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MarTech Interview with Jeff Kupietzky, CEO at PowerInbox

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“AI and Machine Learning technologies are critical for being able to deliver this kind of cross-channel recognition and personalization at scale.”

Tell us about the technologies that brought seismic shifts in email monetization campaigns?

The three biggest ones are:

– The use of improved rendering technology to deliver better artwork appearance. This enabled the success of native campaigns by allowing the ads to blend seamlessly with content, and it just provides a better overall user experience.

– Direct integration with ad servers like Google Ad Manager. With this link in place, managing ads across web and email is so much easier for publishers and it provides cohesive tracking and reporting.

– Automated conversion optimization. This system automatically optimizes campaign spend and bidding based on the outcome the advertiser wants to achieve. So, if an advertiser wants to drive product sales, email signups or some other action, the system optimizes the bids to use on clicks to get the optimum conversions in real-time.

At PowerInbox, we call this CPA (cost per action) but we still charge on CPC basis. This capability is a real differentiator among monetization providers and performance marketers can leverage this to really focus on their specific objectives.

AdTech, particularly for web and email monetization remains largely confined to limited customers owing to budgetary limitations. Tell us how small and mid-sized publishers can leverage email monetization tools.

This is one area where PowerInbox really differentiates from other providers—we make it completely accessible to small and mid-sized publishers. We require no minimums, no contracts and offer a rev-share model that makes it very affordable.

We have a very easy onboarding process and our system is fully automated so it’s easy to test and manage. This is especially valuable for smaller teams who often have limited time and resources.

A very diverse range of customers use PowerInbox’s AdTech platform. What kind of customization or unique customer experience do you offer to these customers? Is CX part of your product development strategy? 

We are extremely hands-on with our customers, assisting them in every step of the way. For advertisers, we help with creative and bidding strategies to ensure they get most out of the platform and we can make changes on the fly to optimize campaigns in real-time.

For publishers, we can match the exact creative within newsletters with custom appearances, even if it’s not IAB standard. And, we provide personalization that ensures the creative your subscribers see, is highly relevant and targeted to their interests and behaviors, which optimizes click-thru.

Finally, we provide outstanding customer support. Our customers are routinely impressed with our team’s responsiveness to any questions or issues they may have, and they know that if they have a problem, they can simply pick up the phone and we’re there to help within minutes. You’ll get the solution in-person, and unlike some providers whose default response is often “our system doesn’t support that,” we create custom solutions to solve our customers’ challenges. Ultimately, our success hinges on our customers’ success, so we do everything possible to make that happen.

Why does Personalization matter today? What Customer Intelligence analytics do you have to showcase PowerInbox’s role in precisely delivering email monetization goals?

If content is not relevant to the user, they don’t click. It’s that simple. In fact, our research shows that half of the users prefer ads that are personalized to their interests and behavior and 60% will click on an ad if it’s personalized to their interests.

So, we place a heavy premium on personalization to ensure we provide the right content to right user. To do that, we use multiple data points on over 100 million email users to ensure we have the most relevant data to deliver better recommendations.

What would be your Top-5 Email Deliverability Hacks for 2020? 

Not so much deliverability, but optimization in general:

– Personalization: of content and ads

– Timing: figure out when your subscribers are most likely to take action and base your sends around that

– Vendor selection: make sure the providers you use—both ESP and monetization—are platform agnostic. There’s no point in inserting ads if they don’t deliver to subscribers, and not every monetization platform works across every email program, device, etc.

– AI for Automation: Personalization is huge, but it’s also virtually impossible to do at scale without AI. Leveraging AI to deliver personalized content recommendations to subscribers gives them more of what you know they want and makes it feasible for publishers to manage an effective email strategy.

– Don’t stop with just email: New channels like push notifications are allowing publishers to expand their engagement with subscribers. Using email as the unique identifier to build a rich identity graph for each subscriber allows you to then parlay that knowledge into delivering relevant content across other channels as well. Email opens the door to other opportunities.

What are your comments on the role of AI and Machine Learning in the digital AdTech industry? Which other emerging technologies are disrupting the AdTech product development scenario for you?

Cross-channel engagement is huge. The ability to identify users across more than one channel and know that it’s the same person is a tremendous advantage because now we can personalize content across every engagement. This will replace cookies in understanding user personas and allow us to build a more accurate identity graph based on known behaviors that we can tie to a specific individual. AI and Machine Learning technologies are critical for being able to deliver this kind of cross-channel recognition and personalization at scale.

What kind of governance policies are we looking at to tackle issues with managing data that goes into your ad-tech engine? How can blockchain governance improve AdTech media governance?

That’s one of the great things about email: it’s entirely opt-in, which puts the subscriber in control of their data. It’s fully compliant with GDPR and other regulations, so this built-in governance means that publishers can feel confident about their engagement strategy.

Thank you, Jeff! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Jeff serves as CEO of PowerInbox, an innovative technology company helping companies monetize their email newsletters through dynamic content.  Before joining PowerInbox, Jeff served as President and CEO at Oversee.net, managing worldwide operations and building Oversee’s owned and operated portfolio of domain names into one of the world’s largest, establishing the company as the leader in Internet real estate.

Under his leadership, the company diversified into lead generation, building several high growth and high margin businesses. Before that, Kupietzky served in leadership positions with X1 Technologies, Digital Insight (Intuit), Siebel Systems (Oracle), and Loudcloud/Opsware (Hewlett-Packard).

Jeff began his career as a consultant for McKinsey & Co., developing business strategies for software, insurance and banking clients. A frequent speaker at Digital Media conferences, he has also been featured on CNN, CNBC, and in many news and business magazines. Jeff earned an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School and graduated Summa Cum Laude with B.A. in Economics from Columbia University.

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PowerInbox provides comprehensive, multichannel digital monetization solutions that help publishers and marketers drive new revenue with personalized subscriber engagement. Venture backed and profitable, PowerInbox supports 150 million unique users a month from more than 650 leading publishers including The Atlantic, Bonnier, Salem Web Network, Crains, HarperCollins, New York Magazine, Palm Beach Gazette and Seattle Times.

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