Grow Leads, Drive Sales and Boost Event Attendance with Email Banners

January 1, 2015

Did you know that the most valuable promotional real-estate you own is probably not being used? We’re talking about email banners - the small but powerful promotional banners you can place beneath your email signature. For many of the smartest marketing teams - at Salesforce, Marketo, and to name three - these banners are driving real sales growth and prospect engagement.

Some of these companies have learned that email banners can generate high ROI and have become valuable - even multi-million dollar - channels. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of email banners, what they are, how they work, why they work, and what you can do to get banners in every outbound email in only a few days. 

Want more than $100k in online ads? Check beneath your email.

Yes, we are serious. Here is one of the top-performing email banners we use at Opensense. (You can read more about it in our blog post, Would You Turn Down $100K in Free Advertising?). This banner drives high engagement with average time on page post click of greater than three minutes! A banner like this functions as free ad dollars. 

The math is elementary. Calculate the number of emails your team sends each year. Divide that by 1,000. Then multiply the divided result times the CPMs you are paying for ads (either on Google AdWords, Google display or via retargeting with companies like RollWorks). 

CPMs in some B2B fields are $20. So a company with 500 employees would have the monetary equivalent in email banners of more than $100,000 in ad spend. It gets better. Many business emails are opened more than once, so the real dollar value of your email banner impressions that we calculate is probably higher. In reality, you would have to spend more like $125,000 to $150,000 in ads to get the same number of impressions in display or search. 

11 reasons email banners rock for marketing 

Banners deliver better results than what you might buy in standard ad channels for 11 reasons. 

  1. Engagement is far higher, between 8-10% CTR
  2. There are no ad blockers in emails
  3. There is no competition on the page; yours is the only ad
  4. Targeting is far more accurate because it’s human-powered 
  5. Segmentation is cleaner and more flexible 
  6. No expensive infrastructure like ad servers are required 
  7. There are no middlemen to mark up the price 
  8. There is far less security risk (display and retargeting ad networks are one of the most common sources of malware and malvertising)
  9. You are less likely to put off your readers because they are in the same context as your ad when they are reading the ads 
  10. It is easy to sync display ad campaigns with your email banners (link to RollWorks)
  11. It’s actually even easier to track analytics of email banners than traditional ad banners

What companies also love is that email banner benefits and ROI can be accurately measured or quickly – sometimes in a week! Sure, lots of emails already carry marketing messages. However, text messages are less engaging and take more time for readers to absorb and process. On mobile phones, reading text is more complicated than seeing and understanding highly visual information like colorful banners.

Equally awesome, email banners can message in ways that are relevant even if the text content of the email is focused on something else. It’s an unobtrusive way to get relevant messages inside the framework of normal, day-to-day emails that are not primarily marketing emails. For instance, a marketing coordinator from a financial services company who is emailing a friend in the field with questions about a report might still be interested in a white paper download or a relevant and engaging video in their friend’s email signature. In fact, they might even be more interested precisely because it comes from a trusted source. 

We already name dropped, the fast-growing sales engagement platform? This unicorn saw an 10% lift for paid event registrations within weeks of putting email banners promoting their signature “Unleash” event (at $1800 a ticket) on every outbound company email. 

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