How to Reach Tech Consumers with Email Advertising

Portrait of Melina Panitsidis
by Melina Panitsidis
Jun 1, 2020
Email Advertising for Consumer Tech Audiences

We spend a lot of time checking our inboxes throughout the day— when we wake up, during our commute to and from work, or even when we’re just flat out bored. In fact, consumers spend an average of five hours a day using email, with 38% of people checking their inbox over four times a day.

Frequency of checking personal email stats

These stats make it pretty hard to ignore the multiple daily opportunities marketers have to connect with consumer tech enthusiasts who are constantly refreshing their inboxes to keep up with the latest and greatest in tech.

But standing out in the $400 billion industry that is consumer tech can be a challenge. So, how can you make your brand stand out in such a crowded space? Where can you reach these tech-savvy individuals?

Here’s a tip: email advertising.

What sets email advertising apart?

We know email has been a tried and true channel for marketers ever since its inception. From demand generation to lead nurturing, email marketing is a staple in most strategies. Paid email, however, opens up a whole other set of possibilities for marketers. So, what about email advertising makes it such an appealing paid channel?

Let's find out.

Engaged & targeted audiences

Have you ever tried compiling your own email list from scratch? It’s a lot of work. Email advertising gives marketers a list of subscribers that’s already been curated and nurtured by a publisher. Reaching a high-quality and engaged audience without the extra work is a major plus to email advertising. No guesswork involved.

Every newsletter draws in a unique audience. It’s pretty easy to determine who subscribes to certain newsletters based on its content. Consumer tech individuals are likely subscribed to newsletters focused on tech (duh 💁‍♀️), making it easy for you to find publishers that can help you target the right audience.

Up front cost

Email advertising costs are fixed. No bids. No fluctuating CPCs and CPMs. Publishers have a predetermined price for advertisers based on factors like placement, formats, and run dates. Prices will vary from publisher to publisher, but having this information in your pocket will help you find the partnerships that are worth the investment for your goals and budget.

Verified subscribers

Are the consumers you’re trying to reach with your digital advertising campaigns actually seeing your ad? Are they even real people on the other end? It can be hard to tell with most online channels.

Luckily, the above doesn’t apply with email advertising thanks to a little thing called double opt-in. Double opt-in requires subscribers to confirm their subscription a second time, usually through an email after signing up. This simple yet powerful action guarantees that advertisers are reaching engaged, curious, and real people.

No ad blockers

It’s become increasingly harder to reach consumers because of banner blindness. And the rise of ad blockers has created yet another hurdle for marketers to jump over. While we can’t promise you’ll never run into ad block challenges ever again, we can promise it’s not something you’ll have to worry about with paid email. Subscribers willingly opt-in to publishers’ emails because they genuinely want to hear from them. No ad blockers necessary here!

Where does email advertising fit into your funnel?

Literally anywhere. Email advertising can be used to target consumer tech audiences wherever they might be in their customer journey.

There are two basic forms of email advertising: sponsored newsletters and dedicated emails.

Sponsored newsletters

Newsletter sponsorships are simple placements that effectively build brand awareness around a new audience that’s valuable, targeted, and engaged. This format is perfect for top-of-funnel campaign initiatives. Why? Because sponsored newsletters offer a highly visible yet non-intrusive (this is key 🔑) way of sharing your message without coming off too strong.

Kind of like Dropbox did with Pocket. They were able to hop into the inboxes of over 4 million influential and tech-savvy subscribers by placing one sponsored post in the popular newsletter, Pocket Hits.

Dropbox_Sponsored Newsletter_Example

Dedicated email

On the other hand, email advertising is just as effective and powerful in lower-funnel campaign strategies. Dedicated email blasts can be used to expand on your messaging and combine it with a relevant lower-funnel offer like a discount, free trial, or sign up. It’s an ideal way to reach a targeted group of consumer tech enthusiasts who would love to test something new before it hits the market or snag a special edition product.

How else do you think Honey reached an engaged tech audience of over 300k readers? 

The browser extension that finds consumers the best online coupon codes, partnered with Digg to reach consumers who would benefit from their plugin. To grow their userbase, Honey opted for a dedicated email blast to show off the product’s benefits (hello savings! 💰) and included a compelling CTA that draws in a relevant consumer tech audience to try it for themselves.

Honey_Dedicated Email_Example

With a single dedicated email blast, Honey was able to hop into the inboxes of 329k engaged subscribers— and they didn’t have to compile a single email list.

Making email advertising work for consumer tech enthusiasts

By now, it’s pretty clear what email advertising can do for marketers. Now, it’s just a matter of making your campaign worth tech consumers’ time.

Think about the end result you want from your paid email campaign. Do you want to get your audience excited about a new product launch? Are you on the hunt for consumers to try what you already have to offer?

Whatever your end goal, it's important to keep a few things in mind when creating email advertising for consumer tech audiences.

Be different & offer value

When consumer tech enthusiasts are hunting for the next best thing in tech, they do a lot of research. If you want these individuals to hear you out, you’re going to need to prove you have something valuable to offer. That means differentiating yourself from the rest of the tech world and showing off what consumers can gain from your brand.

At the end of the day, these tech-savvy individuals look for products that enhance their lives. Showcasing your product’s benefits and how it’s different from the competition will get you much further than braggy ad copy and loud, distracting creative.

Create great experiences

84% of customers value the experience a company provides just as much as the product or service. So, it’s safe to say consumers have some seriously high expectations— as they should.

People are tired of impersonal brand interactions that aren’t at all relevant to them. They demand personalization. Luckily, email advertising accounts for this by allowing you to work with publishers who have specific audiences that are relevant to your brand. By using paid email, marketers can elevate brand perception and cultivate great experiences, one ad interaction at a time.

Find the right publishers

Email advertising lets you get super specific with audiences. Take advantage of it. There are a ton of consumer tech-focused newsletters out there to choose from. Some are geared toward general consumer tech audiences while others cater to specific niches within the consumer tech space. Publishers like Pocket, Digg, the Hustle, and Inside—to name a few— make it easy to reach consumer tech audiences of all interests and sizes. It’s up to you to determine which publishers will make the best partner for your campaign.

Think like your audience

Consumer tech enthusiasts are excited about the world of technology that surrounds them. They enjoy finding, researching, and testing out new tech gadgets and services— and when they discover something they really love, they’ll turn into a loyal advocate for it.

To convert consumers into customers and customers into brand advocates, you need to be your own advocate first. As a marketer, it’s your job to get your audience excited about your brand. Basically, your message should mirror the same excitement consumer tech audiences have.

Thinking like your audience will help you figure out what excites them and what doesn’t, which will ultimately help you position your email campaign in a way that will ignite their interest and fuel your growth.

Putting it all together

Consumer tech enthusiasts aren’t all that hard to figure out. Reaching them comes down to leveraging channels that grab their attention without coming on too strong. By getting into the heads of consumer tech audiences and forming the right publisher partnerships, marketers can create effective campaigns that offer value and foster positive experiences. 

Just think of email advertising as your golden ticket to hop into the inboxes of engaged readers and turn them into loyal customers.