Email is evolving again – improve operational efficiency with native ads

Once viewed as just a value-add to more significant web inventory deals, email newsletters have evolved into a critical component of monetization strategies. Email newsletters are a direct connection between your brand and readers (or shoppers). When coupled with advertising slots, email newsletters go from a content distribution channel to revenue and first-party data source—a key to personalization, and survival, in a world without third-party cookies. It’s no wonder then that publishers and retailers have expressed a renewed interest in email newsletters in the last year.

Now, with solutions like native ads in email newsletters, publishers can extend their inventory offering to include placements that dovetail seamlessly into their environment. However, this approach was once an operational nightmare and not always feasible.

Below we explore how email newsletters have evolved and how you can improve operational efficiency with native ads.

Previous limitations for native ads in email newsletters

Email’s initial transformation into a viable revenue stream was due, in part, to the emergence of tools that help publishers automate their email ad serving. These tools lightened the operational lift tied to running ads in email and gave publishers access to metrics and reporting for their email campaigns (remember, the inbox was a black box at one point). Until recently, email ads were primarily display inventory in the style of banner ads. Publishers looking to spice up their email ad product suite with native email inventory were in for a workout.

There is no JavaScript in the email environment, so enabling dynamic ad serving for discrete creative assets was an issue long ignored. The general execution of native email newsletter ads has been to hardcode ad slots, and add or remove HTML code from templates for each campaign. The time spent doing this adds up quickly and leaves teams in a bit of a catch-22. If your ad sales team is selling native deals at a high clip, that means more time spent coding (and less on other priorities). On the flip-side, teams with limited resources may forego selling native deals due to the operational lift, leaving you to miss out on revenue.

And like days before, email is evolving again.

Native ads in email newsletters today

Having a diverse ad product suite is key in today’s advertising ecosystem. As premium direct-sold partnerships return to as the ad-sales-method du jour, the ability to automate native email ad serving could not come at a better time. LiveIntent’s Native Ad Blueprints allows publishers to automate and elevate native ads in email and streamline workflows. Once a publisher determines their native design, a one-time Native LiveTag placement eliminates the need to hardcode native ads into newsletter templates for each campaign.

Hardcoded native ads

Static: A single campaign creative with coding strings attached. Minimal wiggle room to swap out creatives based on user interest or run multiple direct deals across a newsletter program.

No targeting: Inability to apply basic targeting options to a hardcoded native ad slot.

Adds workflow friction: Swapping native creatives in-and-out creates more work for the person or team that manages email ad inventory.

Native Ad Blueprints

Dynamic: Run concurrent direct campaigns that will dynamically target, serve, and optimize at the moment of each email open. Native ad slots can also collapse when no deals are booked.

Targeting: Apply targeting options using first-party audiences, demographic groups, and interests (just to name a few).

Reduces workflow friction: Gone are the days of tinkering with HTML. Now ad ops teams of all sizes can swiftly traffic their native campaigns.

Native Ad Blueprints centralizes native email inventory, letting publishers manage all of their native email inventory through a single platform. Furthermore, publishers can enhance native campaigns with people-based targeting options, intent and interest-based optimizations, and reporting to measure engagement and success. With native ads, publishers can improve their operational efficiency so they can focus on what matters most, like monetization strategy and subscriptions.

Interested in learning more about setting up native ad inventory in your newsletter? Check out our Native Ad Blueprints solution page to see if it’s a good fit for your native needs.