With people spending nearly 20 minutes of every online hour in email, this massive logged-in media channel is an essential addition to any digital media strategy. With such adoption by users, brands and markers have increased their investments in email newsletters over the past few years.
After all, email newsletters are the best way to reach and engage with your customers and audience, drive traffic to your website, and generate sales and leads. According to an eMarketer report, more than nine in 10 internet users send email regularly, making it one of the most common digital activities in the US.
But how can marketers tap into the value of email advertising to power their digital advertising strategies?
To better understand the value of email advertising, we chatted with Jessica Muñoz,
VP of Product Marketing at LiveIntent, the only programmatic advertising platform that connects brands with readers in the consent-based environment of email.
Q: Before we dig in, let’s start with an explanation of what LiveIntent does.
Jessica Muñoz, VP of Product Marketing: LiveIntent makes it easy for companies to use the power of email to build relationships with people across all types of media, even when cookies don’t work.
LiveIntent operates a unique email ad exchange, enabling reputable publishers such as Hearst, Conde Nast, Wall Street Journal, and many more to offer ad inventory within their email newsletters. With our first-party identity graph, we help advertisers reach high-value audiences across ad inventory in newsletters and on the web without relying on third-party cookies.
Q: Can you tell us how programmatic email advertising works with LiveIntent?
Publishers add LiveTag to their newsletter to create ad inventory that they can monetize by selling directly to their sponsors or via a real-time programmatic auction where the LiveIntent DSP or our DSP partners bid on available opportunities. Advertisers set their targeting criteria (including onboarding data for custom targeting) and define campaign goals that our algorithm uses to find the most valuable impression opportunities and deliver relevant ad creative.
Q: The most common misconception we hear is that email is dead, but that’s far from the truth, right?
JM: There is a stark difference between spam emails you didn’t sign up for and the newsletters that audiences subscribe to receive regularly from reputable publishing brands like the New York Times, Groupon, Food Network, and others.
Our premium publisher partners take great care curating newsletters that people look forward to reading because they cover topics they care about, be it news, fashion, healthy eating, parenting advice, gardening tips, and so much more. Email newsletters that consumers subscribe to and elect to engage with have become the way to customize the content we choose to make part of our daily routine. Instead of visiting your top five websites, you can instead get your favorite five newsletters delivered directly to your inbox, where you decide what content to click on and engage with further.
Q: From your perspective, why is email advertising such a strong strategy to reach an engaged audience?
JM: Because of the logged-in nature of the email channel, LiveIntent is able to give brands confidence that their advertising budgets are invested in people-based targeting and attribution solutions that help measure return on ad spend tied to customers instead of cookies.
Q: Beyond the opt-in value of email advertising, what is the value to the consumer for brands that use programmatic email advertising?
JM: At LiveIntent, we work with each of our publisher partners to help them design an ad experience that best fits the reading experience they work so hard to curate in their newsletters. It’s not about cramming as many ad slots as possible into their newsletter. Our top priority working with publishers is to design the monetization strategy that strikes the right balance and protects their subscribers’ reading experience.
Q: Should marketers be concerned about scale when using programmatic email advertising strategies?
JM: When it comes to advertising, brands have traditionally found themselves having to make a tough decision–do I invest in scale, or do I invest in quality? With LiveIntent, that isn’t a choice any advertiser has to make. People spend 5-6 hours a day in their email, and the average reader that opens a newsletter will go back to engage with that same newsletter at least once more in a given week. Some of our publishers have audiences in the sizes of tens of millions of subscribers. LiveIntent can help marketers to reach a large audience, and we help them do it with the accuracy of one-to-one targeting and measurement tied to your customers instead of cookies.
Q: What are some best practices for marketers that are getting started with programmatic email advertising?
JM: First, leverage what you know about the customers you already have to help you define high-value audiences and reach new customers.
Second, ads that blend well with newsletter content perform better. Use a simple creative concept that combines high-resolution imagery with clear copy that sets expectations and inspires action. On that note, because email readers are used to clicking on a content block to engage with more content on a website, make sure to utilize landing pages that support your ad creative.