Employee Email Vs. Other Content Distribution Channels

September 8, 2016 Brad Beutler

digital marketing channels comparison blog post Sigstr

Some days, it’s you against the world. Errr, well, maybe your team against the world in the case of marketers. Marketing teams are scrappy. But we have to be able to squeeze every last morsel out of campaigns for maximum value. Getting the most bang for your buck is the holy grail for marketers, who are consistently known for spending the majority of a company’s expenditure budget.

With this reputation on the line, we need to be absolutely sure our selected digital marketing channels will bring in the maximum impressions, clicks and conversions without breaking the bank. Many times marketers will turn to under-the-radar campaigns like social media promotions or risky high-dollar programs with third parties. What some marketers tend to forget, however, is your employees are emailing thousands of important contact each and every day – thousands of valuable individuals who are right there in the palm of your hand.

Using employee email as an owned channel is cheaper, and more effective, than traditional paid digital marketing channels that may have half the outcomes at twice the cost. In this post, we’ve outlined some comparison rates to help illustrate how employee email stacks up against the rest of your digital marketing toolbox.

Digital marketing channels toolbox

Employee Email Vs. Pay-Per-Click

One of the biggest misconceptions about pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns is high visibility doesn’t always mean high conversions. In order for a PPC campaign to work effectively, it must target a clear set of keywords that people are actually searching. Then there is the additional hassle of optimizing your ad or landing page and making it compelling enough for your searchers to click. On top of this, every click costs money so it won’t take long for non-converting searchers to get pretty expensive.

Compare this to employee email, which is an owned channel with minimum risk. Your audience is hand-picked to be high-converting and your messaging is already compelling. Looking at PPC from a purely cost-per-lead perspective, email is an exponentially better bet when comparing the number of emails sent per employee per day to the number of non-converting searchers per day.

Employee Email Vs. Display Ads

The sad truth is most people actually ignore display ads. Can you remember the last time you clicked on one? The average display ad click-through rate is a meager 0.06 percent. Hootsuite even said you’re more likely to complete Navy SEAL training than click on a banner ad. Not to mention your team fails to retain 100 percent in control of where your ads appear, leaving room for error and missteps.

Employee email signatures, on the other hand, have a click-through rate of around .5 percent. Plus, most have a very hard time ignoring all emails that come through their inbox, especially ones from those they interact with regularly. Employee email is seen as a low-spam risk channel compared to banner ads which today are often blocked thanks to plugins and widgets. That’s a whole lotta money to spend on a campaign that might not even be seen.

digital marketing channels quote

Employee Email Vs. Social Media Ads

Before we even get into this one, just think: advertisers spent $5.1 billion on social media advertising in 2013 – a figure that is expected to exceed $14 billion by 2018. That is billions of dollars spent on a marketing channel that makes understanding ROI almost impossible to quantify. In fact, according to an article on LinkedIn:

  • Only 37 percent of marketers can measure the results of their social digital marketing channels
  • 35 percent say they are really not sure if they are measuring ROI properly
  • 28 percent of marketers say they don’t know how to measure social media marketing ROI at all

For a marketing channel that is so widely used, there is little in the way of metrics that can sustain this as a scalable distribution effort. Without the ability to track leads back to certain social campaigns, marketing teams can expect to see their social advertising budgets dwindle.

Employee email, on the other hand, can be easily tracked and monitored. Open rates and delivery rates can be gathered with little manual effort to determine the effectiveness of campaigns. Leveraging an employee email signature solution, such as Sigstr, means built-in analytics that calculate click-through-rates, content conversion rates, and overall campaign effectiveness.

Employee Email Vs. Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting is when your website visitors are ‘cookied’ and then served product advertisements as they search the internet or browse their favorite sites. This marketing channel often makes prospects leery and can make it seem like you are ‘following’ their every move on the internet. Highly-segmented retargeting campaigns are often exorbitantly expensive and can come off as abrasive, which can lead to fewer clicks and even fewer conversions.

Employee email, on the other hand, posts a friendly vibe that counteracts any scary stalker awkwardness. Plus, if someone is opening an email, they are already predispositioned to click on the links or image provided in the signature area. Your audience is already segmented based on your employee email patterns, which means your message is right 100 percent of the time.


Ready for a new addition to your mix of digital marketing channels? Request a demo of Sigstr today to see how employee email can help you make the most of the channel already used most often.

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