The leading challenge facing today’s CMOs, as per eMarketer, is driving growth. In their efforts to achieve more top line revenue, many brands are choosing to follow Amazon’s lead by selling advertising as an incremental revenue stream.
One very valuable advertising channel that brands can consider monetizing with third-party advertising is email (don’t just take our word for it). But given its effectiveness at driving customer engagement, many brands in verticals like CPG or Telecommunications use email newsletters as one of their primary means of building direct relationships with the people that love their products or services. So when looking to monetize these newsletters, they have to take extra care to ensure they are not putting those relationships at risk.
Enter General Mills…
General Mills serves the world by making food people love. They engage with their subscribers through several email newsletters across their many brands, including Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Tablespoon, and Box Tops For Education. General Mills was searching for ways to improve their newsletter monetization and reached out to LiveIntent to collaborate on a solution.
General Mills began working with LiveIntent to achieve three main goals:
- Generate more revenue from their newsletters
- Bring in additional demand from the open exchange
- Uphold the high-quality of their subscribers’ reading experience
LiveIntent’s consultative support on their email newsletter helped General Mills make the changes they needed to grow their newsletter revenue.
Together with its account team, General Mills implemented three strategic updates to achieve greater monetization of their newsletter. Reflective of their goals, these updates were threefold: revising ad slot placement, setting a premium CPM, and running quality-assurance testing.
Here is how each update came into play.
- Ad Slot Placement: The first step to kickstarting revenue growth was to review the layout of General Mills’ newsletter templates. All of their ad slots were placed at the bottom of their templates. Knowing that ad slot placed higher in email templates typically attract more premium bid rates and receive better engagement, their LiveIntent team worked with General Mills to place a multi-size ad unit above-the-fold in their newsletter.
- Premium Pricing for a Premium Slot: Since this incremental ad unit occupied premium real estate within their newsletter, it justified a premium price. A higher CPM floor was set and the ad unit was made collapsible, meaning ads would only serve when high-value bids were available.
- Testing the Changes: Keeping their subscribers at the front of their decision making, General Mills conducted a controlled test of the new ad unit in a few lower-volume newsletters to see if the above-the-fold ad units had an impact on subscription and engagement rates. Not only did this placement have no impact on subscription rates for General Mills, but results from the initial test yielded CPMs and fill rates well above what they had expected.
With successful test results in hand, General Mills expanded the implementation of the above-the-fold ad unit to all of their high-volume newsletters. After rolling out the above-the-fold ad unit to all their major newsletters, General Mills saw a +11% increase in high-value, bid-on impressions (YoY) yielding a +26% increase in revenue.
Want to see more brands that have found success on LiveIntent’s platform? Check out our other case studies to see how we can help you take your company to the next level.