The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Refining Native Advertising’s Definition

Refining Native Advertising’s Definition

As the definition of native advertising continues to take form, one thing that remains constant is that native advertising’s success is relegated to publisher standards of quality and experience. Even as advertisers arm themselves with advanced analytics and programmatic buying, the continuous shrinking of display’s performance reveals in some aspects, a negative correlation between advertiser standards and the dwindling engagement they produce. The digital success of native advertising is proof that advertisers must trust that publishers know their audience better than they do when they are in the publisher’s forum. It’s true that advertisers have more of a holistic view of their customer by their ability to collect and analyze data across different channels and sources. However, the publisher is the ringmaster at a particular moment in time with its direct finger on the customer’s pulse. After all, consumers go to publishers to consume content, not ads, right?

Native Advertising Is A Culture

Even as certain aspects of native advertising become programmatic, we should be hopeful that publisher formatting characteristics, the ones that lend themselves to a quality experience, continue to remain in the publisher's control. At the same time, publishers must realize that native advertising is a culture, not a format. It’s a culture that tells an advertiser’s story using the publisher’s core competencies in a way that will resonate best with the publisher’s audience. Therefore, native advertising is the cooperation of a publisher’s editorial, advertising and production departments to create the best possible experience for their consumers. Gone are the days of the siloed church and state mantra between advertising and journalism. Millennials are quite aware that journalistic integrity has been compromised by scandals and editorial bias and they are at peace with advertising’s role – as long as it doesn’t interfere with their experience of content consumption.

Consumer's Insatiable Demand For Experience

The publishers that move with this cultural shift in content consumption could reap unprecedented margins as the market could produce a winner take all phenomenon in their respective media niches. The technologies that once fragmented media could eventually consolidate it as Millennials chase the best possible experience. Those publishers who embrace this shift by perfecting the experiences they create could eventually attract the majority of audience for their niche. Native advertising is a necessary part of that experience. It melds together the objectives of the advertiser with the creativity of the publisher in such a way that advertising is noticeable, entertaining, but most important, easily digested.

How Will Native Advertising Scale?

As the industry wobbles down the native advertising path, the biggest challenge for both publishers and advertisers alike is scale. Publishers are starting to play a pivotal role in helping advertisers produce content that appeals to their audience, but scaling production across hundreds of advertisers is a difficult task. Additionally, as advertisers relinquish their grip on creativity, scaling their audience reach in native formats have been proven futile. Programmatic technologies and industry standards will help both publishers and advertisers to achieve native scale, but only to a point. Native display, sponsored content and other formatting initiatives that contain native elements definitely facilitate scale, however true native advertising is an experience that only the publisher can provide. Culture and creativity are the epicenter of native advertising, characteristics that cannot reside with the advertiser.

 

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Email Monetization's Secret Formula: D.A.R.T.

Email Monetization's Secret Formula: D.A.R.T.

I’m privy to a secret that I’m going to share with you. Publishers and media companies that are successful with their email programs don’t like to share this information for fear of passing on the opportunity for success. Personally, I feel there is enough success to go around and this is why I’m choosing to share it.

The secret is labeled “D.A.R.T.” and it directly affects their ability monetize their email newsletters.

D. Design:

A newsletter’s design is one of the main elements that determines a successful email monetization program.  Aside from mobile and multi-client rendering, advertising, both native and display, should FEEL part of the subscriber experience not relegated to the newsletter’s  margins.  Additionally, newsletters that include full stories instead of teasers are not conducive to monetization as an advertisement placed in these types of formats look awkward and out of place, disrupting the subscriber experience.

A. Amount:

If you plan to place one or two ads in your newsletter be prepared for very tepid results.  Effective monetization of a multi-story email newsletter requires the proper ad to content ratio which in some cases can be 50/50 or 60/40 depending on how well you’re able to integrate advertising into the subscriber experience.

R. Relevance:

To maximize revenue, it’s important to go beyond contextual ads and include personally targeted ads as well.  Ads targeted using a subscriber’s encrypted email address (MD5#) are usually based on a demographic and behavior profile by the advertiser or ad network helping to yield higher CPMs.  

P. Technology:

Advances in software automation and cloud computing has propelled mass email technology to new heights yet these advances have also democratized the channel where advanced features are now available to even the smallest publisher. The costs to automate email newsletter programs have dropped substantially. In fact, Gold Lasso offers FREE access and sending from its enterprise email software to highly qualified publishers. Now there is no excuse NOT to automate. 

So there you have it. Secret revealed. If you are a publisher or media company and you follow these four simple recommendations, you’ll be on your way to successful monetization!

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Use Your Email Signup Incentives Wisely

Use Your Email Signup Incentives Wisely

Incentives are a great way to motivate new signups - and they often work. However, using incentives for the sole purpose of growing your email list can lead to problems. The quality of these addresses will likely suffer since many use fake addresses just to get their hands on the incentive.

Those fake addresses (whether made up or belonging to someone else), will lead to high bounce rates, complaint rates and have a negative impact on your sender reputation. Before you know it, you have a major deliverability problem on your hands.

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A Glimpse into GL... Ping Pong Championship

A Glimpse into GL... Ping Pong Championship

Ping Pong (aka table tennis) has become all the rage here at Gold Lasso. Without fail, every day around 11:30, you’ll hear the swift pounce of the ping pong ball back and forth and back and forth. This has been coined the “pre-lunch game.” It functions as a warm up, because AFTER lunch is when the those competitive juices start flowing. We thought it would be a great idea to bring a ping pong table into our “common area” so we could hit the ball back and forth during our informal strategy sessions and water-cooler debates. It has turned into a mega tournament with 3 of our own (Dilpreet Singh, Yotam Derfler and John McLean) battling it out for first place. Stay tuned next month and we’ll let you know who is crowned Gold Lasso Ping Pong King of 2014!!

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Feature Spotlight: The Power of Surveys

Feature Spotlight: The Power of Surveys

You’ve got an untapped resource right at your fingertips – your audience. The wealth of knowledge and perspective your audience can offer is priceless. Email surveys are one of the fastest, most efficient ways to get to know what’s on their mind. You have questions, they’ve got answers. The feedback you generate can shed some light on things you’ve never considered.

  1. Ask what they think of your organization, your products or services. You may not always get the answers you’d like, but you can use this information to learn more about what your audience is looking to get from your relationship.
  2. Evaluate the competition. Do you know how to compete? What products or services have they used before and what did they like or dislike about them?
  3. Learn from them. Ask for things they’d like to see in the future. Ask how you can do things better.

There are a few best practices to keep in mind while creating your survey.

  • Keep it short – it shouldn’t take more than 2-3 minutes to complete
  • Make it clear – have a third party read your questions to ensure they are concise.
  • Tell them what to expect – let them know how many questions there are, how long it will take and if there is an incentive waiting for them at the end.

So there you have it, all the ins and outs of creating an effective survey. For instructions on how to use Gold Lasso’s survey module, please visit the Survey section in our Knowledge Base. It’s the perfect time – gather the information you need to start 2015 off right! For information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact your Account Manager.

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