Verticals that work well on digital and why

With 2017 already moving ahead at the speed of sound, it feels like a good time to reflect and take stock of the year behind us, looking into which verticals were succeeding in the digital marketing game across email, display, social and content.

Email marketing:

Our humble friend, email, garnered excellent results with Not for Profits (25.25% open rates & 2.84% CTR), Agencies (22.65% open rates & 2.74% CTR), Health & Fitness (22.47% open rate & 2.81% CTR) and retail (21.44% and 2.65% CTR). Some of the worst performing verticals were eCommerce (16.82% open rate & 2.48% CTR) & Daily Deals (13.87% open rate & 1.81% CTR).

Email is a personal platform and consumers tend to get a lot of them! The stats really show that it takes an emotional connection to the brand to succeed at gaining engagement.

As we highlighted in “2017, the year advertisers and consumers fall in love with email again”, we will see a rise in the popularity of email with the addition of contextual marketing; delivering more relevant content and promotions to your audience, thus strengthening loyalty and conversion.

Display advertising:

Despite the challenges ahead for display; ad blocking increasing 81% since 2013 and native advertising continuing to take market share (4% more in 2016) it is still a viable solution and industries like Technology still see strong CTR (0.84%). This could be attributed to the fact that many apps host display ads with high RTCs for these products and services. Dating and personal services also faired well (0.52% CTR), unlike employment services (0.14%). It is not surprising that dating and personal services would outperform recruitment; it is much easier to elicit an emotional response, writing heartfelt copy for love, rather than for work; recruitment trends have also shifted into being more about networks than searching online for jobs. Some other notables near the top were Travel & Hospitality (0.47%) and eCommerce and Legal (both 0.45%).

Worth highlighting is the industry benchmark for all ad placements and formats on Ad CTR is 0.17%. However, Australia takes the crown as having the lowest conversion rates globally with a standard of 0.08%, compared to the high of 25% in Latin America!

In 2017 we can expect to see Ad blocking increase and native will also continue to steal market share. This will be countered by more sophistication in technology with programmatic display continuing to grow and some suggesting that consumers may start to switch ad blocks off in exchange for more relevant advertisements.


In Australia, there are 14M active social media users. 13 Million of those are on mobile. 41% on Facebook and 10% on Instagram.

The entertainment industry is a natural in the social space, this sector has accounted for 63.2 percent of all posts across six different industries (retail, auto, telecom, financial services, food, and beverage). The industry with the second largest share was retail with only 12.4 percent.

Some more surprising verticals performing well on social are Real Estate and Education. For the Real Estate sector, social is allowing brokers and agents to reach more potential buyers and offer them a more interactive pre-sighting experience than was once possible. Education has also adapted so naturally thanks to the opportunities that social opens to students, educators and institutions to connect and create communities in a way that was not historically possible.

In 2017, analysts predict a 26.3% global increase in spending for social media advertising.


In Australia, the Tech industry is one of the largest investing in their content strategy, followed by Agencies (Digital, Advertising, Content, PR and Communications), Publishing & Media and B2B.

It is hardly surprising that the Technology companys; the superstars of today, the innovators, are leading the way and putting most emphasis on content as an important strategy. Their businesses are exciting and ever changing and they have taken the opportunity to use content marketing as a way to position themselves as thought leaders within their individual markets.

2017 will see businesses increase their sophistication and results from content. It is expected that in 51% of companies will have an executive in their organisation who is directly responsible for an overall content marketing strategy.

It should be an exciting year, indeed. Many of these areas are expecting further technological advancements, ensuring our digital marketing efforts are more precise with higher ROI. Here’s to a great year!


About the author
Ryan Beck
General Manager
Ryan is an award winning and successful leader, responsible for developing long-term client relationships and fostering career development for Upside.Digital staff.
He is motivated by a genuine passion for unleashing the potential that lies within the lead generation and digital marketing industries and his passion is shown by recent awards won such as B&T 30 Under 30 Award. Ryan is also qualified as a Master Practitioner of NLP and has spoken at events including AdTech and the Online Retailer conference.