Marketing is a complex world full of acronyms, buzz words, and innovation. One of those concepts you may have heard of, but not fully understood, is multichannel marketing and advertising. So, what does multichannel marketing mean, and should you be doing it?

Multichannel marketing is the practice of implementing your marketing strategy across multiple channels in order to effectively communicate with your customer base or prospective customers.

And yes, you should be doing it.

Some of the key benefits of multichannel marketing include:

  • Increased awareness
  • Consistent messaging
  • Additional and enhanced data and insight into your audience

In the digital age, your target audience is likely bouncing from device to device, app to app, etc. So naturally, the more opportunity you have to remain in front of their eyes, the more likely your brand is going to stay top of mind.

Multichannel marketing can be performed on a plethora of channels and platforms (such as social media, search, print media, direct mail). For simplicity’s sake, let’s focus on display advertising + email.

How display advertising enhances your email program

Display advertising is the use of clickable imagery (or banner ads) across websites or apps that deliver general promotions of a brand, product, or message. Banner ads may be animated HTML5 ads, static images, or copy heavy. At some point or another, I’m positive you’ve seen, and quite possibly even clicked on at least one.

Like any form of marketing, display advertising strategy and execution is unique from company to company, but is typically most effective when coupling prospecting with retargeting. Prospecting is a common concept of filling the top of the marketing funnel, while retargeting is re-marketing toward users who have moved lower into the funnel—as they have shown intent or performed an action that indicates intent.

Opportunities for building a retargeting strategy can be a little more complex, and in my opinion, creative and fun, especially when combined with email. Sure, site retargeting can be very effective, but have you ever considered targeting a segmented email list with a specific, more personalized email message?

Most display advertising platforms have the capability to customer match your CRM lists, and it’s a pretty simple process to set up.

You’ll need a .csv export of an email address CRM list that will be ingested, matched to cookies, and will create your target audience. (If the ad platform has a direct integration with your Customer Data Platform, this will alleviate the manual .csv upload step.)

The matching process can take anywhere from 1-7 days to complete. From there, you have the choice to simply retarget the matched users, or expand upon it with a lookalike model.

A lookalike audience is exactly what it sounds like: an audience comprised of users who look very similar to your list of known users, based on their behaviors and interests and is an excellent method to increase your reach. This audience is created through the use of algorithms and data, and is accessible via your ad platform when prompted.

How to align display ads with email campaigns

This is where we come full circle to the use of multichannel marketing. At this point, many of the email recipients from your email campaign are now accessible to market to via display ads. (I say many, because the match rate is dependent on the services you work with to set this up).

Now it’s time to upload your ad creatives, and start setting up the ad campaign details: budget, frequency capping, dates, etc. You might test using consistent creative themes and messaging to your email campaign, such as using a similar design as your email’s hero image for your ad, and using the subject line in your ad copy.

We’ve tested this here at the Grid, and found the consistent copy and creatives resonated very well, and led to increased engagement!

Here are a few ideas to get started on a segmented CRM ad campaign of your own:

  • Upgrades – Does your company offer product or service upgrades? Test using different messaging for the list of users you’d like to upgrade than you do your other ad campaigns.
  • Unsubscribes – Have a list of users who have unsubscribed from your drip campaigns? Try getting in front of them with a display ad!
  • Different products – Serve specific messaging to users who live in different product email lists.
  • Events – Remind attendees or prospective attendees to register for your events!

Stay tuned for additional materials as we dive deeper into more specific strategies and targeting tactics that we’ve found to be successful! We’ll also cover creative best practices and other useful tips along the way. And if you’re interested in email marketing best practices, make sure you check out SendGrid’s 2018 Email Marketing Guide. 



Lauren Parsell
As an associate media buyer, Lauren manages the paid digital display marketing efforts at SendGrid. With a background in both advertising and design, Lauren understands the importance and competitive advantage of combining strong creative pieces with data insights to effectively target the right audiences. Outside of the Grid, you might find Lauren on an adventure with her two snow dogs, SUP’ing in the summer, or kicked back at home with a glass of vino, painting.