Observer Media is a diversified media and information services company that chronicles the power players in industries undergoing disruption. Its flagship brands, Observer and Commercial Observer, reach hundreds of thousands of subscribers across digital publications and sophisticated email newsletter campaigns on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Recognizing the power of email newsletter advertising to drive revenue and partner engagement, the company began testing programmatic non-native display in its Observer newsletter. They quickly realized their solution had some significant limitations.
First, setting up the ads was a laborious, time-consuming process. Each ad had to be built manually by copying and pasting image files and text and then adding the hyperlinks within those components. This not only took a lot of time, but it was prone to human error.
Secondly, their current provider offered no native solution, which Senior Product Manager Charlie Taffet knew was a major obstacle.
“Native advertising is extremely important, not just for us, but across the industry,” he said. “As publishers get smarter about their reader experiences, more advertisers will want to get directly in front of those audiences in a clean, non-obtrusive way. We recognized that native was essential to fulfilling our goals.
“Not to mention, we are very meticulous about how we present ourselves in our website, marketing and newsletters, and we wanted to make sure the advertising matched our brand identity. We couldn’t do that with our current solution.”
For a faster, better experience, Observer turned to Jeeng’s email advertising platform. Jeeng’s new fully automated native ad solution, Jeeng Renderer, offered exactly the fast, accurate and on-brand native ad solution Observer needed to achieve its goals.
With Jeeng Renderer, the Observer Media team was able to build a custom template that fits each newsletter’s fonts, spacing and style to create on-brand native ads that blend seamlessly with newsletter content. And, because it’s fully integrated with Google Ad Manager (GAM), Jeeng Renderer fills all the content for the ads automatically, saving a tremendous amount of time and reducing the risk of errors.
“The Jeeng solution provided exactly what we needed to improve efficiency and reduce manual time and effort,” Charlie says. “But as we’ve worked together, we’ve also found other pieces of the Jeeng toolkit that allow us to diversify how we’re serving ads. For example, now we can sell and serve inventory based on publication date or sell more based on impression or other metrics. It’s given our team more options to optimize the process.”
Plus, Charlie says, the Jeeng technical team has been extremely accommodating and responsive to his needs.
“The flexibility has been all that we could ask for and more,” he said. “They’ve helped us to build out a custom solution, do beta testing, and anytime we have an issue, they jump to the occasion to help us resolve it. The technology is great, but the close working relationship we have with the Jeeng team has really been a big plus.”
Jordan Lovinger, Newsletter Product Manager
With Jeeng Renderer, Observer has dramatically reduced the time and effort needed to configure and traffic ads in its email newsletters, saving the team roughly 20 hours a week while also reducing the risk of errors.
“We’ve seen a huge time savings and we’re able to get the newsletters out on time without so much back-and-forth,” says Jordan Lovinger, newsletter product manager with Observer Media. “It’s been super-efficient with the GAM integration. Now our team can devote that time to other more creative endeavors to increase performance.
“We also get the added benefit of having engagement metrics tracked through GAM, so we can accurately measure how well they’re performing,” he added. “We’ve already seen increased impressions, click-thru rates and RPM, no doubt a result of the ads appearing more seamless within our newsletter.”
Charlie says the simplicity and efficiency of the Jeeng Renderer solution is a huge advantage for Observer’s overall engagement and revenue strategy. And because of its success in the initial trial campaigns, the team is working overtime to get Jeeng Renderer rolled out across its other newsletters.
“Email is a 10/10 in importance for our engagement strategy, not just for readers but also sponsors. It’s a high priority for us to make sure they’re relevant to the topic and audience and of high quality to impact the bottom line,” he said. “As native advertising becomes increasingly important for engagement, Jeeng’s solution gives us the tools we need to be more efficient and effective, which is a huge advantage.”