Paid Media vs. Earned Media vs. Owned Media

July 17, 2017

People ask us all the time how we describe the email signature space. We like to refer to email signatures as Owned Media.


There are three types of media that every digital marketer uses as part of an effective digital strategy:

  1. Paid Media - For-pay advertising on properties (e.g., promoted Tweets, Adwords, Sponsored Posts, etc.)
  2. Earned Media - The "digital word of mouth" (e.g., social shares, PR / press coverage, inbound links, etc.)
  3. Owned Media - The media you control (e.g., your website, social media properties, blog, and of course, your email signatures)

Depending on where your company stands in terms of digital presence, the ratio of focus on these three elements may differ slightly.  

Email signature management solutions can have a massive impact on your digital strategy.

Remember the time your marketing team sent you an email with some instructions to add a banner to your email signature to promote the upcoming event?

Remember how you worked through the instructions to get it posted, but few other people on your team did as well?

Remember how sometimes that banner would show up as an attachment when sending emails?

Remember wondering why you needed to do this in the first place?

Historically, managing email signatures effectively was a big challenge.  Today, email signatures represent a big opportunity.

Some of the solutions available today give a single user the ability to immediately add and manage banners across all employees and their devices. Some solutions offer the ability to segment employees based on role or group to promote different digital initiatives based on the email sender or recipient.  

For perspective, a 30,000-employee company sends over a quarter of a billion “person generated” emails a year. That’s a quarter of a billion digital impressions on your Owned Media. With click-throughs of anywhere from 3%-7%, the opportunity to garner Earned Media increases drastically as well.  

When it comes to optimizing your digital marketing strategy, one of your most important Owned Media channels already exists right under your nose. Now it’s time to find the right solution to really take advantage of it. Opensense can help!

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Amit Gupta
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