I’m privy to a secret that I’m going to share with you. Publishers and media companies that are successful with their email programs don’t like to share this information for fear of passing on the opportunity for success. Personally, I feel there is enough success to go around and this is why I’m choosing to share it.
The secret is labeled “D.A.R.P.” and it directly affects their ability monetize their email newsletters.
A newsletter’s design is one of the main elements that determines a successful email monetization program. Aside from mobile and multi-client rendering, advertising, both native and display, should FEEL part of the subscriber experience not relegated to the newsletter’s margins. Additionally, newsletters that include full stories instead of teasers are not conducive to monetization as an advertisement placed in these types of formats look awkward and out of place, disrupting the subscriber experience.
If you plan to place one or two ads in your newsletter be prepared for very tepid results. Effective monetization of a multi-story email newsletter requires the proper ad to content ratio which in some cases can be 50/50 or 60/40 depending on how well you’re able to integrate advertising into the subscriber experience.
To maximize revenue, it’s important to go beyond contextual ads and include personally targeted ads as well. Ads targeted using a subscriber’s encrypted email address (MD5#) are usually based on a demographic and behavior profile by the advertiser or ad network helping to yield higher CPMs.
If one of your goals is to provide a quality subscriber experience with advertising, than its placement in the newstream, above, and below the fold are critical to effectively monetize an email newsletter. All too often editors force advertising in email to the bottom or to the extreme right margin thinking it will disrupt the subscriber experience when this assumption is incorrect, especially for native ads. Many studies have shown that native ads and content are viewed with almost the same equity if they are integrated with the general subscriber experience.
So there you have it. Secret revealed. If you are a publisher or media company and you follow these four simple recommendations, you’ll be on your way to successful monetization!