How to Set Up Newsletter Ads in Google Ad Manager

How to Set Up Newsletter Ads in Google Ad Manager

Newsletters remain a cornerstone of digital marketing strategies. They nurture leads, keep your audience engaged, and drive conversions. But what if you could unlock an additional benefit from your existing newsletter strategy? By incorporating targeted ads into your newsletters, you can leverage your audience reach to generate a new revenue stream. Google Ad Manager (GAM) steps in as your ally, offering a user-friendly platform to manage and deliver ads specifically designed for email newsletters.

This guide empowers you to set up newsletter ads in Google Ad Manager, equipping you to unlock this exciting revenue potential. But before we dive in, let's address some key considerations:

Understanding Newsletter Ads in GAM:

  • Creative Format: Currently, GAM only supports image creatives for newsletter ads. This means crafting visually appealing visuals that resonate with your audience within the email format.
  • Targeting Limitations: Due to email client privacy features like Apple's Mail Privacy Protection, targeting by device and location might be less accurate for newsletter ads.
  • ESP Collaboration: Seamlessly integrating ad tags within your email design might require collaboration with your Email Service Provider (ESP).

Now that we've covered these crucial points, let's embark on the setup process!

Setting Up Newsletter Ads in GAM: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Creating the Ad Unit:

  • Log in to your Google Ad Manager account.
  • Navigate to Inventory > Ad Units.
  • Here, you have two options:
    • Create a new ad unit specifically designated for newsletter ads. Give it a clear and descriptive name for easy identification (e.g., "Newsletter Ad Unit").
    • If you already have an existing ad unit you plan to use for both display and newsletter ads, you can select that one.

2. Defining the Line Item:

  • Head over to Delivery > Orders.
  • Create a new order with an appropriate name and specify the Ad Network you'll be using.
  • Within this order, create a line item. Assign it a clear name and define the expected creative sizes. Remember, these sizes should match the dimensions you plan to use for the ad creatives within your newsletter (e.g., 300x250 pixels).
  • Configure the line item type and other relevant settings like pricing and targeting options.
  • Crucially, under "Add targeting," include the ad unit you created in step 1. This ensures that the line item targets the ad unit specifically for newsletter placements.

3. Generating the Newsletter Tag:

  • Once the ad unit and line item are set up, it's time to generate the magic ingredient: the newsletter tag.
  • Go to the Tags tab within the ad unit you designated for newsletters.
  • Select Newsletter Tag and click Continue.
  • You'll be presented with "Tag Options" where you can customize the tag behavior. Here are some key options to consider:
    • Size (sz): Specify the exact dimensions of the ad creative you'll be using in the newsletter.
    • Click URL (click): Define the URL users will land on when they click the ad.
    • Backup Image (backup_image_url): (Optional) Provide a backup image URL in case the primary ad creative fails to load.
    • Targeting (scp): (Optional) Utilize this option for further targeting within the newsletter environment (limited due to email client restrictions).
  • After configuring the tag options according to your needs, click Continue and then Copy Tag. This copied code snippet is the key to displaying ads within your newsletter.

4. Implementing the Tag in Your Newsletter:

  • The generated newsletter tag typically involves an HTML image element nested within an anchor element.
  • Paste the copied tag into the specific location within your email newsletter where you want the ad to appear.
  • It's recommended to collaborate with your ESP to ensure seamless integration of the tag placement within your email design. This might involve creating a designated space for the ad or incorporating it into your existing email template.

5. Bonus Tip: The House Line Item - A Safety Net

Consider creating a "house line item" as a backup plan. This line item would serve a pre-defined ad (like a generic promotion for your brand) in case no other ads are available to fill the newsletter ad space. This prevents empty spaces and ensures a consistent user experience.

6. Transparency is Key: Include "About This Ad"

Don't forget to include an "About this ad" link below the displayed ad in your newsletter. This fosters transparency with your audience and informs them about the nature of the advertisement.

Beyond the Basics: Optimizing Your Newsletter Ads for Success

Setting up newsletter ads in GAM is just the beginning. To truly unlock their revenue potential, here are some additional strategies to optimize your campaigns:

Crafting Compelling Creatives:

  • Visual Appeal: Remember, you're working within the email format. Design eye-catching visuals that resonate with your audience and complement your overall newsletter aesthetic.
  • Clarity and Concision: Keep your message clear and concise. Utilize strong calls to action (CTAs) that entice users to click.
  • Brand Alignment: Ensure your ad creatives align seamlessly with your brand voice and messaging.

Targeting Strategies (within Allowed Parameters):

While email client limitations restrict extensive targeting options, you can still leverage some strategies:

  • Content Segmentation: Segment your newsletter audience based on interests and tailor ad content accordingly.
  • Campaign Alignment: Align your newsletter ads with ongoing marketing campaigns to reinforce brand messaging and maximize impact.

Testing and Measurement:

  • A/B Testing: Experiment with different ad creatives, sizes, and placements to identify what resonates best with your audience.
  • Click-Through Rates (CTRs): Monitor click-through rates (CTRs) to gauge the effectiveness of your ads and identify areas for improvement.
  • Revenue Tracking: Track the revenue generated by your newsletter ads to measure their return on investment (ROI).

Additional Tips:

  • Frequency Management: Maintain a healthy balance between ad placements and content to avoid overwhelming your subscribers.
  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure your ads are optimized for mobile devices, as a significant portion of your audience might be viewing your newsletter on smartphones.
  • Reporting and Analysis: Regularly monitor your ad performance metrics in GAM to gain insights and optimize your campaigns for better results.

By following these strategies, you can transform your newsletters into powerful revenue-generating tools. Remember, successful newsletter ads require a combination of effective setup, compelling creatives, and ongoing optimization.


Integrating newsletter ads into your email marketing strategy with Google Ad Manager unlocks a new revenue stream and enhances audience engagement. By following the steps outlined above and continuously refining your approach, you can leverage the power of targeted advertising within your newsletters to achieve your business goals.