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Summary:

LiveIntent, a New York City-based start-up is announcing today the release of LiveIntent for Publishers, a self-serve tool that allows companies that send out email newsletters, notifications and other communications to place ads that are served up in real-time like online display ads.

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Email is far from dead; it’s actually an increasingly popular way for companies to maintain relationships with consumers. But it really hasn’t been an effective way to deliver dynamic real-time ads that can serve up impressions to advertisers and bring in revenue for publishers. But LiveIntent, a New York City-based startup, is poised to change all that with a real-time ad serving technology for email.

The company is announcing the release of LiveIntent for Publishers on Wednesday, a self-serve tool that allows companies that send out email newsletters, notifications and other communications  to place ads served up in real time like display ads. They can now manage their email ad inventory in much the same way they handle display advertising, deciding whether to run in-house ads for marketing purposes or third-party ads to drive revenue.

LiveIntent has overcome some of the barriers of advertising in emails, which don’t support iframes, JavaScript, Flash and cookies consistently. That has prevented the kind of ad serving that brings fresh and targeted ads to email that’s the norm online. But LiveIntent has managed to break through these barriers and can now serve up ads based on the context of when the email is opened. That means an ad can reflect the time of day and other cues and remains fresh no matter when it’s opened. A publisher drops live tags into their email newsletters and notifications that provide information about the recipient include age range, income, geography and what kind of device the email is being viewed on. LiveIntent then enforces rules set by the publisher and serves the appropriate ads from its server.

With LiveIntent for Publishers, companies can now achieve total sell-through of their email ad inventory, something that was extremely hard to do before. And they can fetch higher CPMs than if they tried to place ads themselves. If they want to control their own ads, they can do so themselves through LFP, or they can tap LiveIntent’s real-time premium ad exchange, which allows advertisers, agencies, demand-side platforms and trading desks to bid on these impressions.

For advertisers, they can now effectively target specific email audiences and different times of the day with dynamic and rich media ads that can be spread out over many publishers. It can simplify the work for advertising operations employees and provide them with reach with some premium publishers including MSNBC, Newsweek/Daily Beast and Medianews, which are some of the companies that have been using LiveIntent for Publishers in beta.

LiveIntent makes money by taking a cut of the revenues from publishers. Matt Keiser, CEO and co-founder of LiveIntent, said companies can turn their email inventory into revenue generators by leveraging LiveIntent. He said there’s a huge opportunity in email advertising that hasn’t been tapped yet, with 225 million Americans using email, increasingly on mobile devices. He said it could be up to an $11 billion opportunity if publishers can get average revenue per user similar to online display ads.

“We’re not so bold to say we’re creating an entirely new business model, but what we’re doing is we’re tapping into the ecosystem that exists. The killer app on the Internet and the killer app on mobile is email. People are more receptive to email marketing from commercial entities than they are compared to any other method. Email is the best place for a commercial company to reach you,” he said.

LiveIntent raised $8 million in September in a Series B funding round led by Shasta Ventures. It has raised a total of about $13 million from  Battery Ventures, First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures and Grape Arbor.

I think there’s a big opportunity in serving up real-time ads into email. As I wrote before with Movable Ink, another New York company bringing live content to email, emails start becoming stale the moment they’re sent and don’t reflect the latest information. But ads that are context-aware and live provide a sizable advertising opportunity and an appealing way for publishers to start making money from their emails. There’s always the danger that this can turn off readers and prompt them to open emails less but I think for many people, they’re still used to checking emails, and this is a chance to really capitalize on what’s been a largely untapped opportunity.

  1. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email #socialmedia http://t.co/E4m9IbhL

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  5. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email – http://t.co/XnlgeegC http://t.co/Um4JV40T #marketing

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  6. Client @LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/HH0cYoKQ via @gigaom & @oryankim

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  7. RT @susanturner25: Client @LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/HH0cYoKQ via @gigaom & @oryankim

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  9. @LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for #email http://t.co/3uw0cc1s

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  13. @LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/3uw0cc1s

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  14. RT @Jerry_Sandoval: @LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for #email http://t.co/3uw0cc1s

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  15. gigaom: LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/REokHrHc

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  16. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/VZ5nggvG

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  17. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/TUzZ8LdI

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  18. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/SH5urFeC

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  19. “With LiveIntent for Publishers, companies can now achieve total sell thru of their #email ad inventory” @gigaom http://t.co/P9jnR2M3

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  20. [GigaOM] LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing… http://t.co/4CjtICKd

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  21. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/xRW995qR

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  22. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/ZlayvgnT @amarchugg #news

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  23. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing today th… http://t.co/wqlAqOvh

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  24. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/yIe1crAk

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  25. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/xlkPB5zj @amarchugg #news

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  26. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing today th… http://t.co/aIQGOdGI

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  27. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing today th… http://t.co/EKVeBMhx

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  28. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing today th… http://t.co/EYLuIvuw

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  29. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing today th… http://t.co/z5PgTBIP

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  30. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing today th… http://t.co/KV73okvR

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  31. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing today th… http://t.co/sqYKdrBt

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  32. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing today th… http://t.co/v7ZYlnq8

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  33. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing today th… http://t.co/XVPldQjX

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  34. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/OYxTTugT

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  35. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/uU9cl34w #marketing #business #success #biztips

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  36. LiveIntent launched ‘LiveIntent For Publishers’ – read about it: http://t.co/3kzIauOg in @gigaom, from @oryankim

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  37. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email — Tech News and Analysis: http://t.co/Eb0FmEri

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  38. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/pUBXMW2A

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  39. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/YqBOnHBq

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  40. RT @gigaom: LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/jRToXDdE

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  41. #tech #news LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/i8rEquTL

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  42. RT @gigaom: LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/jRToXDdE

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  43. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/leIKVrUx

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  44. Happy to see a great new company get recognition. http://t.co/oHka0Ttd

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  45. LiveIntent: Real-time ad platform for emails, uses context of when opened. Game-changer? http://t.co/21NQn7Wi via @gigaom

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  46. .@LiveIntent launched a realtime email ad platform http://t.co/aK72AZNP via @gigaom @oryankim

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  47. RT @joshuabaer: .@LiveIntent launched a realtime email ad platform http://t.co/aK72AZNP via @gigaom @oryankim

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  48. @GigaOM and @oryankim: #LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for #email http://t.co/OMwvoAFD #Email_Aint_Dead

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  49. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email — Tech News and Analysis http://t.co/BaLbGkox #evolvingmedia

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  50. RT @LiveIntent: LiveIntent launched ‘LiveIntent For Publishers’ – read about it: http://t.co/3kzIauOg in @gigaom, from @oryankim

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  51. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/svJmVWQR

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  52. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: Email is far from dead and is in fact an… http://t.co/wANya4fr

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  53. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email – LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing today the r… http://t.co/5U7xJdRf

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  54. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email – LiveIntent, a New York-based start-up is announcing today the r… http://t.co/bf9ORX1G

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  55. @earth2tech: LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/Z32jIQ3L

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  56. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/r3THWGlY

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  57. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: They can now manage their email ad inventory in much the sam… http://t.co/wwZAoNdm

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  58. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/GRsuxHJV

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  59. @BillinBoston display ads in email perform at .4%, more than 10x over display ads on web. check out @liveintent http://t.co/P9jnR2M3

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  60. http://t.co/lIxdXekW LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/pPawatb4

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  61. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: But ads that are context-aware and live provide a sizable ad… http://t.co/HAhvI3OG

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  62. RT @LiveIntent: LiveIntent launched ‘LiveIntent For Publishers’ – read about it: http://t.co/3kzIauOg in @gigaom, from @oryankim

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  63. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/pAquSyLG

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  64. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email – http://t.co/e7iXDFj0

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  65. RT @firstround: LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email – http://t.co/e7iXDFj0

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  66. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/FhElrd6v

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  67. @danshipper dude this sounds awfully like your email ads… http://t.co/td2lLj4R

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  68. LiveIntent launched ‘LiveIntent For Publishers’ – a realtime email ad platform: http://t.co/gzdJOQl7 in @gigaom, from @oryankim

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  69. @LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/r2U391pq via @zite @gigaom

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  70. Ryan:
    Continuing the dialogue on Email as a comms medium, you’ll be interested in an Infographic “Is Email Dead” that was posted to the VisibleGains Blog today that suggests that “Email is here to stay.”
    See the infographic at http://goo.gl/9lJRY

    VisibleGains is a Massachusetts startup whose web software helps sales and marketing people share relevant content with prospects and customers without the “collateral damage” associated with sending massive email attachments. (http://www.visiblegains.com)

    Thanks
    –Patrick

    Patrick Rafter (Boston, MA)
    E: prafter@valuecasters.com

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    1. Patrick – agreed that email is definitely here to stay…after all how do you sign up for anything? Sure you can sign in using Twitter or Facebook, but before you can have a Twitter or Facebook account you need an email address. And these two services, specifically, are highly dependent on email to remind you to visit them…

      also Smartphone adoption is a proxy for increased email use, since, according to Comscore, the #1 thing people do with Smartphones is – drum roll – read email. Not call people. People check email obsessively. Best way for publishers to drive traffic. Monetize the emails just follows from that.

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      1. There’s one more thing to consider with email promotions being viewed on Smartphones, are they rendered correctly for the actual device? Check out Kwanzoo.com, it’s a multi-channel marketing platform, marketers can run campaigns, which include polls, surveys, social promotions and opt-in lead forms across email, web, social, display, and mobile channels.

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  71. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: Email is far from dead; it’s actually an increasingly popula… http://t.co/Nks0PhFc

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  72. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: Email is far from dead; it’s actually an increasingly popula… http://t.co/rsjgHUBA

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  73. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email: Email is far from dead; it’s actually an increasingly popula… http://t.co/GmyMSMrt

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  74. Great article on our friends from @LiveIntent: http://t.co/7zoGtvmJ

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  75. LiveIntent launches ‘LiveIntent For Publishers’ – a realtime email ad platform: http://t.co/KLMmULaS in @gigaom, from @oryankim

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  76. LiveIntent For Publishers- a realtime email ad platform: http://t.co/TiaIruRH in @gigaom, @LiveIntent @mrkeiser #adtech #advertising

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  77. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/lpFwn5Le

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  78. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/zjY6pR4x

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  79. LiveIntent launched ‘LiveIntent For Publishers’ – a realtime email ad platform http://t.co/uf9szkcI

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  80. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/Ac10E0Y4

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  81. Real-time ad platform for email @LiveIntent shown some love by @GigaOm http://t.co/6Ees1S7u #Investor #Advisor #Friend

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  82. RT @hunterwalk: Real-time ad platform for email @LiveIntent shown some love by @GigaOm http://t.co/6Ees1S7u #Investor #Advisor #Friend

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  83. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email http://t.co/VtldUCvc

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  84. Intriguing stuff here… RT @shasta: LiveIntent launched ‘LiveIntent For Publishers’ – a realtime email ad platform http://t.co/EpdCq3eq

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  85. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email — Tech News and Analysis http://t.co/uSYnmmQg

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  86. LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for email — Tech News and …: LiveIntent, a New York City-based start-… http://t.co/iCsAPkfx

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  87. RT @LiveIntent: LiveIntent launched ‘LiveIntent For Publishers’ – read about it: http://t.co/3kzIauOg in @gigaom, from @oryankim

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  88. I just commented on “@LiveIntent creates real-time ad platform for #email” @gigaom: http://t.co/EYknb7Yv via @gigaom

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  89. Congrats to the guys at LiveIntent: http://t.co/PCIlTKUj

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  90. Yo, dawg, I heard yo like spam, so we put spam in yo spam.

    Seriously, I barely want any of the bulk emails I’ve signed up for. Why would I want to see, or click on, a third party ad in lowest value information silo I have. I can’t say this is the stupidest start-up concept I’ve ever seen. (I did a stint at a company housed in an incubator, so I’ve seen worse ideas.) But this is pretty dumb, unless the publisher’s call to action is “Unsubscribe from our mailing list”. A ridiculous product of the Dot Ly bubble.

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    1. Dave Hendricks Friday, December 2, 2011

      Hi David. Thanks for commenting.

      I agree that our concept is just as stupid as providing advertising in magazines, newspapers, on TV and the radio. It’s almost as stupid as banners on websites, except that the ads that we run in our publishers’ newsletters click at .4%, a rate that is about 10x the click rate in web display.

      What we do is help publishers pay for the email that their subscribers sign up for. Otherwise the publishers lose money sending email. The technology works, the ads are optimized based on geo, device, newsletter and time of day and users do not complain.

      All in all, really hard to do but really beneficial for publishers, advertisers and consumers – who receive ads that are targeted much better than ads that have been manually placed.

      I hope that helps you understand the value. thanks!

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      1. The difference between advertising on TV, radio, and in print media versus bulk email that most people do not really want to read most of their bulk email. Realistically, what percentage of bulk emails are even opened? People come to those other mediums without coercion. People don’t watch a TV channel because they get a discount or bonuses or they won’t get a service they want otherwise. They do it because they want the content. I don’t see interesting content in bulk email very often.

        Companies work very hard to incentivize consumers to subscribe to bulk mailings because they perceive a high ROI from those communications using whatever metric they associate with success. Even with proper incentives, consumers are very weary of subscribing to something that is going to be perceived as spam. Therefore, a successful email campaign is going to have a well crafted call to action that is presented in a compelling, or at least innocuous way. If you throw third party ads into that mix, you can forget about that. It will completely dilute the message. So if I don’t understand why a publisher that is sending out email with low ROI is going to think to increase ROI by throwing in ads that alienate their audience. The smart ones will ask how they can change their message to produce higher ROI, or why the are sending out mail at all when it has low ROI.

        As for you comparison between your ads and Web impressions, sure its better. But customizing ads to a consumer when you know exactly who the consumer, since you have their email and probably more information, is obviously going to be better than the vague guess you might get with traditional banner advertising. And it is not a particularly compelling statistic until you have longitudinal data that proves that your advertising doesn’t dramatically increase the level of unsubscriptions over multiple mailings. And I think that is the reasonable reaction to expect from normal subscribers who are only marginally engaged.

        Now, I’m sure you’ve put significant amounts of engineering into your product, but I really doubt that it is difficult to replicate. I feel confident that I could write an application to do most of what you are doing in a crude fashion by myself in a few days. Not that I want to. It think it’s a really bad idea.

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      2. I agree with David – not sure what the value proposition is here. Most publishers find that their email (especially newsletters) are the lowest value advertising media they offer. As such, most publishers give this away as a “value-add” to larger display ad buys.

        While your metrics are accurate regarding CTRs for email vs. display, what you fail to realize is how much less scale you have in email.

        I just don’t see how any advertisers would be willing to pay money for an advertising medium that is proven not to work.

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  91. RT @billwise: LiveIntent For Publishers- a realtime email ad platform: http://t.co/TiaIruRH in @gigaom, @LiveIntent @mrkeiser #adtech #advertising

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  92. a gentleman and a scholar: @davehendricks on trolls for @liveintent http://t.co/Nk0LdA06

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  93. RT @hooliaclaire: a gentleman and a scholar: @davehendricks on trolls for @liveintent http://t.co/Nk0LdA06

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  94. Great post about email and online ads: http://t.co/SXBOEBqF // cc @DaveHendricks

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  95. For some reason I can’t post replies to replies on this, so I’m putting comments in here. Mostly for Cloutman and Frank Bianco, as well as Julie O Grady.

    Julie – LiveIntent does something that Kwanzoo can’t do…not really a comparable to us. If it could bid on and buy impressions within email newsletters, it would be a comp. It doesn’t. There are tons of tools for buying routine display inventory. There is only one for buying and selling email display in real-time.

    Cloutman – this is not ‘bulk email’ and LiveIntent ads only show up in email ‘Opens’, not in ‘Sent’, so there is not a single wasted impression. Are you telling me that you never read breaking news alerts, or newsletters you have subscribed to? I don’t believe that. Next, the ads do not have any effect on deliverability and in fact we have never received a complaint from either a client or a user that would indicate that we negatively affect deliverability. We are DAA and IAB compliant. Take this seriously. We have been in the email business for a long time, not noobs. Next, you would be hard pressed to build what we have (the front end, business logic, the algorithm, reporting engine and the buying/selling interface and network of publishers and advertisers) in 2 years with a superstar team. Based on your comments, I am not sure you fully understand what we do, my bad for not explaining – it is a buying and targeting technology with a real time bidding and optimization engine. A lot of math here. And as far as scale, email has tons of scale – way more than crappy little ads in crappy little mobile apps that no one clicks on. Email isn’t a closed platform like FB or LinkedIn, etc. The scale is global. It isn’t going away, in fact it is growing.

    Frank – Publishers have given away email not because it isn’t valuable, but because it is hard to serve ads into. Salespeople are lazy and email has been hard to sell. We’ve changed the way that publishers sell the inventory and the way that advertisers can buy it, so it is like display. Publishers who use our technology make *alot* of money from the ads that we (or they can) sell into their newsletters. Scale – Hmmm. There are 3 billion email addresses in the world – they all operate on the same standards set, and now smartphones have HTML email readers. And as far as ‘advertising medium that doesn’t work’, that is probably the least informed comment on this thread. You know what doesn’t work? In-App ads. Banner ads on websites. Those don’t work. Our email ads do. For Publishers and Advertisers. And for consumers.

    You all should see Patrick’s post for more info on scale. http://goo.gl/9lJRY

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    1. I should have been more specific when I said “advertising medium that doesn’t work”.

      Banner ads in email don’t work. There is plenty of proof around that – again to my first point – if they worked, why wouldn’t more folks sell them?

      Selling banner ads in email is not any more difficult than selling display ads.

      About scale – let’s think about that a moment. You can’t actually think that banners in email scale as well as banners on websites. For every email that is sent, there are probably millions of web impressions created in that same instance. The minute you try to incorporate “display like” buying- e.g RTB, day-parting, data targeting, you have absolutely 0 scale to speak of. Are you even considering email open rates? Bulk email open rates? Even with a CTR that is 10x that of display ads, your scale is likely 1000x LESS than display. 3 billion email address vs. how many page impressions / day? I don’t think its even close…

      And who the hell is going to “click” a banner ad in an email rendered on a mobile device?

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      1. Dave Hendricks Sunday, February 5, 2012

        refutations offered:

        1. We have designed the first way to buy and sell email ads like display – bought at the point of impression, not on send. That’s a big deal, since this has not been done before across an exchange.

        2. Selling banner ads in email is simple to do if you are buying all the recipients of a list that is sent. Buying specific openers based on demographics, geo, time, and other factors – like how it is bought in display – across thousands of newsletters simultaneously using a single IO, that is our innovation.

        3. Scale. Are you kidding? Everyone uses email. Everyone subscribes to newsletters. And email volume is growing everyday. How do you hear about a Facebook request, Google+, linkedin request, Twitter retweet or @mention….all via email. The scale is fantastic, especially if you are the only company that can buy it, like we can.

        4. Click rates in mobile emails are better than click rates in mobile display. Also, we are finding that people see the ad on mobile and then open the same email later on a larger screen and click there. Another plus – we optimize the landing page to match the device, so that people who click on a mobile link can be directed to a mobile friendly landing page.

        Frank, feel free to be skeptical. We’re used to it. However, we’ve done this, and it works and the metrics are outstanding.

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