Email ad requests

Last updated on March 20, 2017

Serving ads in HTML-based email messages and newsletters is unique because most email clients only support static image tags and do not reliably support the following:

To support ad serving in this unique environment, OpenX:

Email image ad tags are very similar to web image ad tags except for the following:

To implement email ads in OpenX

  1. Use your email vendor's tools to create an HTML-based message including areas where you plan to show ads. Plain-text messages do not support dynamic ad serving.

  2. Classify your email ad space in OpenX, which includes defining ad units as email inventoryAd space available on a website or app. The basic unit of inventory for OpenX is an ad unit. and setting targetable attributes. For example, if you have three places in your message where you want to show ads, define an Email Banner ad unit for each one.

  3. Implement each email ad tag with the appropriate parameter in the message source code between <body> tags in the locations where you want ads to display.

    Important: Do not simply copy and paste an email ad tag without setting parameters for it. You must configure a unique cs parameter value for each email banner ad unit and for each recipient.

  4. Send the message to your recipients.

  5. When an end-user opens the message, their email client renders the HTML and sends an ad requestCommunication from a web browser or app to an ad server to display an ad. to OpenX to load images.

  6. OpenX performs ad selection and serves the appropriate ad.

  7. OpenX stores the relevant transaction information using the value of the cs parameter in the ad request to facilitate potential clicks.

  8. When the end-user clicks on the ad in the message, OpenX uses the cs parameter in the click URL to access the relevant transaction information from the request.

  9. The user is directed to the appropriate landing page and the click is attributed to the appropriate ad.

Sample email ad tag implementation


			<i>Some content here</i>

			<i>Ad goes here</i>

			<a href="http://delivery_server_domain/e/1.0
			<img src="http://delivery_server_domain/e/1.0
			border="0" alt=""></a>

			<i>Some other content here</i>

			<i>Another ad goes here</i>

			<a href="http://delivery_server_domain/e/1.0
			<img src="http://delivery_server_domain/e/1.0
			border="0" alt=""></a>


Each email ad tag contains the following:

  • Click URL. A URL used to track clicks and redirect the user to the appropriate landing page

    For example: <a href="http://delivery_server_domain/e/1.0/rc?cs=4cbf34e0354e7 target="_blank">


    • /e. The email delivery medium

    • /1.0. Version 1.0 of the OpenX ad serving protocol.

    • /rc. The record click action for click tracking

    • ?. Separates the click URL from ad request parameters

    • cs. Specifies a unique identifier, which ties together the click request and the ad request

  • Ad request URL. References the email banner ad unit for which to serve an ad when the end-user opens the message

    For example: <img src="http://delivery_server_domain/e/1.0/ai?auid=8&cs=4cbf34e0354e7 border="0" alt=""></a>


    • /ai. A request to serve an ad through an image tag

    • auid. The ad unit ID

    • Ampersand (&). Separates each parameter

  • Ad request parameters (optional). Provide additional information to OpenX Ad ServerA complete digital advertising platform where publishers sell, manage, and deliver their advertising inventory across all digital formats.. For example, you may want to include the xid parameter to assign your own unique ID for each user to which you send the email message. You can also include custom variables in your email ad tags, such as message content or version.