Serving creatives in an email or newsletter

Please note: this article is applicable to the legacy DART platform only. Also, ad serving to newsletters is not officially supported by DoubleClick.

The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only.

You can use DFP to serve creatives dynamically into HTML emails. DFP can't serve creatives into text emails because HTML code doesn't render in text emails. The standard way to dynamically insert ad creatives into HTML emails is with regular image ad tags embedded into the HTML code (only image creatives can be served). The recipient will need to view the message online to see a creative from DFP. If the recipient is offline while checking the email, the ad request isn't made.

You should avoid using JavaScript tags because most email applications will strip out any JavaScript contained within an HTML email. Some email applications might also strip frame code. For this reason, the majority of publishers make a business decision to use only standard GIFs or JPEG/JPGs to ensure effective delivery, unless the recipients' email application and the limitations of that environment are known. We recommend you use image tags, or the <a href=> <img src=> tag combination.

Because JavaScript is often stripped by email applications, instead of generating a random number at the end of the tag, one must be hard coded, such as ord=654321?. It's important that the ord= values for the <a href=> and <img src=> tags are exactly the same; otherwise, the ad doesn't click through properly.

Troubleshooting creatives served in email or newsletters

If the ads in your newsletters or email aren't serving or clicking through, it's possible the numeric key is not the same for the image and the clickthrough. Microsoft Outlook often scrambles the source of newsletters and email messages and relates the wrong clickthrough to an image source. The newsletter might work when saved to your desktop as HTML or sent through an HTML-based email provider like Gmail or Yahoo, but it doesn't work when sent through Outlook.

Try implementing the following solutions to all email messages and newsletters whenever you encounter an issue.

  • Use the variable dcove=r to link the correct clickthrough to the correct image. If dcove=r is set, the ad request ignores cookie information and instead uses the page where the request came from and the user's IP to ensure that the clickthrough will match the image in the ad request. You must insert dcove=r into the ad tag before the ord=value. The dcove=r variable has proven valuable to clients that have issues with ads clicking through to the wrong place, ads not clicking through, ads using the clickthrough URL of a different ad, or ads not showing at all.
  • If you are serving multiple ads to one ad slot, you should insert a true unique random number. The ord=value variable doesn't work when sent through Outlook. Many clients use dynamic insertion that will insert a random number for each email message before it is sent out. Another option is to pull the member ID of the user that receives the email. The member ID is basically going to work like a true unique random number. This way you will ensure that ads can rotate, instead of serving the same ad every time.

An example of a tag using the dcove=r variable:

<A HREF=";sz=728x90;dcove=r;ord=654321?" target="_top"><IMG SRC=";sz=728x90;dcove=r;ord=654321?" border=0 width="728" height="90"></A>

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