How Groupon monetizes emails at scale with LiveIntent

Groupon, the global ecommerce marketplace, built its business on subscribers. Consumers subscribe to the site to receive special offers from their favorite brands. And Groupon reaches those subscribers through email with content personalized to their interests.

It’s no surprise, then, that email monetization has become an increasingly important part of Groupon’s revenue strategy.

“Email is a viable and very powerful part of our business,” says Jon Nolz, global director of ads at Groupon, in a recent Real Time Banter webinar. “So, how do we elegantly mix strategic, relevant, personalized [advertising] experiences into email?”

Groupon partnered with LiveIntent to deliver targeted ads to its audiences and enhance the user experience without disrupting their overall relationship with the brand.

“We’ve found—through strategic and careful guidance of the partnership with LiveIntent, and leveraging the data we have Groupon—that email has been a very positive environment,” Nolz says. “We’re in the process now of scaling and finding more ways of monetizing our inventory.”

Nolz’s team works closely with the LiveIntent team to drive revenue and identify unseen advertising opportunities within email.

“The Groupon team and the LiveIntent team are so integrated at the hip, we know the chess moves we’re each going to make,” Nolz says. “LiveIntent will come to us and say, ‘Hey, we’ve identified an opportunity. We should really look at it.’ Or people on my team will come back and say, ‘Hey, have we thought about segmenting the audience this way?’ It’s really done in a prescriptive, programmatic way.”

The teams also work together to maintain block lists, ensuring brand safety and the most relevant placements for advertisers.

“It’s a combination of the proactive nature of the LiveIntent team and our guidance,” Nolz says. “We are talking on a weekly basis about finding new advertisers together. It’s about whether those advertisers will complement the Groupon strategy and offer products that wouldn’t cannibalize our macro business.”

With a network of 2,500+ brands and publishers on email, LiveIntent can consistently keep Groupon tapped into the latest email insights and best practices.

“LiveIntent’s purview across the email ecosystem is extremely valuable,” Nolz says. “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? They often are, and the LiveIntent team has been very good about bringing those ideas to us to evaluate and execute upon.”

Going forward, Groupon and LiveIntent will continue monetizing email at scale and finding new ways to optimize offers and experiences for loyal subscribers.

“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,” Nolz says. “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.”