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How To: Align Your Email and Paid Advertising Campaigns

Written by: Collin Burke, Content Marketing Intern

During the holiday season, eCommerce companies play their best cards to try to stand out from the competition. Over $700 million is on the table, and marketers should have a solid cross-channel strategy in place to get a piece of the pie. Will your ads and emails get lost in the seasonal shuffle, or will they be clicked-through, driving traffic to your website?

Email Marketing

In order to run effective email campaigns this time of the year, you need to be strategic about timing. It’s critical to reach the right people at the right times. Looking back at holiday shopping trends from 2013 can help predict what is to come in 2014. Sailthru’s Holiday Data Report shares key email stats from 2013 and forecasts trends we will likely see in 2014. The click-to-open rate graph (shown below) offers insight on how many people click-through emails relative to how many people open emails. In other words, click-to-open rate = total number of clicks / number of unique opens. This metric represents how people are engaging with emails.

Last year, click-to-open rates were highest during Thanksgiving weekend, peaking on Thanksgiving day at 13.2% and on Black Friday at 12.9%. In the following weeks leading up to Christmas, click-to-open rates dropped off significantly. This suggests that consumers were more likely to click-through emails that they opened during mid to late November. Once December rolls around, data suggests opened emails are clicked-through less frequently, making the case for eCommerce companies to lean more on paid social ads.

2013 Holiday Season Click-to-Open Rates

Click-to-Open Rates


Our 2014 Ecommerce Holiday Advertising Trends Preview offers data on Facebook ad performance and costs during last year’s holiday season. Similarly to click-to-open rates, purchase rates also peaked around Thanksgiving weekend in 2013. However, even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone in 2014, consumers are still shopping for the holiday season. It’s not over yet!

2013 Holiday Season Purchase Rates

Purchase Rates

All year round, email marketing and paid advertising efforts can be used in sync to drive sales through the roof. Paid advertising will help acquire new customers and their email addresses. With effective email marketing, eCommerce companies can quickly turn those new customers into repeat customers. By sending out relevant emails to customers who were acquired through ad campaigns, you can get them to purchase again and again.

Tips For Email Marketing and Paid Advertising

  • Leverage data to discover the best times and places to reach your audience
  • Optimize for mobile, so that your emails and ads can be easily read across devices
  • Have clear call to action buttons that get consumers clicking
  • Segment by groups, retargeting people based on where they are in the buying process

Pairing these campaigns can save abandoned shopping carts. Online retailer Alex + Ani implemented smart cart recovery techniques and saw a 36% increase in email revenue. You can do the same by capturing email addresses as the very first step of the checkout process. Similarly, people who clicked on a paid ad, browsed a website, and then abandoned a cart can be retargeted with specific ads to lure them back.

Don’t miss out on any opportunities this holiday season. A healthy balance of email marketing and paid advertising efforts will have consumers coming back for more.

Read our 2014 Ecommerce Holiday Advertising Trends Preview


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