Six months on from Hotmail's rebirth as Outlook.com, Mi9 has plugged advertisers back into New Zealand's 1 million Kiwi email account holders.
But it's no advertising free-for-all, with only approved advertisers granted access to a new advertising unit, called versaTiles, which presents just one advertiser at a time.
Mi9 New Zealand commercial director Dan Robertson said the launch of Outlook.com was a worldwide hit with consumers, with 225 million account sign-ups since its international relaunch in February.
"A slew of new features created a buzz. But what's less known is that there's 60 per cent less advertising than there was in Hotmail. There's a drive to deliver cleaner experiencers to account holders, but also offer advertisers exclusivity on the page to make a bigger impression than our broad reach competitors," said Robertson.
He said the new ad unit, launched last month in New Zealand, uses flexible tile strips to present images and fly-outs for creative expansion and rich media.
"There's real scope and depth, but sufficient restraint to ensure advertising presented in Outlook.com doesn't detract from the email experience. It's valuable surface area for advertisers and presented in places that people expect to see commercial content," said Robertson.
He said Outlook advertising could be targeted according to web browsing behaviour and in conjunction with other targeting, such as content, geography, gender, and other demographics. Initial campaign results have seen click through rates soar, with the average sitting at 0.15% plus.
"Email is critical territory. Inboxes are irresistible," said Robertson. "Outlook.com is a ubiquitous platform and a premium advertising space that reaches people who are highly engaged in a social setting."