Best practices for driving higher CPMs in email newsletters

Email newsletters don’t just put high-quality, personalized content right in your audience’s inbox. They also provide tools for monetizing those customer interactions.

You just need the right strategies to make it happen. By programmatically selling ads in your email newsletters, you can provide readers with more personalized content and drive even greater revenue from that subscriber list.

But which email ad templates should you use? Which ad sizes work best? And how can you drive higher CPMs to maximize your return?

Here’s what you need to know.

Enable all ad sizes for every ad slot

By enabling all ad sizes for all ad slots, you increase the pool of advertisers who can bid on those ad slots. As a result, you increase your chances of earning a higher CPM.

enable all sizes for higher CPMs

Local news publisher Patch, for example, needed to maximize revenue from its 3,500+ email newsletters. They worked with LiveIntent to support multiple ad sizes within each ad slot, effectively driving up demand and generating a 27% greater CPM.

Increase above-the-fold ad slots

Ad slots placed at the top of newsletters, or “above-the-fold,” yield higher clickthrough rates and CPMs for publishers. After all, they’re the first things readers see when they open their emails. No need to scroll down or search around.

Use above-the-fold slots for higher CPMs

When General Mills was beginning to monetize its newsletters, all ad units were placed at the bottom of its emails. LiveIntent worked with the brand to move its ad slots into premium real estate – above-the-fold. As a result, General Mills saw an 11% increase in year-over-year impression and a 26% increase in revenue. The new ad placements also had no impact on General Mills’ subscription rates, meaning users didn’t feel they interrupted or impeded their email experience.

Use single-column email templates

Single-column templates, as opposed to side-by-side templates, provide more flexibility for incorporating different ad sizes. And as we already stated, more ad sizes mean more demand, which can lead to higher CPMs. Single-column templates also allow for collapsable ad slots, so no content or default content shows if ad demand isn’t there or CPMs aren’t high enough.

Just look at They wanted to increase ad demand across their email newsletters, which reached an audience of 20+ million readers. The publisher partnered with LiveIntent to redesign their emails and use single-column templates that incorporated more ad sizes. saw a 44% increase in CPMs and 55% increase in revenue year-over-year.

Bolster your email capture campaigns

Keep a growing, high-quality audience of people engaging with your emails by optimizing your email acquisition strategy. That means placing email captures on your most-trafficked pages and launching paid media initiatives to expand your reach.

This approach can also help you clean up your subscriber list and fight churn. The fresher the email addresses, the more likely audiences are to open and engage with your emails – and increase your revenue.