Digital inserts set to provide value both ways
More than half of the consumers surveyed for the Response One Group in the UK said that they would be happy to receive - and probably click through to - third party adverts embedded within online order confirmations.
The survey into the attitudes of consumers toward e-mail order confirmation messages found that online order confirmations have been increasingly converted into an advertising medium for third parties, nicknamed 'digital inserts' by analysts.
How effective is the channel? However, there has always been something of a question mark over whether or not consumers scrutinise their order confirmations - or even print out and file them - enough for them to be a viable and ongoing advertising channel.
In order to evaluate the advertising potential of e-commerce order confirmations, Response One commissioned the research to understand opening rates for both e-mail and online order confirmation messages, as well as their subsequent print frequencies.
Key findings The research specifically asked respondents how likely they would be to seriously consider clicking on adverts inserted into their e-mail order confirmations, and whether or not they would find it acceptable for advertising to come through from associated third parties.
Key findings from the study included:
- Four out of five people (80%) ordering goods or services online open their order confirmation to check that the details are correct;
- Two out of five consumers (40%) also print out their order confirmations;
- Approximately half (53%) of consumers said they are happy to see third party adverts in their online order confirmations, and 43% declared themselves to be likely to click on such an advertising link to reach an advertisers' web site;
- In the UK, 82% of consumers open and check their order confirmation at least nine times out of ten, and the likelihood of this happening increases even further with age;
- The advertising opportunity is also extended if the consumer also prints out the order confirmation, as 40% make print outs for filing.
A worthwhile marketing channel According to Damian Coverdale, media sales director for Response One Group, "These results provide a strong indication that digital inserts could lead the way to the further development of transpromo and affinity marketing opportunities. Order confirmations, whether web-based or e-mailed, could present a significant opportunity for the issuers of those confirmations to monetise this customer contact point, and for third party companies to have access to a touchpoint with consumers that provides good open rates and attention levels."
But, Coverdale warned, marketers must also be aware that third party advertisers cannot be accepted indiscriminately. Advertisers and their content must at all times be appropriate and relevant to the recipient, and the same disciplines that are applied to the traditional third party printed insert need to be imposed on electronic order confirmation advertising as well.