How to integrate Advanced Ads in MailPoet Newsletters

Newsletters are an easy way to stay in contact with your audience. They are by their nature addressed to a group of potentially interested people. Those recipients have usually subscribed with intention. They want to stay up to date and get relevant news and content regarding your business or other doings.

In short: your subscribers are a well-curated audience. Why not deliver relevant and meaningful ads within your newsletters to them? Why not generate additional revenue with your ads using the outreach of a newsletter?

MailPoet allows you to create newsletters inside of your WordPress dashboard. It natively supports Advanced Ads and lets you embed your ads with a shortcode.

This tutorial shows how to implement ads in your MailPoet-newsletters with Advanced Ads. You will learn how to set up your ads, use the shortcode, and track your ad statistics.

What is MailPoet?

MailPoet is a newsletter plugin for WordPress. As a comprehensive tool, Mailpoet brings you a versatile construction kit to build, manage, and send newsletters directly from your WordPress dashboard. The advantages for passionate WordPress users are apparent: you can do everything in the familiar workspace of your dashboard and don’t have to deal with another platform or different interfaces. You can embed Advanced Ads with a simple shortcode.

MailPoet plugin
MailPoet can be installed directly from your WordPress dashboard or downloaded from

Step by step: implementing an ad unit in MailPoet

We recommend generating new ad units for your newsletter instead of using existing ones that already run on your website. Using particular ad units keeps things clear and provides better insight into the statistics for your newsletter ads. Another reason is that your existing ads might have condition settings that make no sense within the configuration of a newsletter.

Using MailPoet and Advanced Ads together, you can choose from the following ad types:

  • Plain Text and Code
  • Rich Content
  • Image Ad

Creating ads for MailPoet

For our example, we will generate an image ad. We will pick its ID and use it in a custom shortcode to embed the ad unit into MailPoet.

  • Create a new ad unit: Advanced Ads > Ads > New Ad.
  • Select your ad type (in our example, “Image ad”).
  • Insert your ad content like you used to.
  • Since you will embed the ad unit in the newsletter with a shortcode, you don’t need to care about the Placement.
  • Publish your ad.
Setting up your ad for MailPoet
Setting up your ad for MailPoet

After saving/publishing your ad, you see the individual ID of your ad under the ad’s title line. Note down this ID. You will need it in combination with the custom shortcode in MailPoet.

Please note: the shortcode [the_ad id="ID"] shown there is for embedding ads in your posts or pages. MailPoet has its own shortcode [custom:ad:AD_ID]. You will get to know how to use it below.

Setting up your newsletter in MailPoet

After successfully setting up your ad, navigate to your MailPoet dashboard, and create a newsletter.

  • MailPoet > Emails > Add New > Newsletter > Create

MailPoet comes with a variety of responsive templates. After selecting one, you can adjust it by drag & drop. You can add, move, and delete elements like headlines, text blocks, images, spacers, dividers, or even posts from your WordPress. You can also choose a blank template and start from scratch.

MailPoet provides various templates, that can be customized via drag & drop
MailPoet provides various templates that you can customize via drag & drop

Using the shortcode for Advanced Ads in MailPoet

Drag and drop a text block into your newsletter to embed an ad.
Type the shortcode [custom:ad:AD_ID] into this text block and exchange the placeholder AD_ID with the ID of your ad.

Creating a newsletter with the MailPoet plugin
Drag and drop a text block into your newsletter template and type the shortcode [custom:ad:AD_ID] into it

You can also embed ad groups with the shortcode [custom:ad_group:GROUP_ID].

If you don’t know the group ID navigate to the ad group overview page of Advanced Ads: Advanced Ads > Groups & Rotation.

The ID of your ad group is shown in the ad group overiew
The ad group overview shows the ID of your ad group

While building your newsletter, you will see the embedded ad shortcode only, not the visible ad. To check how your ad unit will finally look in the newsletter, click on the preview dropdown on the right menu of MailPoet and choose View in browser. You can also send an email preview to any email address. Just type in your email and click Send preview.

MailPoet newsletter preview
Preview your MailPoet newsletter to see how your ad unit will finally look like

Statistics and tracking

The free version of MailPoet gives you a basic overview of your statistics. With percentage values, you can see how many subscribers have opened your newsletter and clicked on links within.

The premium plan provides detailed statistics with information about every individual link.

The premium version of MailPoet provides detailed statistics
The premium version of MailPoet provides detailed statistics about your newsletter

With the Tracking Ads add-on of Advanced Ads, you can also keep an eye on the statistics of your ads.

Please note: Advanced Ads cannot count the impressions of embedded newsletter ads. The reason is that your subscribers read emails in various environments on- and even offline. Ad impressions are not reliably trackable there. In fact, every time you preview your newsletter, your embedded ad shows up, and thus an ad impression is counted.

But don’t worry: click tracking of your newsletter ads is possible. You can see your ad stats in the graphs of the detailed statistics of each ad. The blue graph depicts the clicks, whereas the orange chart reflects your ad impressions.

ad stats graph
A basic example of the statistics in Advanced Ads

MailPoet warning about custom shortcodes

MailPoet might show a notice about custom shortcodes needing an update. You can close it when Advanced Ads is the only plugin you use that provides custom shortcodes since our code is fully compatible with their latest API.

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Issues and limitations

  • Display or Visitor Conditions for ads in Advanced Ads will not work in your emails.
  • JavaScript does not work in emails. Test and preview carefully which HTML works before you send emails because not all tags are supported by email clients either.
  • Advanced Ads does not track the ad impressions of ads that you embed into a newsletter. But the plugin tracks ad clicks. You can observe them at a glance in your statistics (Advanced Ads > Statistics) and in the stats section of the individual ad unit.
  • Services like show an alert if you include ads in your emails and click fraud protection is enabled. In this case, we recommend disabling the global click fraud protection and using the “Max. ad clicks” condition for ads you want to protect instead.

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