reminders and more about re-hooking that customer’s interest: “Finish your purchase, and we’ll tack on an extra 10% off!” 

Now, imagine applying that cadence to display ads. You’d be coming at customers from all sides — not just from their emails, but through a mixture of ads on different pages, as well. When your emails are working to re-generate interest, an ad campaign should always be running alongside them.

For instance, if a customer abandons a cart on your website, you can serve them emails and dynamic product ads showing them the items left in your cart. The key is to find a solution that’ll enable you to align your ad and email strategies with a customer’s journey. The alternative is to continually serve ads regardless of how long it’s been, and that could be a huge time and money suck. 

It Takes a Lot of Planning (But It’s Worth It) 

It does take significant planning and thought to build out a strategy where email, display, and search work in tandem. Even if you’re a small company, you can build as many as 10-20 campaigns just so that you can hit your target customers at the right time. But, by spending adequate time interweaving your campaign strategies, you’ll be able to meet your goals more effectively and provide customers with the best experiences possible.

To Recap

Remember that it takes up to 56 touchpoints to get someone actually to convert — your job is to make sure that you’re hitting that number using an array of methods, including email, display, search, etc. Most importantly, you need to ensure that those touchpoints tell the same story and that the customer experience you offer isn’t fragmented. Otherwise, people can hop over to other, more prominent companies to get an excellent brand experience. 

When it comes to businesses and dealing with customers, first impressions really do matter. Learn how to make a great one by creating an automated onboarding email sequence

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