Paid Media vs Earned Media vs Owned Media

Many times people ask us how we describe the email signature space.  We like to refer to it as “Owned Media.”

Email signatures role in your digital strategy

There are three types of media that a digital marketer should be concerned with when it comes to creating an effective digital strategy:

  1. Paid Media- Any paid for advertising on digital properties, like promoted Tweets, Adwords, Sponsored Posts on Facebook, etc.
  2. Earned Media- “Digital word of mouth” is a common way this channel is described.  Social shares, reposts, inbound linking from 3rd party sites.  Earned media encompasses the viral outcomes of some digital marketing strategies.
  3. Owned Media- Your website, your social media pages, your blog, and of course, your email signatures.


Depending on where your company stands in terms of digital presence, the ratio of focus on these three elements may differ slightly.  

Email signature management solutions can have a massive impact on your digital strategy because they represent a means of excavating an opportunity that has frankly always been there, but has historically been nearly impossible to manage consistently.


Remember the time your marketing team sent you an email with some instructions to add a banner to your email signature to promote the upcoming event being hosted by your company?


Remember how you worked through the instructions, but few people on your team did also?


Remember how sometimes that banner would show up as an attachment when sending emails?


Managing signatures effectively was a big challenge.  Today, however, they represent a big opportunity.


That’s because some of the solutions available today give a single user the ability to immediately add and manage banners across all employees and their devices.  Some solutions even give the ability to segment your employees to promote different digital initiatives based on the sender or even the recipient.  


The excitement over this opportunity has to do with the sheer volume.  A 30,000 employee company will send over a quarter of a billion “person generated” emails this year.  That’s a quarter of a billion digital impressions on your Owned Media.  With click throughs of anywhere from 3%-7%, the opportunity to garner Earned Media increases drastically as well.  


When it comes to optimizing your digital strategy, one of your most important Owned Media channels already exists right under your nose.  Now it’s time to find the right solution to really take advantage of it!

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