As 2020 draws to a close, digital publishers look toward the future to find more effective tactics to overcome their challenges. Email is a strategic tool for content publishers. Unlike search and social media, the content gets into the hands of decision-makers.

One of the digital marketing strategies that hold the most potential is email monetization. It brings benefits to not only publishers but also to advertisers, as they can leverage email to reach more targeted audiences.

Let’s find out why the future of this emerging strategy is well worth a closer examination.

Table of Contents:

What Is Email Monetization?

Email monetization is all the ways businesses and publishers can use email to generate revenue from newsletters and other emails (e.g., transactional) they send to their customers and prospects. It includes a variety of strategies, some more effective than others, as presented below.

What Are the Most Effective Ways to Monetize a Newsletter?

Many brands look at email newsletters as a long-term marketing strategy. Provide high-quality content, build your reputation in your industry, and, eventually, many of your subscribers will become customers.

This strategy works well in the long run. When a business provides its audience with information that can help them solve problems, become more efficient, generate more money, and grow to dominate their industry, it will grow in both trust and reputation over time. It becomes a thought leader. However, it brings few short-term results.

But there’s another option available to monetize your email list, used by publishers from all over the world: selling advertising space within the body of your newsletters.

This strategy delivers fast results. In addition, if done right, it can provide one of the best sources of revenue for both publishers and marketers.

Adding programmatic native ads – which are ads that blend in with the design of your newsletter, while using audience insights and advanced targeted algorithms – you have access to an easy, yet powerful email monetization tool.

Email Monetization Challenges Publishers Faced During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Although the 2020 pandemic created a captive audience for digital newsletters, the coronavirus produced its own set of challenges for publishers. Two of these challenges will persist long after medical science discovers vaccines and other management strategies for COVID-19.

#1. Generating Short-Term as well as Long-Term ROI

Those publishers who followed only the long-term revenue model, as’s Ruchika Sharma points out, ran into trouble. She says, “Marketing with no verifiable ROI…is now unacceptable. Result-driven efforts are the ‘only thing’ to be focused on…”

Advertisers who succeeded with native ads shunned overly promotional copy, opting for engaging stories that entertained even as they informed their readers.

Those who sought out “additional channels,” such as programmatic email ads, added a sustainable source of income that CMOs could depend on. Even during the height of the pandemic, native ads generated revenue for publishers, so long as the content was relevant to the audience.

#2. GDPR Regulations and Other Privacy Laws

The EU, as well as several other countries and regions, have enacted stringent privacy laws, such as the GDPR and the CCPA, to regulate spam emails. Heavy fines, as well as other penalties, await those who do not comply.

It’s essential for newsletter publishers to partner with digital advertising solutions that guard your recipients’ privacy as they would their own. Make sure that your ad software provider logs only the minimum amount of data for the ads to work and encrypts any data that they do store to protect you against penalties for violating these laws.

Even with the rise of social media, email remains the most effective channel for reaching your audience, engaging them with useful, entertaining content, and converting them into customers.

In fact, email has proven itself to be resilient, evolving to meet each challenge, as it has with privacy laws and generating immediate revenue. Email is the perfect partner for your social media channels. As owned content, your newsletter isn’t under the control of a third-party site. Moreover, a business can publish content that reflects its brand’s personality and values.

Besides, when you provide a share button on articles you link to in your newsletter, your subscribers can share your articles on social media, creating an even larger audience for your content.

Companies that include interactive elements, such as videos, GIFs, and clickable ads, make email content more compelling, adding a participatory, highly visual feature to the experience.

Programmatic ad partners add to that extended value by providing links to products and services that are relevant to your recipients. Using ads selected by advanced algorithms, you can deliver targeted and relevant content, based on your subscribers’ preferences and interests.

Even more compelling is the potential of programmatic email advertising to help a business leverage the power of an ecosystem model of doing business. As Ibrahim Gokcen points out in his Forbes piece, businesses that form partnerships across industries could “generate an estimated 30% of global corporate revenue by 2025.”

By working with an email monetization partner, companies can add email monetization to their portfolio of services, bringing more value to their customers. The data alone that such partnerships can generate, along with the increase in immediate revenue, can provide them with a strategy that works in both the long and the short term.

Invest in Winning Email Strategies

Growing your email list organically should be your topmost priority. Grow it by posting links to content that will help your target customers answer their toughest questions. Or, incentivize current subscribers to refer others, as did The Hustle, one of the world’s most successful newsletters.

Use storytelling techniques to craft your content. Taking your readers on a “hero’s journey” in which they become the hero is an effective way to draw them in. If you do use your product or service in the story, let it be the “sword” that helps your reader conquer whatever life throws at them.

At the end of your article, place a call to action that asks readers to subscribe to your newsletter. That way, you’ll only have subscribers who are truly interested in what you offer.

Why Should Publishers Consider Programmatic Native Email Monetization?

Programmatic native ads are the least intrusive, yet most effective form of monetizing your emails. They are chosen by AI to appeal to each of your subscriber segments, so they’re a sustainable way to engage and convert your recipients. Recipients interact with native advertising up to 60 percent more than display ads. If you include videos or other images, they will convert as much as 60 percent more than text-only ads.

It gets even better. Reading native ad headlines attracts 308 times the attention as do images or banners. Moreover, over half of those who click on your ads intend to purchase the product or service it advertises.

Find a Reliable Partner to Start Monetizing Your Email Newsletters with Programmatic Native Ads

One of the most effective strategies in programmatic advertising is audience targeting. Targeted audiences bring in more ROI, simply because only ads that appeal to their interests appear within the emails you send them.

If you partner with a programmatic email monetization service, you can put the power of programmatic in your own hands.