Once seen as a poor cousin of SMS marketing or a cheap alternative for spamming, 2014 has been the year of reckoning for the email marketing channel in India.

But it really hasn’t been an effective way to deliver dynamic real-time ads that can serve up impressions to advertisers and bring in revenue for publishers. But Pyxel Online, a Noida-based startup, is poised to change all that with a real-time ad serving technology for email.

Introducing Pyxel AdEx, an ad exchange platform for email newsletters. The AdEx platform will allow publishers to monetise newsletters in a way that they haven’t done before.

It’s a self-serve tool that allows companies that send out email newsletters, notifications and other communications to place ads served up in real time like display ads. They can now manage their email ad inventory in much the same way they handle display advertising, deciding whether to run in-house ads for marketing purposes or third-party ads to drive revenue.

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The challenge majorly was tracking the impressions and clicks, and also making sure ads don’t effect your newsletter in a way that it gets marked as spam.

Pyxel has overcome some of these barriers of advertising in emails, which don’t support iframes, JavaScript, Flash and cookies consistently, that had prevented the kind of ad serving that brings fresh and targeted ads. Pyxel can now serve up ads based on the context of when the email is opened. That means an ad can reflect the time of day and other cues and remains fresh no matter when it’s opened. A publisher drops live tags into their email newsletters and notifications that provide information about the recipient include age range, income, geography and what kind of device the email is being viewed on.

Industry Impact

Publishers can now achieve total sell-through of their email ad inventory, something that was extremely hard to do before. And they can fetch higher CPMs than if they tried to place ads themselves. If they want to control their own ads, they can do so themselves or they can tap into Pyxel’s real-time premium ad exchange, which allows advertisers to bid on these impressions.

The best part is that anybody can be a publisher – even if you are a blogger with just 500 subscribers or an ecommerce giant with a following of over 10 million people.

Small publishers & content driven organizations are the best targets for publishers. Essentially anyone in the field of news, ecommerce, content or media can become a publisher, as long as your subscribers are opt in and you are engaging with your audience on a regular basis.

Traditionally advertisers sent out third party campaigns which saw abominable open rates and low click through rates. Newsletters on the other hand have the highest open rates in the industry. The difference is staggering — average 2-5 % open rates on opt-in data on third party campaign where as for newsletter the open rates remain between 15-20%.

For advertisers, they can now effectively target specific email audiences over different times of the day with dynamic and rich media ads that can be spread out over many publishers. It can simplify the work for advertising operations employees and provide them with reach with many premium publishers as well.

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Market Size & Potential

Today a total of over 4.5 billion emails are sent daily in India alone, worldwide this number jumps to a whooping 145 billion mails daily. The question that many marketers and publishers are asking now is how can they monetise their newsletters.

Of this, 80% of the total emails sent are promotional mailers or newsletters while rest are personal communication or business emails. Ecommerce makes up for 72% of total promotional emails sent.

Targeted ads unit costs can go for around Rs.40-180 CPM making this a $15 Billion market. 


Pyxel is an integrated agency delivering complete digital marketing solutions with a 360 degree approach. It has offices in Gurgaon, Noida, London, Dubai and Florida. It provides a suite of products and services in the field of digital marketing and already has a full fledged email marketing platform and a number of well known brands as it’s clients.

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