E-Mails Beat TV Spots, Among the Women 18-44 Who Matter!
February 4, 2013
Two weeks ago, we showed you alarming new data, from our just-completed national study, about the prevalence of TV commercial-skipping among the vast majority of radio listeners.Â That piece is a must-read for any executive considering using TV in 2013.
This week, we will focus on commercial E-Mails.Â First, we will look at how many listeners, within the only population that matters, the paid-Radio-research population, actually read their emails.Â And then we will compare those numbers to how many actually sit through TV spots.Â Next week, we will conduct the same analysis for traditional direct mail.Â For the first time, we can compare these behaviors on one level playing field, and among the right population.Â The results, to say the least, are eye-opening.Â And will change the way you make decisions about ad campaigns.
A Four-Step Plan for Evaluating TV vs.Â Email
The bottom line is that, with so few viewers actually sitting through spots, your TV campaign is in fact delivering you only a fraction of the points or impressions you think you are making.Â So, if you are considering a TV buy in 2013, we suggest a three-step recalculation, employing re-adjusted, realistic, estimates of actual viewers.
(1) General-market estimates of who watches TV spots or reads emails are not what you want to look at.Â Even when they aren’t obviously inflated pro-TV propaganda, those estimates will still be measuring the wrong population.Â Instead, be sure you are using data about the only listeners who actually matter to our success:Â Listeners who are willing to be paid research subjects for Radio.Â And make sure to use data that can compare the effectiveness of alternate media on the same population.Â The findings we are presenting below meet that test.Â They are taken from our just-completed 2013 national study, where 100% of the sample were radio listeners and 100% said yes to paid radio research.Â
(2) What is the actual number of points you are buying?Â How much are you actually paying per point?
(3) After that adjustment, will your TV budget actually be large enough to make a significant impact? Â Does it yield the kind of numbers for reach/frequency/tonnage that a radio spot needs on TV, to have a chance to break through and succeed?Â Â
(4) After that adjustment, re-evaluate the costs/benefits for each of your potential media choices, on one single level playing field.Â Compare them on bang per buck only after recalculating based on how many messages are actually consumed by your target, not on how many you send.Â Accept the obvious reality that every medium has significant spillage.Â The number of people you try to send a message to will always be far greater than those who actually receive the message.Â We have trained ourselves to go through a recalculation exercise for certain media, but not for others.Â For example, we have long understood that “audience counts,” for emails, are catch-alls that include those recipients who, without reading it, simply hit “delete.”Â So we tend to mentally re-estimate the “actual” impressions of a direct-email-marketing campaign, based on based on statistics we have heard somewhere that some x percentage of consumers, in the general market, reads their spam.Â Yet we have not traditionally applied the equivalent “knock em down to size” scrutiny to TV audience counts.Â Now, for the first time, using NuVoodoo’s new apples-to-apples national data, you have the tools to do exactly that.Â
1 in 3 Paid-Research Listeners Usually Reads Commercial Emails
NuVoodoo has just completed our latest national media study.Â The sample is composed entirely of radio listeners, 18-54, who also had to be willing to sell their listening data for money.Â We asked them to tell us, using a 1 (none of the time) to 7 (all of the time) scale, how often they actually read their mass commercial emails.Â
Now, of course, you would expect that a decent chunk of the population, 23% here, will delete every commercial email without reading it.Â And you also expect that very few folks, 4% here, will read every single email.Â But the key number we want to learn and use is:Â How many folks do in fact typically (i.e.Â at least half the time, a 4-7 on our scale) read their emails?Â As you can see from the above chart, that adds up to 34%.Â That is, among the only radio population that counts, one in three is likely actually to read their mass emails.Â And then there’s an additional 43%, who will read fewer than half, but some, emails.Â Presumably those emails that have effectively caught their eye with the subject line.Â Like the ones in a well-crafted radio email campaign.
Sweetest Spots For Email:Â Women 18-54 Men 25-44
Commercial emails bombard everybody’s inboxes, regardless of demo.Â But some demos are significantly more inclined than others to read them.
The most infamous “tough nut” demo, Men 18-24, are not great email targets.Â Only one in five says they typically (at least half the time) read their emails.Â But they are by far the weakest demo cell.Â By contrast, across all age cells of Women, and among Men 25-44, about 2 in 5 typically read their emails.Â Sound like a much better number than you might have guessed?Â Sound too good to be true?Â Remember, we are talking about a particular, and strange, part of the population:Â people who want to sell their media-usage information, for a price.Â They will behave differently, in many ways, from the more-private-person norm.Â And willing engagement withÂ commercial/promotional opportunities, not surprisingly, is one such key difference.Â Which is very good news for a radio station that wants to attract the attention of these guinea pigs.Â
Women 18-44: Â More Read Commercial Emails Than Actually Watch TV Spots!
So how good are those numbers, really?Â Do research-friendly listeners also watch a lot of TV commercials?Â How do the two media compare?
As you can see, above, these (will-do-radio-research-for-money) Women 18-44 are more likely to look at an email than they are to see a TV spot.Â Email is also relatively competitive with TV among Men 25-44.
Longest-TSL Listeners May Read Emails Even More
So we've already learned that, in this time of rampant TV-spot-skipping, email is well-targeted at the radio-research universe, in general.Â Now, to put a cherry on top of that sweet finding, look at the chart above.Â The difference, while not dramatic, is certainly pointing in the right direction.Â Our favorite consumers, those who listen two hours a day or more, show a tendency toward even higher email readership than the other research-friendly folks.Â This corroborates what we have learned in earlier studies.Â The longer-TSL consumer is actually easier to reach.Â Which makes digital-direct-marketing campaigns an even smarter buy.
What this means to you
Station advertising budgets, when they exist at all, are tighter than ever.Â We have to do more with less.Â At the same time, TV is delivering less and less and charging more.Â Meanwhile, at least among the only people who matter to radio, mass emails are competitive with, and often beat, TV spots for actual eyeballs.Â We strongly suggest that, when considering your media options, you use these data to guide you to the most efficient allocation of your resources.Â And the best return on your investment.
The data we are reporting were collected from dozens and dozens of major and medium markets, and are relatively consistent across regions of the country.Â We expect that your market is no different.Â But we certainly understand that these data may seem surprising to you, that you may be skeptical about their validity in your market, and that you may not want to base your media-budget decisions on them.Â Or want to have to defend those media decisions up the food chain based on somebody else’s national data.Â If that is the case, you should talk to your research or direct marketing partner about doing a simple, quick, local study in your market.Â A study that can corroborate these findings and give you data to make a confident and ratings-impactful decision.Â A study like that, done correctly, should cost you only a small fraction of your ad budget.Â Maybe less than the cost of one (supposedly-good) placement of a TV spot.Â And a lot less than the cost of producingÂ a good one.
In next week’s column, we will turn to Direct Mail as an advertising vehicle.Â As we just did for E-Mail, we will show you who it reaches and how it stacks up against TV spots.Â Spoiler alert:Â Direct Mail pieces actually have more effective penetration than TV commercials, within the radio-ratings-inclined population.Â Across nearly all demos.