11 Targeted Email Advertising Tips

Why a highly targeted email newsletter is essential for ad-driven publishers

Think of your website as single-copy distribution when it comes to online advertising. You can optimize it, publish regularly, search engine optimize it and wait for readers to come, but that’s the depth you are offering your advertisers.

With email, you can publish directly to your audience, on your own schedule, rather than waiting for your audience to come to you.

Dan Ambrose thinks of it like “subscription publishing”.

There are two ways Dan suggests that you can increase ad impressions with email newsletters:

  1. Content in the email newsletter can be set up as “teaser” copy and drive traffic back to the website. This is usually accomplished with a hyper-linked headline and incomplete teaser copy.
  2. Make email newsletters part of your advertising package. Launch email newsletters that advertisers will support. Ambrose recommends focusing on your strongest advertising categories first.

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Here are a few of Dan’s best practices for designing ad-driven email newsletters:

  • Use standard ad-units (they’re easier to sell and perform best)
  • Surround rectangle ads with content
  • CPMs can be higher than on the website (it’s more targeted)
  • Track click rates for your clients (ads can be served off your ad server)
  • Use a leaderboard banner at the top of the email newsletter, under the logo
  • Get much of the ad and content in the preview pane

Also, a few things to consider:

  • Consider bunching up the newsletter schedules to be more frequent in key, heavier advertising months
  • Consider offering only a few “sponsored” newsletters at a much higher CPM
    • These would be basically advertorials, and they do drive un-subscribes
  • Consider a ‘round-up’ newsletter that links to other publishers’ content… especially smaller highly specialized sites, blogs and even supplier sites with interesting information

How do I know so much about Dan and his wealth of knowledge on web advertising? Well he spoke at the Mequoda Summit earlier this month on this same topic, and the information he taught the lucky publishers in our audience was invaluable.

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