Introduction to Buying

LiveIntent’s Platform for Buyers

LiveIntent’s Platform allows you to buy display ads in email, just like you do on the web — only with much higher standards.  Our platform is powered by the only digital ID tied to a real person, the email address, which is why our inventory is +99% real people. Login-based data and targeting means you can reach your audience across every device, screen and browser. 

LiveIntent’s Optimization 

LiveIntent uses the most advanced optimization technology, Machine Learning, to ensure that every single person gets the most appropriate ad, based on the advertiser’s goal, every time. We have the only ad server capable of reliably changing the ad creative and click URL in real-time in email, which facilitates the efficiency of Machine Learning’s confident and sophisticated multivariable analysis.

6 Questions for a Smarter Campaign

1. First ask: What’s my goal?

This is the most important step in the process, as it will inform every other aspect of your campaign. You need to have one, clear goal. The goal will dictate whether your strategy should be CPM, CPA or CPC based: 

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)

This strategy purchases ad space based on the number of impressions served, which equals the number of times the ad is loaded.

  • Best For: Increasing Brand Awareness, Driving Site Traffic and Conversions, Sales, Sign-ups and Submissions
  • What You Need to Know: When paired with a performance optimization algorithm, it can be an extremely versatile strategy that will help drive success towards any goal.

Cost Per Action (CPA)

This strategy purchases ad space based on the likelihood of a specific action and pays out upon completion of that action.

  • Best For: Driving Conversions, Sales, Sign-ups and Submissions
  • What You Need to Know: If you know exactly what each conversion is worth to you, this is the most efficient performance strategy. If not, a CPM strategy optimized to a CPA goal may help you figure it out.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

This strategy purchases ad space based on the likelihood of the ad being “clicked” and pays out upon completion of each click.

  • Best For: Driving Site Traffic and Measuring Engagement
  • What You Need to Know: This can be a great way to drive traffic to things like PSAs or articles that don’t necessitate an action, or to measure how engaging your creative is with your target audience

2. Whom do I want to reach?

It’s important to be able to identify your right audience. To do this, you need data. But remember: It’s not about using a lot of data — it’s about using the right data. 

Do you want to reach people…

At a certain time of day or place or on certain devices? 

That’s Contextual Data. It’s commonly based on the device ID or IP address and is determined at the time the ad is loaded.

 Of a certain Age, Gender, Occupation, or Income? 

That’s Demographic Data. This type of audience data comes from third-party data providers like Nielsen, TowerData, comScore, or Acxiom — or from the publisher themselves.

That are current customers? 

That’s CRM Data. You can even bring off-line CRM Data online using a service like LiveRamp.

What you need to know: 

Over-targeting can be detrimental. You can use any of these types of data to inform your campaign targeting and improve efficiency, but you only want enough data to support your goal.

3. Is my creative clear?

Go back to your goal and make sure every aspect of the creative drives towards that goal: A clear creative sets expectations and inspires action. 

Tips for Clear Design 

  • Strong colors: Colors can both establish brand and influence behavior. Make every color choice informed and deliberate
  • Less is more: It’s always better to test a lot of simple creatives than one creative with everything on it
  • Always be branding: Keep your logo visible and complementary to the overall design

Tips for Clear Copy

  • Simple messaging: Keep it short and to the point. It needs to capture attention, demonstrate value and set expectations
  • Easy to read on all devices: According to eMarketer,23.3% of our time spent consuming media is mobile, so make sure your copy is able to be read on any device it might be seen
  • Straightforward call-to-action: Let the person know exactly what they are clicking on the ad to do, so that when they arrive at the landing page, they are ready to do it

What you need to know: 

A small change can make a big difference. Wayfair is one of the world’s largest online destinations for the home with more than seven million products from over 7,000 suppliers that include furniture, home furnishings, décor and goods. 


  • Case Study: Wayfair had a very nice creative that followed many of the best practices outlined above and performed well, but sampled a lot of different items. By simplifying, adding a stronger color and featuring one item, they were able to increase their click-through rate by 56% month-over-month.

4. Does my landing page meet expectations?

When someone clicks on your ad, they are doing so because that ad has set certain expectations: Keep it simple and focused on the action inspired by the creative. 

Here are some best practices for designing landing pages that convert from the award-winning performance trading platform Yellow Hammer:

  • Shorten Load Time: Use tools such as Pingdom and Google PageSpeed to identify how the performance of your page can be improved
  • Meet the Expectations: If your ad says “buy now,” don’t send the user to a page to fill out a survey
  • Drive Towards One Goal: If you are looking to collect email addresses, make that the only thing a user can do on the page. Do not include site navigation or any other links. Use pop-up windows for privacy policy and terms and conditions pages
  • Simplify Copy: Use short tag-lines to communicate the incentive quickly. This format is more likely to engage the user than a short paragraph
  • Use Contrast to Highlight Your Goal: For example, put a thick dark border around your sign-up form that has a white background
  • Create Effortless, Easy Forms: Make the first field a text input and pre-focus the field when the page loads; that way, the user can start typing immediately
  • Have a Direct Call-to-Action: Use words that communicate the end action and a sense of immediacy
  • Keep Mobile in Mind: Use a tool such as Cross Browser Testing to see how your page renders in other browsers

5. How do I know if it’s working?

Once your campaign is up and running, you have the time to test and learn: Establish benchmarks, measure constantly, and adapt. 

Some reasons you might be missing your benchmarks:

  • Unrealistic Goals: Is your goal clear, direct and measurable? If you are trying to drive email sign-ups and measuring success with sales, you may want start again.
  • The Wrong Strategy: Does your strategy drive towards your goal? If you are optimizing for clicks and trying for conversions, you may have the wrong strategy.
  • Over-Targeting: Is your target audience too narrow? If you’re trying to reach Women, ages 25-45, in the New York City area, on iPhones, at 2:35pm, you may be handcuffing yourself.
  • Design Misalignment: Are your creative and landing page out of sync? If your creative says “Sign-Up Now” and your landing page asks them to “Buy Now,” you may need to align your design

6. What’s next?

Every campaign is only a single step in your customer’s journey: Here are some ways you can guide them on that next step. 

Cookie Retargeting

The Internet is full of distraction (see: Videos, Cat) and lots of people leave a landing page before converting. By placing a retargeting pixel on your landing page, you can drop a simple piece of HTML code called a “cookie” on unknown visitors, which will allow you to re-engage those visitors with ads in other media channels.

  • Best For: Unknown individuals that visited your page but didn’t convert 
  • What You Need to Know: Because cookies are browser and device dependent, they cannot follow a person when they switch from a desktop to a smartphone or from Chrome to Firefox, limiting their effectiveness

CRM Retargeting

When a customer converts, most brands will ask for an email address. This makes it possible to not only send these customers emails with new offers and information, but also to reach them with ads in social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, and third-party emails sent by publishers like The New York Times or Wall Street Journal.

  • Best For: Known customers you want to reach with special messaging that will increase lifetime value
  • What You Need to Know: This form of targeting works across all devices and browsers, since it relies on a customer being logged-into the channel where your ad is being served, but is not as widely available as cookie retargeting


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