This is the second in a series in our series on Increasing Revenue from your email inventory. See the first post in the series here.
Getting Started with Monetization.
As we continue on our quest to define the value of email inventory, we want to delve deeper into factors that impact the open of an email newsletter and Revenue Per Open (RPO). In the first post in this blog series, we defined RPO, why it’s important and looked at some of the factors impacting RPO. In this second post we’ll look at the value of an email audience, discuss the ideal number of ad units per email template and maximizing the value of email inventory.
The opportunity and value of the email audience /channel.
According to one study, people spend an average of 6.3 hours per day in email (split between work and recreation). People are also checking email in every environment possible. Whether lying in bed, resting on the couch, on vacation, driving (although we don’t condone this), in the bathroom or watching TV, people are always checking their email. This is coupled with the fact that in order to receive a publisher/brand email newsletter, a user has to go to the publishers website, type in their email address and then confirm via email that they want to receive content in the inbox from this particular publisher.
This tells us a couple things:
1. The person REALLY wants to receive content from this publisher and is inviting the publisher to deliver this content in the most intimate digital environment. The inbox.
2. In most cases we know that the user has to double or triple confirm they have signed up for email content. The chance of any fraud occurring is minimal at best. This means that content is being delivered to very engaged users, which means performance (of the content and advertising) is going to be very high. On average, at LiveIntent we see a CTR that is 2x higher on average than standard web display.
Email is also a mobile audience as well (for example, 59% of LiveIntent’s inventory is mobile). Cross-device is not an issue because the email address is an inherently cross-device environment. Which means that is doesn’t matter what device the user opens, an advertiser can put efficiently put the right message in front of the right user and the most appropriate time.
What this tells us is there is an opportunity to market and promote to your most engaged audience, drive up performance and increase RPO.
The ideal number of ad units.
As discussed in the last blog post, the more ad units in the template, the more revenue that can be made. Keep in mind that we want to be able to strike the right balance between ad units and content. Utilizing an additional 300×250, 728×90, 160×600 or Marquee unit will help boost RPO. But there is no magic bullet here. A number of factors come into play when deciding how many and which type of ad units should go in your newsletter template.
Frequency of sends impacts impressions and RPO. For example, if a publisher/brand only sends once or twice a week, they may want to consider more ad units vs if a publisher/brand sends daily in order to gain a significant amount of impressions.
Design, layout and length of the template will have a major impact on the number of ad units in the template. The more content, the longer the template. The longer the template, the more opportunity there is a to put in additional ad units where it makes sense. The key is finding the right balance between content, ads and continuous testing. Because there is no magic bullet here, testing is critical. As we saw with one of our clients, Flight Network- testing of different ad units in different templates has lead to a great CTR and increased revenue.
Starting small and growing as you learn and feel comfortable is a tactic we’ve also seen other clients take.
Maximizing the value of Email Inventory.
There is a lot of discussion in our industry today around header tag bidding and the benefits of it for display web as a way to combat the traditional waterfall effect. The great thing about the way LiveIntent works with email inventory is that we have a true auction. Which means, there is no waterfall and if chosen, publishers can have their direct sold inventory compete on an even playing field with LiveIntent Exchange and Demand Side Platform. This ensures that the most appropriate ad and the right price will win bids, thus naturally driving up RPO.
Setting floors is a strategy used to help keep CPM’s at a certain level and drive up RPO. One thing to note here is this must be monitored on a regular basis. There is a clear balance between setting floors and gaining revenue. Along with this comes the importance understanding the value of a user as it related to a click/conversion back to a publisher site. For example, if a publisher/brand values this user click at $1.50 cpm, then one of the tactics you can take is running marketing/content ads in your own newsletters at a cpm of $1.50. By setting a $1.50 cpm for marketing/content ads you are essentially setting a floor. This tells any SSP (in this case LiveIntent) that in order to buy that particular impression, the winning bid MUST be higher than $1.50cpm. If the bid is below a $1.50cpm then the marketing/content ads will serve providing the publisher/brand additional opportunity to market and promote internal products. This is a great way to 1) promote publisher content and 2) Drive RPO.
Be on the lookout for future posts where we will dive deeper into all the different strategies and tactics you can implement to increase RPO. In case you missed it, check out our recent Webinar with Craig Kostelic, Head of Revenue at Food Innovation Group, Conde Nast on Maximizing Your Email Revenue.
For a free evaluation of your inventory and strategy session with one of our RPO experts here at LiveIntent, fill out the form on our Contact Us page.