June 30, 2022

An Untapped Opportunity: Adding Native Ads to E-Commerce Emails

There’s a lot of talk about the importance of adding native ads to publisher emails. With this approach, brands can make their ads essentially look like articles, nestling them seamlessly into publisher newsletters — increasing engagement and creating more intuitive reader experiences.

Still, there’s another side to this coin that’s worth exploring: The opportunity to add native ads to e-commerce emails. After all, publishers aren’t the only ones investing in email marketing and email personalization. Brands and retailers are also catching onto the importance of this channel — launching their own newsletters, subscription memberships, special offers, and real-time email alerts.

As a result, other advertisers of all sizes have a major opportunity to get in those emails with native ads — reaching new customers in these one-to-one, immersive environments, and opening up a whole new awareness and acquisition channel.

So, how exactly can they do that?

Let’s take a look at just what native advertising is and how and why brands should launch native ads across e-commerce emails.

What is native advertising?

Native advertising is the process of creating and distributing ads that match the format of their surrounding content. So a native ad can be a sponsored social media post, for example, or a recommended article on a publisher’s website that’s been paid for by another publisher or brand.

As this strategy grows in popularity, the native ad market is expected to be worth $400 billion by 2025. In fact, the number of programmatic native advertisers already doubled between 2020 and 2021.

While native ads do blend in with their environments, they should be called out with a disclaimer, such as “Paid for by” or “Sponsored by,” so audiences know it’s delivered on behalf of an advertiser. If a reader decides to click on the native ad, they’ll be taken to a relevant landing page or product page, where they can learn more about the brand and its offerings.

On the email channel specifically, native ads can take many forms — as long as they integrate seamlessly into the email itself. So a native ad in an email newsletter of trending articles might include a thumbnail, headline, and description. Or a native ad in an email about special product offers might include a product image, discounted price, and call-to-action (CTA) to purchase.

Of course, native is just one type of ad that brands can run emails. Other popular email ad formats include:

  • Display ads or banner ads, which can be placed throughout the email but may interrupt the flow
  • Text ads, which link out to affiliate pages
  • Sponsored emails, which are entirely paid for by an advertiser
  • Dedicated emails, which include content fully created by an advertiser

While each of these options has its unique benefits, native ads remain one of the most effective email ad formats for many reasons.

Why is native advertising so effective?

Compared to traditional display ads, native ads are so effective because:

  • They fit seamlessly into the user experience. While display ads disrupt the email layout and stick out like a sore thumb, native ads provide for a more intuitive, less frustrating customer experience.
  • They help build audience trust. Trust is in short supply these days, but brands can help earn and build that trust by delivering more relevant and enjoyable ads to their audiences.
  • They can be easily personalized. Native ads can be personalized to match the type of email content subscribers are already consuming, increasing engagement and revenue as a result. According to Jeeng’s 2022 Digital Advertising Consumer Survey Report, half of U.S. adults want email content and advertisements to be personalized to their interests.

Why add native ads to e-commerce emails?

E-commerce is booming as a result of the pandemic, and customers are increasingly using digital channels to research and purchase from new brands.

As McKinsey & Company reported, even after physical stores reopened, e-commerce spending continued to grow: as of March 2022, it’s increased 33% since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, U.S. customers are still open to switching to new brands that offer value and convenience.

Advertisers can take advantage of this e-commerce boom by expanding their reach across direct-to-consumer channels like email. That is, they can branch out from social and search — which have experienced declining reach and ballooning prices — and invest in email advertising to diversify their mix.

Ready to start launching your own native ads across premium brand and publisher newsletters? Contact Jeeng to learn more.