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PMG Digital Made for Humans

You've Got Mail Sponsored Promotions

3 MINUTE READ | December 4, 2014

You've Got Mail Sponsored Promotions

The onset of holiday usually means bigger budgets to fill and new programs to test. Working through holiday opportunities, we came across AOL’s new solution, Mail Sponsored Promotions. Seeing strong results with Google’s Sponsored Promotions (GSPs) earlier this year, we jumped on board to test during one of our holiday promotional pushes for a retail client. This is a CPC based opportunity, with rates starting at $1.25.

Recently launched, this program had only been used by Finance advertisers. Compared to GSPs, targeting was limited as it is against AOL’s privacy policy to collect and utilize behavioral targeting within their Mail program. This basically left gender and age as targets within our campaign.

Creative

The best part of AOL Mail Sponsored Promotions is the ease to launch. Unlike GSPs, the ads are text-only. Whereas you have a teaser and then expanded HTML unit with GSPs (see Christian Buckler’s pervious GSP post for more detail), the AOL unit does not include a logo or images.

Text ads have a max of 80 characters, but the AOL team does not recommend exceeding 70 characters. The larger character limit doesn’t render when the screen is minimized, which does not provide an ideal experience for the user.

Advertisers have the ability to run up to 5 text ads in rotation. Daily reports are provided so that the team can optimize/update creative based on CTR. Throughout the promotion we were able to narrow down the top performing creatives and run only the top two getting into Cyber Monday. We did run into an issue including the trademark symbol within ads; AOL recommends removing this symbol from all ads in order to avoid serving issues.

Performance

As you’ll note in Figure 1, AOL does have limited scale compared to Gmail. Despite this, we were still able to spend a reasonable amount on AOL (70% of the budget we put towards GSPs). Last-click ROI was comparable to our Display RTG programs, returning at 25% less than GSPs.

The campaign did take a few days to ramp up, but once we were live and on promo, we were very happy with the results. This is definitely a program we’ll keep in our back pocket for big promotional pushes moving forward.

Figure 1 :: AOL Mail Product vs. Competitors (comScore October 2014)

AOL Mail

Gmail

Yahoo

Outlook

Total UV*

16,961

 82,873

 60,975

 30,902

Average Daily Visitors*

5,867

 21,969

 19,565

 22,252

Average Visits Per Visitor

25

 18

 22

 39.70

Total Page Views*

4,078

 12,878

 14,242

 2,364

Male

46.50%

49.80%

47.60%

50.60%

Female

53.50%

50.20%

52.40%

49.40%

Age 2-17

3.30%

8.30%

4.10%

4.80%

Age 18-24

6.30%

13.30%

8.50%

10.00%

Age 25-34

11.60%

22.70%

15.30%

19.80%

Age 35-44

13.40%

18.90%

18.60%

20.80%

Age 45-54

22.10%

17.00%

21.00%

18.40%

Age 55-64

21.80%

11.90%

17.10%

14.80%

Age 65+

21.60%

8.00%

15.50%

11.40%

HHI >$25,000

8.80%

10.20%

13.30%

11.90%

HHI $25,000-$39,999

9.50%

9.70%

12.20%

10.90%

HHI $40,000-$59,999

15.50%

14.30%

17.20%

15.70%

HHI $60,000-$74,999

12.30%

11.70%

11.80%

11.80%

HHI $75,000-$99,000

17.30%

16.90%

15.60%

16.70%

HHI $100,000+

36.50%

37.30%

29.80%

33.00%

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*Data in 000’s


Posted by Ashley Homsher

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