July 17, 2019

3 Ways to Use Employee Email as a New Marketing Channel


6.3 hours. That’s the average amount of time working professionals spend in their inbox, according to HuffPost. For some, checking their inbox is the first thing they do in the morning and last thing before going to bed. We all live in our email, and it continues to be the workhorse of digital marketing. 

In fact, the number of emails sent and received per day now total over 246 billion, as stated by The Radicati Group Email Statistics Report. That’s a number that towers above total daily ad impressions from Google and Facebook visits.

Within the giant world of email, you’ll find “employee email” which represents the emails you and your employees send out of Gmail or Outlook every day to your most important customers, contacts, prospects and stakeholders. For some companies, this amounts to thousands or even millions of emails per year. 

Do you know the email volume of your employees? If not, it could be worth calculating. The total amount might shock you.

A Quick Story About Math and Marketing Opportunities

The Marketing team at Kforce (a recruiting firm out of Tampa) took this to heart and ran the math after asking themselves, “How many emails do our employees send?” The number was staggering. They realized that across their 3,000 employees they were sending 96 million emails a year.

After the initial shock and awe, they shifted their thinking and started viewing this as more than just a massive amount of email volume. They realized it was also a massive amount of missed marketing opportunities. And so, they did something about it and started exploring ways to turn this number into 96 million new ways to advertise their most important initiatives. This led them to a small, yet highly effective, piece of digital real estate within each email that transformed this volume into their new favorite marketing channel.

Volume, Attention and Engagement

Just like Kforce, many Marketing teams today are focusing on an area located just beneath the email signature. Why? Because it represents the perfect opportunity to advertise, promote and intelligently target email recipients with the right message. Think of it as a banner ad, but for the more intimate world of 1:1 email. And according to AI neuroscience research, it not only captures the attention of email readers today, it leads to some serious engagement. 



What does the screenshot above mean exactly? Besides the fact that heat maps are just fun to look at, it also shows us what people pay attention to most in common email communications. In addition to the visual above, dozens of other eye-movement tests and emails revealed an interesting trend:

While recipients still take the time to read the body of the message, they especially pay attention to marketing banners located beneath the email signature.

High volume. Audience attention. Meaningful engagement. These three components are like gold for marketers today in a world that’s getting noisier and noisier. That’s why revenue teams are now using employee email as a new channel for advertising, ABM, driving event registrations and anything else that aligns with their marketing goals.

Download our Email Best Practices Checklist to increase your email conversion  rates

3 Ways to Use Employee Email as a New Advertising Channel

Marketing 101 tells us to meet our audience where they already spend their time. In addition to their favorite websites, LinkedIn and Twitter, your most important prospects and customers live in their inbox. That’s why teams today have added this channel to their already existing advertising strategy. Here are 3 examples that show how they’re doing it:

1. Promote an Upcoming Event or Webinar

Start simple! If you have a conference or webinar coming up, use every email sent by your employees as an opportunity for more clicks and registrations.


2. Target Your Top ABM Accounts

Adding this channel to your account-based marketing strategy can be a quick and easy win in a sometimes complicated ABM world. Already sending your target accounts tailored content and personalized social ads? Why not use the same approach when sending them an email? Snowflake Computing and their award-winning ABM program adopted this approach and created specific email banners for each of their top accounts. So any time someone from their team sends an email to @klowd.com, recipients will see a personalized banner showing their name or logo.



3. Deliver Content to Specific Industries or Personas

For those looking to get really fancy, try syncing any smart or static list from your favorite marketing automation platform and pairing it with a specific email banner. For example, we promote our Indiana Pacers case study with a specific email banner that displays only to accounts in our “Sports Franchises” list. That way, we ensure the most relevant content is being delivered to an audience where it resonates the most


The Takeaway

When advertising or promoting your most important initiatives, test and try all possible channels. You might be surprised to find that newer (or less traditional) marketing channels, like employee email, have all of the ingredients to make a huge impact. And if you’re looking for more ideas, use cases or examples on how to use this channel, here are 36 other creative email signature examples.

Free Download: Email Marketing Best Practices Checklist

Brad Beutler

Director of Marketing, Sigstr


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