How Zoosk implemented testing to optimize newsletter yield

Sometimes trying out new tactics and strategies can be daunting — especially if nothing is necessarily wrong with existing processes or approaches. However, maintaining the status quo can stifle growth and innovation. For example, when online dating company Zoosk first implemented LiveIntent’s LiveTags, they saw satisfactory performance, but they knew they wanted more from their email monetization strategy. With some help from LiveIntent and a thoughtful testing strategy, Zoosk improved its newsletter performance with surprising results.

Opportunities for optimization

Zoosk personalizes the online dating experience by providing a fun, safe, and easy way for users to find a romantic match. Zoosk’s behavioral technology is constantly learning from user interactions to deliver the best matches in real-time. Part of this real-time process is triggered emails, which provide updates on matches, activity on the platform, and suggest matches to users.

Zoosk began its partnership with LiveIntent by monetizing these triggered emails, placing LiveTags in their emails to create ad inventory. While the emails performed well, Zoosk wanted to pursue strategies to increase their existing ad inventory’s yield. In other words, Zoosk wanted to increase revenue without inserting additional ad slots into their emails.

Testing to inform strategy

One of LiveIntent’s yield optimization best practices is to tactically increase bid density by accepting ads of multiple sizes within each ad slot. After reviewing Zoosk’s LiveTag setup, the LiveIntent team found that Zoosk only allowed 300×250 creatives to serve in its email newsletters. With this in mind, the team advised Zoosk to allow multiple ad sizes to serve, such as the highly popular 970×550 and 970×250, enabling Zoosk to receive more demand, higher CPMs and, ultimately, greater revenue.

Zoosk valued their users’ experience and wanted to ensure that the change to accept various ad sizes would not impact their email engagement. LiveIntent worked with Zoosk to reconfigure the ad slots across all email templates and test them over a two-week period. During that time, LiveIntent closely monitored performance with Zoosk. After seeing an increase in ad revenue with no negative impact on email engagement, Zoosk decided to continue to accept multiple creative sizes in their emails instead of only the 300×250 sized units.

The outcomes of yield optimization

What happened next exceeded Zoosk’s expectations. In the 35 days after updating Zoosk’s LiveTags to accept multiple sizes, the increased bid density led to:

  • 35% increase in fill rate
  • 73% increase in revenue per open
  • 14% increase in CPM
  • 35% increase in overall revenue compared to the 35 days prior to the change

As for their email engagement, Zoosk saw:

  • 18% increase in impressions
  • 38% increase in CTR

After taking that leap, Zoosk was able to boost their revenue without adding more ad slots to their emails — an excellent example of how experimenting with new strategies can lead to beneficial results. By evaluating old habits and making slight adjustments, they were able to amplify the Zoosk experience for themselves and their users.

“LiveIntent has helped us grow our newsletter monetization program considerably. They’re willing to talk through and test new ideas, doing most of the heavy lifting themselves. This has allowed us more time to focus on our main priorities.”

Diogo dos Santos Pinto
Senior Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives at Zoosk

Want to learn more about yield optimization? Check out our video explainer.