Calculating the Value Of Your Email Banner Impressions

December 18, 2019

A more detailed calculation of the value of the potential value of email signature banner impressions and clicks finds they are even more valuable than we thought!

Note: In this post, we explained why email signature banner marketing is the last untapped media channel and how marketing and demand-gen teams that ignore this channel are basically turning down free money. In this post, we are going to do a deeper dive to explore more accurate valuations of email signatures when used as a marketing vehicle. So if you want to add an extra free $100,000 or so in real value to your marketing budget with an ROI that dwarfs those of other channels, read on.

So lots of growth marketers, marketing teams, and their CMOs/VPs are looking for new ways to reach prospects. These new ways, ideally, are not spendy. In that previous post, we suggested that among the best and freshest ways to reach prospects is via the extremely prominent real estate at the bottom of your employees' emails - their email signature blocks. Email Signature blocks are HTML portions of emails that have almost all the same possibilities as rich digital advertising online. Here's what our customer, is doing to standout and generate leads for their annual UNLEASH conference.

Outreach Email Gif Dreamforce 1

Like Display Ads But MUCH Better

Yes, much better.

For one, placement is guaranteed; there's no ad-blocking in email signatures. The audience is far more likely to be engaged and responsive because the email is far more targeted than the online ad. You, the brand, control the signature banner placement vehicle and can customize the advertising spot to fit. As for technology, you can connect the message to your CRM to capture clicks on banners back into your account or content marketing tools for real-time syncs. You can also customize banners so that each person on the same email sees a different message.

In particular, when the email is a person-to-person email and not an email merge or mass email, then the probability of garnering an interaction is much higher (people can small automation like spoiled milk). And click-through-rates (CTRs) on email banners running through our system range from 4% to 7%. That’s several times higher than average CTRs for retargeted B2B display ads.

Calculating the Value of Impressions: A New Formula 

Let's do some math, shall we. In that last post we asked: how can we effectively calculate the value of these impressions? We made a quick pass it before with this formula.

(# of Employees) times (# of Emails Sent Per Day) times ( # of Working Days Per Year) divided by 1000 times (average CPMs for B2B retargeted ads).

Given that formula, we calculated the following:

((500) X (40) X (261) / 1000) X ($20)  = $104,400

With this formula, we determined that a 500 employee company was leaving the equivalent of $104,,400 in display ads a year on the floor by not using email signature banners. Here’s how the math worked.

“According to the Radicati Group, the average employee sends 40 emails per day. Multiply that with the 261 working days in a calendar year in the U.S. (it might be less in other parts of the world) and, on average, you'll get 10,440 emails sent per year, per employee. Multiply that with 500 employees and you get 5,220,000 signature banner impressions. Considering how targeted these are and that you are running them with zero competition, this would be about the most premium CPM pricing you would pay on the open market, if not more.”

Our $100K blog got so much attention from customers and prospects that we decided to take a deeper dive into email signature banner valuations and wanted to add a few more dimensions to make it clear why we believe email signature banners are even more valuable than our previous estimate.


Here’s a newer, more nuanced formula assuming a 500 employee company like last time. We included the number of times an email is viewed. Why include email views? Because once an email has been opened, people tend to reopen the email and view it multiple times. The average number of email views that we see is 4.4.

So that would change the math slightly, as follows. I’ll break it down in steps to make it easier to follow.

Step 1: (#employees) times (number emails sent per day) times (number of working days per year) times (avg. number times of email is viewed)

Step 2: Results of Step 1 divided by 1,000 (to get to thousands, the right metric for impressions))

Step 3: Results of Step 2 times CPM (we chose $20 b/c that’s a fairly average number of retargeted ads in B2B and we consider the targeting in email banners to be actually superior to that of retargeted ads).

((500) X (40) X (261) X (4.4) / 1000)) X ($20)  = $459,360

This is pretty eye-opening.


For many businesses with 500 employees, this number is larger than their entire advertising spend. That somewhat defies logic. And in fact, it has a logical error: we don’t factor in the open rate of emails. According to MailChimp, the average open rate is 21.3%. That’s an arbitrary rate - we see it higher or lower depending on the customer.  So let’s add that into the formula and break it down again

Step 1: (#of  Employees) times (# of emails Sent Per Day) times (# of Working Days Per Year) times (Avg. # Times an Email is Viewed) times (Email Open Rate)

Step 2: Results of Step 1 divided by 1,000 

Step 3: Results of Step 2 times $20 

And here’s what the math looks like:

((500) X (40) X (261) X (4.4) X (.213)  / 1000)) X ($20) = $106,112

According to our calculation, the number goes up slightly but with this more nuanced analysis, our original thesis holds up - that even relatively small companies can harvest significant financial benefits by putting in place email signature banners.

The cool thing is, you can easily do this math yourself to see how many advertising dollars your are leaving on the table.

It might even be enough to make your quarterly or annual number. One of our customers,, grew paid attendance of its signature Unleash event by 10% solely through implementing Opensense email signature banners. They earned back their entire investment in less than a month.

Take the email signature banner challenge. Do the math and see how much free ad money you have waiting for you. Then give us a call.

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