7 Unbendable Rules when Monetizing Your Registered Users Inventory via Newsletters
Erin had a pretty tough week. She was sitting at her desk on a Friday afternoon, waiting for the golden hour when she could get out of the office and put this exhausting week behind her. She wanted to check her inbox before heading out, to make sure all her flagged emails were replied to. She got a new email – an advertisement. Well, great, she thought, this is all I need, more emails clogging my already overflowing inbox!
But then she saw the subject line and looking around, making sure no one was able to see her, did the unspeakable – she opened the pesky advertising email to see what kind of offer waited inside.
Nail the Targeting on the Head
Registered users are an undeniable wealth of every publisher. They provide information about themselves freely to improve their experience on a website. They should, of course, be well aware if their willingly given data is being used and for which purposes. As long as you’re honest, most of them won’t mind. Having a lot of information about your users, for example, their age, sex, HHI, geo-location, previous purchase behavior, will raise the value of the inventory you’re selling. Matching the advertiser with the specific audience group they’re looking for is a must when replying to an RFP. Offering additional information about that group is something that will elevate you above the competition.
Throwing a Tasty Looking Carrot
You were able to sell the right inventory and gave the advertiser all the rules; they should take it from there, right? No!
You know your users, and you already sent emails to them, try as they might, your clients will have a hell of a time trying to get recipients to click on their offers. The best way to ensure repeat business is to do everything in your power so that Erin opens the email. The best way to do this is by creating the subject line best practices. Pull the reports – what has worked in the past? What made your users click and what do they tend to ignore? Of course, everybody likes deals, but do they like capitalized words, emojis, which device are they using to check their email? You answer those questions to your advertiser even before they ask and you’ll be a hero!
Fulfil the Promise
Once the users open the email, they should be greeted by a well-made creative and an offer they’re expecting based on the subject line. Templated newsletters are a thing of the past, HTML offers impressive possibilities that enable a unique user experience. No matter how custom the creative may be, there are always universal rules like placing the call-to-action high enough so that the user doesn’t have to scroll down to find it, focusing on one clear message, going for high res images, etc. Any additional insights regarding what your audience likes and how they behave will further ease the creative making process for the advertiser. Another thing you could offer is in-house creative services. That way, you and your advertisers could rely on an experienced design team who knows your audience and their preferences well. If you don’t have the design capabilities to do so, you could always outsource these services to an experienced agency that will be able to adjust the design to your specific audience.
The offer is just as important as the creative. It should be perfectly aligned with the subject line, as dishonest click baits will only serve to irritate users. Once the user clicks-through to the landing page, it, as well, should be aligned. The call-to-action will request a particular conversion (register, shop now, learn more, get % off, etc.) and once the user is on the website, they should be able to convert right away, without additional clicks.
Devil is in the Details
Once the targeting is determined, and the creative and subject line are ready, it’s essential to test everything. One little malfunction can have a significant impact on user experience and your partnership with the brand. Making sure that the click-throughs are working, offers are aligned, the creative is responsive on every device, the correct targeting and volume of inventory is applied etc., will reduce the chance of an error.
When to Send
Another important thing is having insights into the best day of the week and time of the day for sending emails to your users. Analyzing the user engagement in the past will allow you to select a day when the users were most active. Picking one day and a range period for sending emails will make your life easier. The clients will be able to plan ahead, and you’ll be able to organize a detailed timeline in order to send all emails the same day. That said, you should always expect that some clients will want their email sent on a particular day/time, and you should have a strategy in place for that type of requests.
Deep Dive into Performance Analysis
Once the email has been sent, the users should have enough time to react. Some of them will not open the email right away, or even during the first week. You should let the client know in advance about how long the data takes to mature. When the data is ready, you should offer as many details about the performance as possible. Going as far as heatmapping the email will enable a deep insight into what exactly drew the users to click. Finally, if you need to communicate low results, offering reasons and what to do to improve them in the future will soften the blow.
Hand Over the Research to the Experts
To be able to follow the steps mentioned above, a lot of number crunching, analysis, and industry research is needed. You might be thinking who has the time and resources to do this? You shouldn’t burden your team with additional work that probably doesn’t fall under their most prominent capabilities, thus not being the best way to use their valuable time. The answer is simple – outsource! It’s indispensable that you reach out to experts who have experience with different publishers and can deliver high-end actionable insights.
If you feel that all this is not worth your while, on the other side of the coin are the users. You don’t want them to be bothered by the ill-made and incorrectly targeted advertising emails, something that could even lead to them unsubscribing.
Think about Erin. She is just now scrolling through the great shoes offer, and she can’t wait to head out and shop. She’s actually feeling grateful she didn’t miss the fantastic discount right around the corner that’s sure to lift up her spirits! And those fine numbers that the advertiser will see once the email results are pulled, well, that’s just the cherry on top of the tasty all-sides-are-happy cake!