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How Can Publishers Get Started With Native Email Ads?

Native Email Ads
"If we just launched with a website, something would be missing and that was a daily touchpoint with readers. We knew our greatest overall growth was going to come from the website on the back of social media but we didn’t want to neglect email."

Your email lists can become a significant source of revenue when you use them correctly. Publishers around the world realized their value when ad revenue fluctuated during the coronavirus pandemic. Paid email subscriptions and sponsorships can always save the day when  CMPs of programmatic ads fall. The added benefit of first-party data decreases your dependence on the third-party cookie. Additionally, the evergreen method of monetizing content with ads is also an option to earn incremental revenue from your email subscribers. In a nutshell, email newsletters give you many opportunities of diversifying your income sources. Instead of discussing all of them, let’s begin with native email ads.

Table Of Contents

Why Native Ads In Email?

An email newsletter is a carefully crafted piece of content. You create them for users who already trust you and they’ve committed to being your loyal readers. Newsletters help you in building reader habits in your audience. They spend more time on your site and they’re more likely to subscribe to your paid memberships. 

For instance, The NYT newsletter readers consume 2X content as those who aren’t newsletter subscribers, and they’re twice as likely to become paying users. In other words, your newsletter subscribers are more valuable than your other audiences like visitors from social media and organic search. It’s imperative to deliver the best user experience to them. So, being one of the least disruptive ad formats, native ads are best suited for your email subscribers.

“If we just launched with a website, something would be missing and that was a daily touch point with readers. We knew our greatest overall growth was going to come from the website on the back of social media but we didn’t want to neglect email,”

Zach Seward, Chief Product Officer and Executive Editor, Quartz

How To Get Started With Native Email Ads

Placing native ads in your email newsletters is not rocket science. You can use Google Ad Manager to serve them the same way you deliver programmatic ads on your sites. Using monetization platforms can make your work even more convenient. If you want to keep it more simple, you can use the manual method. Let’s look at all of them.

Method #1: Native Email Ads Using Google Ad Manager

You can use Google Ad Manager to serve native ads in your emails. The process is very similar to serving ads on your site. First, you create the native ad, ad unit, order, and line item. Later you generate the tag for the ad unit and place it in your newsletter. You can refer to our step-by-step GAM guide for an ad unit and tag generation. You can also utilize our guide for creating native ads with GAM. But, you’ve to use simple URL tags because email inboxes are not JS environments and most of them also block iframes. You’ve to use an image tag for your banner. Here’s an example:

<a href=’http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/jump?iu=/123456/ad_unit_code&sz=300×250&c=5678′ target=”_blank”>

<img src=’http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ad?iu=/123456/ad_unit_code&sz=300×250&c=5678’/> </a>

In the above code:

  • 123456 is your GAM ID.
  • /ad_unit_code is your ad unit code.
  • sz=300×250 is the size of your ad unit.
  • c=5678 is a correlator value to count page views.

Serving native email ads with GAM can meet hiccups due to the non-Javascript environment. It’s better to seek help from your dev team.

Method #2: Email Monetization Service Providers

Publishers can take the help of service providers when they don’t have direct connections with advertisers. These email monetization providers can bring the demand for your email ad inventory. At the same, they’ll help you with the technical implementations. The integration process would be easy because they’ll do most of the groundwork, and you only have to place their tags into your emails.

LiveIntent, GoldLasso, Power space, and Jeeng are some of the companies that can help you monetize your emails. You’ve to meet their eligibility criteria which can be a minimum number of email opens and open-rate. Check their sample native ads to ensure whether they match your email templates. 

Method #3: Manually Added Native Email Ads

The manual method is not as scalable as using an ad server or an email monetization platform. But, you can use it when you’re managing a small operation. It can do the job while running a single campaign or cross-promoting your own products. You can use HTML to create your email as well as the native ads within them. UTM parameters can help you track clicks, and the number of email opens can work as a proxy for impressions. You wouldn’t need to know HTML with email service providers like Hubspot, Mailchimp, Convertkit, etc. They’ll help you design and track your emails with much ease.

Considerations For Native Email Ads

It is easy to start with an email campaign, but minor factors can make or break it. Here are a few considerations you should make before sending your first email with native ads:

  • Responsive Design: Your ads and emails should be responsive because your audiences have many options to access them. Desktop, mobile, tablet, Android, Windows, iOS, native email apps, third-party apps, browsers; there are hundreds of combinations to access your mails. They should function perfectly on all of them.
  • Quick & Easy: It shouldn’t be difficult or time-consuming to develop your emails with native ads. It’d be convenient to have a standard HTML template. Avoid complex processes in favor of scalability.
  • Industry Standards: Follow the industry standards with your ads. You might not find specific IAB guidelines for native email ads, but you can follow standards like ad size, weight, aspect ratio, etc. It’ll make your ads more effective. Also, don’t forget to label your ads for better transparency.
  • Interest-based Ads: Static, direct-sold, sponsorship ads are not your only option. You serve programmatic ads that are based on your audiences’ interests. Such ads have a higher CTR potential. You can do so with the help of your ad server, or by partnering with email monetization providers.
  • Optimization: Don’t take a set-it-and-forget-it approach for your email campaigns. Optimize them through experiments with placements, time, text, designs, etc.

What’s Next?

There are publishers in the industry who are getting outstanding results from their newsletters. For instance, The New York Times uses its free newsletters to gain paying subscribers. Morning Brew went from $3 million in revenue to $13 million in just one year with its quality content. It means newsletters can do wonders if you play your cards right. But, how would you form your strategy? One of the best ways is to keep an eye on the top publishers. You can learn from their actions and make your plans accordingly. You can subscribe to our free weekly newsletter for the latest strategies from top publishers. If you’re interested in diving deep into the success stories of publishers, our Becoming Series can be a blessing for you. So, keep learning and keep growing.

Automatad Team

At Automatad, we help publishers to monetize better without hampering the user experience. Our products are live across hundreds of publishers, earning them incremental ad revenue with every passing second. You can request a free audit to get an estimated revenue uplift today.

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