Native and email advertising are grossly underused, yet highly effective. We’ve put together a high-level guide to help you navigate these tools and take your marketing to the next level.
This blog is the third in a three-part series to help you choose the right type of campaign to meet your goals, measure your success, and optimize your marketing spend over time. Learn about audio/video streaming and paid search in part one and display and social in part two.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s arsenal because we are all so accustomed to checking our email inboxes compulsively. That said, paying to appear in someone’s inbox can be tricky.
There are several options available to advertisers:
- Go directly to a list owner, like a local magazine that aligns with your target market and pay to have them share your email content with their subscribers. They can either include your content within their existing email templates or send it as a separate “sponsored” communication.
- Use Google’s Discovery ads or other ad networks to increase your reach. Google’s Discovery ads are relatively new and replace Gmail Ads, however they can still show your ad prominently at the top of a user’s inbox. These ads are very impactful because users habitually look to the top of their email inbox lists when checking for new messages.
- Use a DSP. If you plan on purchasing a significant number of ads and want to further expand your reach, you should consider buying through a DSP. A demand-side platform (DSP) allows buyers of digital ads to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface. Via a DSP, advertisers can seamlessly bid on email ad slots from multiple premium publishers with whom the DSP has built a direct partnership.
- Purchase or “rent” a list. This is generally not advised because the practice does not typically comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a European data privacy act, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
What metric is most important?
Traditionally, advertisers considered CPM, email opens, and clicks to be their most important metrics. However, modern marketers use cost per conversion to measure success. Cost per conversion is the number of ad dollars you spend per every lead or sale you make.
How to improve your campaign
- Segment your audiences and ensure creative and content matches the audience. Depending on the distribution method, you can segment by demographics, behaviors, interests, and opinions. You may also be able to use email for remarketing to reach individuals who’ve visited your website in the past. Present the right message, products, or services to the right segments for the best results.
- A/B testing — trying two approaches to find out which one is more effective — is a great strategy for honing your creative, choosing a strong subject line, and deciding on a call to action (CTA) that will actually inspire.
- Make it mobile-friendly. More than 40% of emails are opened on mobile devices. Optimizing content for mobile is an absolutely critical additional step since the content will not translate automatically. Failing to design your creative for mobile will result in frustrated users who abandon the content because they can’t properly view it on their small screens.
- Entice and engage your audience with giveaways, contests, free trials, and more.
Paid content that mimics the look and feel of the traditional earned content of a news outlet is known as a “native ad” – an advertisement that doesn’t seem like one. Native ads help reach users who may be experiencing ad fatigue or don’t trust ads.
Mainly, native ads leverage the brands of reputable publishers to drive engagement for advertisers. Being featured alongside editorial content can inspire trust, pique the interest of your target audience, and drive more consumers to your business.
Advertisers can run a native campaign by:
- Working directly with a publisher, like a local business journal.
- Using an ad network or DSP to scale their campaign. Platforms like Outbrain target specific users across reputable publisher sites like CNN, The Washington Post, TIME, WIRED, and thousands of other trusted websites. These ad networks may incorporate niche sites as well to further target specific population segments.
What metric is most important?
If your goal is brand awareness, you can measure success by using brand tracking software, conducting surveys to measure consumer awareness before and after your campaign, or simply looking for increases in the number of branded searches that drove people to your website via Google Analytics. If your campaign is large enough and your branded search terms are unique enough, you may be able to use Google Trends to track increases in branded searches.
There may also be specific calls to action that can be tracked, like an app download. In that case, optimize for cost per conversion.
How to improve your campaign
As you develop and optimize your campaign, consider:
- Hiring a professional writer or journalist to create quality content. A professional writer should be able to tailor the content and format to match the form, feel, and function of the content of the media on which it appears.
- Content targeting. Whether you’re buying direct, through an ad network, or a DSP, ensure you’re reaching the right audience with the right message (most brands have several versions of their message which they customize according to audience). That may mean working with specific publishers or carefully targeting users through a platform. Remember that you’re not only targeting individuals based on their fit for your goods and services, but you may also be targeting specific types of publishers or content topics. You’re aiming to serve up ads that naturally fit in with the surrounding environment.