July 27, 2015 Last Updated 10:02 am

Guest column: How publishers can achieve better ROI from their email programs

The CEO of PostUp, Tony D’Anna, says that there are several ways to monetize email including running ads within emails or using email to drive readers back to landing pages

Email marketing has a better ROI than any other channel; however, some publishers are leaving dollars on the table by not focusing on email’s full potential. Many publishers are not tracking the ROI of their email programs at all, and this is a mistake. Publishers that don’t track the ROI of their email programs are failing to connect the dots and identify how email is helping to drive site visits and increase ad sales.

Virtually every publisher is looking to drive readers to their online content and monetize on their site in a variety of ways. Email newsletters are an excellent vehicle to drive traffic and achieve these goals. There are several ways to monetize email including running ads within emails or using email to drive readers back to a landing page that features a banner or full-page takeover. These tactics drive higher engagement for your site’s advertisers and ultimately increase your ad sales and improve business performance.

Email metrics allow you to see how many people clicked from your newsletter to your website and in turn, viewed ad impressions. It is not good enough to simply run email newsletters; you should be calculating the ROI of your email program because it gives you proof of the value of the channel. Your email program should provide you with the metrics you need to track ad performance and map back to your business goals. It all starts with a good strategy that takes advantage of all email has to offer in order to drive ROI.

  • Focus on CTR. For ad-supported digital publishers and media companies, click-throughs are key to promoting site traffic, which is a main revenue driver. By focusing on metrics and establishing a program that analyzes these click-throughs, your content creators can better understand what kinds of content are driving engagement. Better engagement means an increase in site traffic and return visits which will turn your site into a revenue-generating powerhouse.
  • Attribute Email Traffic. Email is an excellent channel to drive subscribers back to your website and encourage return visits. You should track where subscribers are coming from and which channels are generating site visits in order to best understand how your readers are engaging with your brand. These visits contribute to ad revenues, and you should be crediting email for the site traffic it generates.
  • Automate Weekly Newsletters to Free Up Time For Strategy. Too many publishers today are still manually creating their weekly newsletters. The real value lies in strategy and analysis, not execution. By automating newsletter creation, publishers can free up their time to focus on content creation, reporting and analysis. Automation can pull content from your site or sites into your newsletters, empowering you to focus on the more strategic elements of your email program.
  • Test Subject Lines: Publishers know the value of a good headline. By paying attention to which headlines work better and testing these subject lines, publishers are able to determine which content is likely to attract eyeballs back to their site, which in turn drives ad revenue. Testing is core to increasing email’s performance, which ultimately drives ROI.

TA-180Measuring email metrics helps publishers ensure that their email programs are delivering their content efficiently, to the right audience at the right time. You can’t improve your email metrics until you know what they are. To truly unlock email’s full potential, measure first, then optimize.

Tony D’Anna has led the PostUp and UnsubCentral businesses since 2008, and prior to PostUp served as Vice President of the Unicast division at Enliven Marketing Technologies

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