PoolHost, an online office pool and sports site, was looking to monetize their traffic on cookieless browsers like Safari. Ready for a new and exciting opportunity, they partnered with Epsilon to pilot our publisher identity solution, Publisher Link. But the initiative had to start somewhere. Here's how Epsilon and PoolHost worked together to create a dynamic solution that increased overall ad fill rate, impression count and earnings.
Identifying pain points
PoolHost is a publisher offering sports games and content. And while other providers in this space are pay-to-play, PoolHost is free, which means that much of their ability to earn revenue comes through their own website ad revenue. So, a key goal for them was to find advertising units that would monetize well in their content and render with a user-friendly experience, particularly on mobile, amongst the site’s many tables and statistics. And to do it in a world of third-party identifier deprecation (cookies, MAIDs and more)—making it more difficult to find the intended audience.
Larry Lubman, CEO of PoolHost, explains, “We were trying for a balance between offering a clean user interface to retain users, and increasing ad revenue through a better fill rate and higher CPMs.” What’s more, they were scrambling to implement a new monetization strategy to meet seasonal NFL traffic (a period of high traffic). With only two weeks left in the season, they were worried they’d miss out on one of their biggest annual monetization opportunities.
“With a solution like this, you can find a balance between maintaining privacy and being able to monetize your audience through anonymous identification.”
- Larry Lubman, Chief Executive Officer, PoolHost
A custom-built solution
Epsilon partnered with PoolHost and implemented our new publisher identity solution, Publisher Link, to help address their monetization challenges. We assisted in the integration of publisher identity suite tags directly on PoolHost’s site getting up and running in less than a week.
Publisher Link is Epsilon’s second level of publisher identity designed for websites with authenticated traffic—meaning it is only suitable for publishers who have authentication/registration in place for users. When implemented, it ties user authenticated traffic from a site and links it to Epsilon’s people-based ID, CORE ID, using hashed email addresses or other login identifiers, along with the unique user ID assigned from Publisher Common ID (the preferred open-source ID foundation of Epsilon’s publisher identity).
Using Core ID “typically involves complete tagging of their properties and a live data feed of transactions, both online and offline. When you have that level of identity tied back to real-time transactions, that creates instant demand,” Epsilon Chief Media Officer Chad Peplinkski said. “That’s why day one has such lift.”
With this connection to CORE ID, we connect publishers' inventory with advertisers who want to reach certain site visitors, even without third-party cookies. More filled ad space translates into more revenue opportunities for publishers. The authenticated aspect of Publisher Link results in even more accurate identity, and therefore a greater increase in publisher performance. When describing Publisher Link, Larry says, “With a solution like this, you can find a balance between maintaining privacy and being able to monetize your audience through anonymous identification.”
Once integrated and activated, the solutions begin working immediately. In just a couple days, Publisher Link picked up nearly three of four impressions across the entire site. Fill rate increased 460% on PoolHost, and Epsilon purchased previously unfilled impressions at a competitive rate. It bought 73% of the impressions on the site, comprising 66% of total earnings. And the majority of the incremental lift came from impressions served on the Safari browser, where the lack of cookies makes audience targeting tough. The identity-based nature of our solution allowed PoolHost make its advertising more valuable—without increasing ad load.
“In partnering with Epsilon, everything was verified very quickly,” Lubman said of the experience. “We were able to see a boost within our first two weeks and the numbers exceeded our expectations.”