Verizon launches View Time Optimization (VTO)

Verizon Media recently launched a new feature for email marketers called ‘View time optimization’. You can consider it as the next step of Send time optimization. In STO CRM system suggest you when to send an email based on previous opens/clicks data by time. Similarly in VTO Verizon suggest when your users come online so that your email will be on top of the user’s inbox.

However, this works only for Verizon group emails meaning only to AOL, Yahoo.

According to Verizon product director Marcel Becker, the new feature replaces the existing “Send Time Optimization”. That has been tracking Verizon customers’ behavior to understand when they open their email. “The goal of which is to increase the chance that our mutual customers will discover and engage with that email in the ever-growing and an overwhelming stream of information available to them,” he says.

“We believe that tracking our customers is wrong. But we also believe in the idea that they should be able to discover what is the most relevant to them,” Becker added.

So Verizon created “View Time Optimization”.

According to Becker, the new feature takes the guesswork out of “Send Time Optimization”. It allows Verizon to deliver an email when users are actively engaging with their inbox.

Verizon’s version of this, however, logs when people open their AOL or Yahoo email client, so the ad can then go out “when users are actively engaging with their inbox” to take “the guesswork out of Send Time Optimization.”

If it shows up right then, apparently, the data shows someone is more likely to open the message. According to Verizon, the company isn’t allowing advertisers to track you directly; instead, when a user logs in to their email account, it notifies Verizon servers and the View Time Optimization tool automatically sends out the ad the client has already set up ahead of time. Of course, this isn’t just for companies that want to send you promotions or to try and get you to buy stuff (aka ads). This tool it seems is also useful for any company sending out an email, like newsletter providers, political campaigns, and media organizations. Verizon also says tracking pixels and other invasive ad tech are now against its terms of service, so you presumably wouldn’t be able to employ invasive ad tech and also get access to something like View Time Optimization.

It ensures emails appear close to the top of the inbox and thus it’s improving the sender’s open rates, click-through rates, and overall ROI of their email marketing campaign. Email senders who have used VTO with their email campaigns saw increases in opens by 4x and click by 2x,” Becker added.

But it also allows Verison to cut down on the email noise and reduce non-relevant emails.

Amazingly, although Becker is acknowledged that tracking is wrong, at the same time he admitted that the value Verizon provides to the advertisers that pay it to use these tools is greater than the potential privacy implications.

It is not a secret that almost email clients on the market, including Gmail and other popular services, aggressively tracks its users, collects and stores their data, and then sells access to the inbox and the contents of people’s messages to advertisers. That’s because these products are, by and large, free.

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