Motley Fool Global drives more subscriptions with text ads powered by first-party data

The Motley Fool’s promotions fit seamlessly into their articles and use past behavior for targeting

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What Motley Fool Global Wanted

Motley Fool Global is The Motley Fool’s international arm, overseeing a portfolio of sites that offer stock news, education, guidance, and more. In order to drive more paid subscriptions, their marketing team placed in-article, context-based promotions that upsold other offerings.

They realized, however, that to truly optimize these internal promotions they needed to incorporate first-party data, such as what content the user had previously interacted with.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t find a traditional ad server that suited their needs, and building this functionality from scratch didn’t make sense, as their engineering team didn’t have ad tech experience.

So Motley Fool turned to Kevel’s ad APIs to build a platform that could serve these promotions using first-party data. With one engineer they launched this product in just a few weeks. By targeting these internal ads with user-level data, Motley Fool has increased the rate by which readers turn into paying customers.

motley fool native ad

The Motley Fool’s ads blend in and upsell other internal content and subscriptions

Their text-based promotions appear as sections at the end of articles and include a headline, some text, and a call-to-action. When users click anywhere within the ad, they are taken to a custom page promoting a paid offer or special content.

While these text sections look hardcoded to the article, they are dynamically inserted upon page load and are personalized to the user.

"We built our ad serving platform with one engineer in a matter of weeks. There’s no question Kevel’s APIs saved us months of dev time."

– Mark Kennedy, Global Tech and Operations Lead

Motley Fool uses first-party data to drive higher engagement rates

User-level targeting is effective. Someone who has previously engaged with dividend stock content is more likely to click on a dividend stock ad.

To incorporate this data, The Motley Fool connected their Customer Data Platform (CDP) with Kevel’s data management platform, UserDB, allowing them to target users using their CDP's segments.

"With Kevel we easily connected our CDP to their data management platform, making it possible to incorporate first-party data in every ad decision."

– Mark Kennedy, Global Tech and Operations Lead

request and response

Custom integration ensures fast load times and privacy law compliance

The Motley Fool’s integration requires no cookies or third-party tags, and Kevel receives only the data The Motley Fool chooses to send (helping with GDPR compliance).

Additionally, these ad units are fully white-labeled and have response times less than 50ms, so the ads won’t slow down users’ browsing experiences.

campaign settings

Automation makes The Motley Fool’s work easier

With Kevel’s UI and Management APIs, The Motley Fool can easily set up campaigns and manage their native text ads. This automation ensures that the team can focus on improving their core platform — instead of spending time manually rotating in these promotions.

"Since we are international, GDPR compliance is paramount. It was vital we found a partner that was API-first and already had privacy protocols in place. Kevel fit the bill for both requirements."

– Mark Kennedy, Global Tech and Operations Lead

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