One could argue that brand identity is everything. How your audience views your brand can make or break your business. That’s why marketing teams spend hours obsessing over copy and messaging – the right phrasing can help take a campaign viral. The opposite is also true; one dubious tagline or advert and your audience’s attention is gone—and maybe even your brand equity. It’s no wonder then why brand safety is top of mind for brands and publishers alike.
Brand safety is an especially critical consideration for email newsletters. They are, after all, one of the few environments in which businesses can connect directly with their shopper or subscriber base. The last thing anyone wants (not the reader, the brand, nor the ad tech vendor) is a rogue advertisement that contradicts or undermines the email newsletter’s brand identity. When it comes to monetizing your newsletter safely, block and allow lists are your best friends.
Allow lists and Block lists
Allow and Block lists are not interchangeable. They each serve a distinct strategic function, and understanding their differences is critical to their successful implementation.
Allow list: a list of approved advertisers who can bid on your email inventory.
Block lists: a list of advertisers that are not allowed to bid on your inventory.
Your gut reaction might be to maintain an allow list. It may seem that only accepting bids from advertisers you’re comfortable with is the most direct route to a brand-safe newsletter. You’d be right, but it usually isn’t the most efficient strategy for monetization or yield optimization.
Why use a block list instead?
Allow lists are restrictive and limit demand for your email inventory to only those advertisers you indicate in your list. They also pose maintenance challenges as they must be inclusive of all the advertisers you’d be willing to let buy your inventory. New advertisers come online frequently, requiring allow lists to be updated frequently.
These points make block lists a more effective way to scale revenue efficiently. Switching from an allow list to a block list lets you block specific advertisers you don’t want appearing in your newsletters. At the same time, you can keep your inventory open to a much larger pool of advertisers, increasing the bid density on your inventory and helping drive your ad revenue. Block lists are not without their flexibility either; publishers have the option to block specific advertisers, entire IAB categories, and even specific advertiser creative.
Client Use Case
One of the world’s leading travel sites monetizes their email inventory with LiveIntent, and was managing their approved advertisers using an allow list for brand safety reasons. When they audited their list, however, they discovered that 104 of the top 150 advertisers on the LiveIntent platform were not on their allow list. By switching to a block list from an allow list, they saw their CPMs increase 64% and their overall revenue increase by 174%.
To learn more about switching to a block list, contact your LiveIntent account team or contact us here.