Real Time Banter: Leveraging Email for Third-Party Monetization

In the sixth Real Time Banter webinar, LiveIntent SVP of global marketing, Kerel Cooper, and VP of marketing, Nick Dujnic, invite Jon Nolz, global director of Groupon, to talk about leveraging email for third-party monetization.

Key insights from Jon Nolz

Many traditional publishers have taken advantage of third-party monetization, but more ecommerce companies are starting to come into the fold.

Groupon is one of those ecommerce companies, embracing third-party monetization opportunities, particularly in email.

“Email is one of our biggest channels from a scale perspective. We send out millions and millions of emails on a daily basis, and it’s a way that we engage with our customer base and provide them with relevant offers based on a variety of different factors that we collect through sophisticated tracking. So how do we elegantly mix in strategic, relevant, personalized experiences that meet that email experience?”

As Nolz says, Groupon takes a sophisticated and thoughtful approach to email monetization.

“It’s not like, ‘Let’s take third-party ads and throw them in our emails.’ We look at who we target and who we block, and we do it in a testing environment. So we don’t just go all in.”

They also work with LiveIntent to deliver programmatic, in-email ads to targeted audiences of subscribers.

“We’ve found through strategic and careful guidance of the partnership with LiveIntent, and and leveraging a lot of the data we have at Groupon, that email proved to be a very positive environment. We’re in the process now of scaling and finding additional ways to monetize our inventory.”

Together, Groupon and LiveIntent maintain block lists to ensure audience segments are delivered the most relevant content and advertisers are reaching the right consumers.

“We have a pretty extensive block list, and we share that with LiveIntent team. We’re constantly saying, ‘Hey, this is an advertiser that’s interested in buying on Groupon. Are you okay with it?’ It’s not always yes.”

In fact, all advertisers are considered based on this question: How does this complement the Groupon strategy and macro business?

“At the end of the day, we’re in the business of selling goods and experiences. So, how do we augment that with a direct or link-in advertising? Or how do we link consumers out to a relevant brand or service? And then, ultimately, how do we track that experience? So if they link out, are they coming back to Groupon?”

Through data, Nolz discovered that email monetization does not impact the overall business in any negative way. Consumers will click out to ad offers for brands like Allbirds and Bombas, and ultimately come back to Groupon for more.

Groupon can also tap into LiveIntent’s knowledge of the email space across its network of over 2,000 newsletters.

“LiveIntent’s purview across the email ecosystem is extremely valuable. I want to know, what are other people doing? What are the best practices and where are you finding success across your clients? And are they applicable to the business we are operating in? More often than not, they are.”

They continue to work together to identify and prioritize the most valuable strategies for driving revenue and engagement.

“Our team is scrappy, and I treat our partners as an extension of our team. And with the LiveIntent team, we’re emailing daily. That’s how involved they are in our business. We’ve generated quite a bit of momentum in the last 12 months, and I’m really excited to see what the next 12 months bring.”

Best practices for getting started with email monetization

  • Gauge the pulse of the company and determine their understanding of digital advertising. Why are you using certain strategies and not others? Which tactics should you prioritize? What is the driving force behind new monetization efforts?
  • Audit available inventory. Scrap what’s not working and double down on what is. Use existing templates to build new monetization strategies.
  • Find the strategies that complement your macro business.

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