You can place ads in your email newsletters with Broadstreet. There are currently two ways of doing this: RSS Merge (commonly used with MailChimp) and “static” zone code.

The “static” zone code is currently the preferred method of implementing ad zones, even with MailChimp. Keep in mind that since email clients do not allow for javascript, there are certain features that you cannot use in your newsletters, regardless of the method you choose:

  • In-place rotation. This is where ads automatically switch out over x seconds or per viewing (note, see “shuffling” below to achieve placement shuffling)
  • Campaign de-duplication. You should only have an ad or campaign targeted to a single zone in your newsletter, or you risk that campaign or advertiser appearing in both zones.

Adding a Zone to your email newsletter template

Click into a Zone in Broadstreet’s dashboard and then click “Get Zone Code” on the upper-right. You’ll see the last two tabs are “RSS” and “Static”. From there you can:

  1. Have a developer (if it seems too confusing) write an RSS merge into your Mailchimp template. You’ll need the RSS URL from the RSS tab. Then, the person doing the template modification will need to read this.
  2. Paste the code in the “Static” tab directly into the HTML editor of your newsletter template. This video provides a brief demonstration with MailChimp.

If you are using “static” code for implementing newsletter ads, there are some items to keep in mind. Typically publishers will create a zone for every position in their newsletter where they need an ad. Sometimes, although, they will create a single ad unit and place it multiple times in the template. If this is done, be sure to edit the last number in the URLs of the zone code for each implementation of the zone:

First Unit (note the ‘0’ in the link and image URLs)

Second Unit (note the ‘1’ in the link and image URLs)

You can add as many placements as needed, even if there aren’t that many ads in the zone — ad selection will “wrap” back to the first available ad as needed. Ads will appear in the zones in their original order of placement.

If you would like the ads to shuffle daily, you can add ‘ds=true’ to each URL to in the code:

You can also add keywords via the kw and skw (soft keywords) parameters. There is more on keywords here. Note how the keywords are placed in both the link and image URLs.

Cachebusting

Some email clients (more recently, Gmail) cache images on their server, presumably for faster loading. This has on impact on software that tracks views in emails, including newsletter clients. It may also create situations where a newsletter ad scheduled for Monday also appears on Tuesday, for some users, instead of the ad scheduled for Tuesday. In MailChimp, solving this is simple. Simply add this Mailchimp “macro” to your zone code: ?*|CAMPAIGN_UID|**|UNIQID|*

Here is zone code before and after the addition of the macro. Note that the macro is placed after the URL of the image in the tag beginning with “<img src=…”

Before:

After:

Newsletters sent by newsletter vendors other than MailChimp very likely have a similar “cachebusting” or “random” macro. The concatenation of a “campaign ID” and “user ID” macro above will work as well, which is what the Mailchimp example above does. Just be sure to prefix it with a question mark (?).

For example, a suitable macro for the MyEmma service might be: [% date: weekday %]

So our code would then be:

Note: If you would also like to run our dynamically updating ad formats inside newsletters, watch this video: