February 23, 2023

Can email help local publishers drive revenue?

Local publishers were hit hard during the pandemic. Even before the spread of COVID-19, many media outlets struggled to drive ad revenue and build sustainable monetization strategies for a digital world. Come 2020, publishers across the U.S. suffered layoffs, shutdowns, and pay cuts. By 2021, more than 100 local newsrooms closed their doors.

Still, amidst all these challenges, there remains a saving grace for local publishers struggling to meet their bottom line: email monetization

What is email monetization?

Email monetization is the process of driving revenue from email ad placements. If you’re a local news publisher, for example, you might sell ad space to local businesses within your email newsletters. The retailers get access to your built-in audience, and you earn money each time a reader views or clicks on an ad.

Depending on your newsletter templates and audience behaviors, you can choose to sell a range different email ad types, including:

  • Display ads — Traditional banner ads often placed above the fold, in the middle, or at the bottom of an email.
  • Text ads — Paid hyperlinks, often leading to promoted products, embedded in the text of an email.
  • Native ads — Units that match the organic content of an email, creating an intuitive and less disruptive experience.
  • Dedicated email ads — Emails that are paid for and created by a brand partner, often to promote a certain product, event, or piece of content.
  • Sponsored ads — Emails that are paid for by a brand partner and include a disclaimer and logo at the top.

Want to see how that looks in action? Here’s an example of an email from Morning Brew, sponsored by Masterworks:

How can local publishers monetize their emails?

Large publishers have been using email monetization for years to increase revenue and even fund their email operations. The New York Times, for instance, monetizes its emails with a mix of ad formats, including display ads like the one seen here:

The Washington Post also runs sponsored and display ads in its fastest-growing newsletter “The 7,” which highlights the top seven stories of the day. The newsletter is so successful that The Post is expanding it into a local podcast franchise for cities across the U.S. 

The question now is: How can smaller, local publishers reap these rewards of email monetization for themselves? They can start by using these strategies:

  • Find an email monetization platform that can help you automatically connect with the right ad partners, run multiple ad formats for your templates, and backfill inventory for 100% monetization. 
  • Monetize emails directly through Google Ad Manager (GAM), so you can access robust campaign reporting and run your website, app, and email ads all from the same platform. (Not sure whether to use GAM or GAM 360? Check out our helpful guide.)
  • Try launching native ads to increase engagement and deliver more seamless user experiences. You can also use the Jeeng Renderer to save time creating and customizing native email ads from GAM.
  • Measure engagement metrics like clicks and time on site — instead of opens — to get a true read on your ad performance. 

Want to learn more about increasing revenue with email monetization? Contact us to get started.