Five limitations with serving ads in email

email spam With the rise of the internet, it has become easier than ever to quickly and affordably reach a lot of people for the purposes of marketing. Email marketing was one of the very early methods of getting your message out to the masses. It is still one of the most affordable and common ways for businesses to keep their customers in the loop, whilst also potentially making some money from ads contained within newsletters. While this is indeed a good way to make some extra money, there are some limitations with ad serving in emails, so let’s take a closer look at those issues.

Ad format limitations

With a website, you are essentially free to add any sort of advertising that works best for your specific purposes. This is not the case with email, as there are simply some formats that do not translate well to that medium. For example, JavaScript and Iframe are not supported by most email viewing software. If these are the types of ads that you usually serve, email may not be a good solution for you. Standard banner image ads and text-link ads are popular ad formats in email.

No cookie support

You can save a lot of time when surfing the internet thanks to cookies. Your information is essentially saved and stored on the websites that you have visited in the past, which is a great time saver. However, there is very little to no cookie support in email, which can make advertising more difficult because certain ad features do not work, such as cookie-dependent frequency capping. If you only get paid for each unique view of an ad, you will want to be able to cap how frequently each visitor sees said ad, which, because of the absence of cookies, becomes impossible in email ads.

Email proxy servers

One of the things that advertisers often do when placing ads is ensuring that they are geo-targeted to a specific audience, which is usually the location of the viewer’s IP address. However, when Google fetches ads for an email, the requests are made from Google’s image proxy servers with Google’s IP addresses. Thus, this setup hide the actual IP addresses of the end-users. This is a privacy feature of Gmail. It makes geo-targeting ads to Gmail users ineffective and inaccurate, which can lead to a lower click-through and conversion rate.

Expired ads

If you are going to place ads in email, then you want to be sure that they are fresh and up to date. However, if this scenario is not considered or set up properly, older and archived emails may still request ads that might have already expired or which lead to landing page URLs that no longer exist. That issue can end up being a poor reflection of you, as it appears as though you are not staying on top of the ads that you served.

Spam filter

There are certain keywords and phrase that email software views as being spam-related, and that can lead to delivery problems with your emails. Thus, when you place text ads contained within your newsletter, make sure you check the ad copy for these spammy keywords. Depending on the email client, it may be that the emails you send end up in the spam folder of your recipients, which is a place that people seldom venture into other than to delete things out every now and again.
Posted in Email Ad Server December 01, 2017


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