Dallas Morning News, The Trade Desk, & Rakuten Advertising

Blending science and creative innovation to crush new subscriber goal.

Rakuten Advertising partnered with the Dallas Morning News and The Trade Desk to break the norm for traditional news media through the use of innovative RSS feed ads to crush new subscriber goals.


Increase in unique visitors


Increase in clicks in 3 months


Decline in CPA

About the Brand

The Dallas Morning News is a daily newspaper serving the Dallas–Fort Worth area of Texas, but its reach extends far beyond. It is among the country’s most respected news brands whose marketing efforts have been recognized as among the most effective in the news business. A big part of their marketing success has been bringing innovation to the digital channel.  

The Trade Desk is a technology company that empowers buyers of advertising. Through its self-service, cloud-based platform, ad buyers can create, manage, and optimize digital advertising campaigns across ad formats and devices. Integrations with major data, inventory, and publisher partners ensure maximum reach and decisioning capabilities, and enterprise APIs enable custom development on top of the platform. Headquartered in Ventura, CA, The Trade Desk has offices across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. 

The Story

Our teams were challenged to drastically increase new subscriber acquisition scale from the digital channel. We needed to move beyond the core geographic and demographic targeting that had driven DMN’s success to date. We wanted to do it in a more brand- and customer-focused way that led with content, not trial discounts. 

The Goal

Our goal for this partnership was to implement dynamic RSS feed ads against static ads to determine which creative drives a higher conversion rate and lower cost per acquisition. We sought to increase site subscriptions and conversion rates in retargeting and prospecting campaigns.  

The Strategy

We partnered with The Trade Desk to create a plan leveraging the power and timeliness of content to drive more site browsing, subscriptions, and lower CPAs. 

The Process

Our teams created individually targeted ads that were presented alongside real-time headlines to the intended prospects. The Trade Desk and DMN used pinpoint RSS feeds to populate the creative, focusing on what would grab the attention of the viewer. In addition, we extended the geographic reach of the DMN viewers outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro area.  

The Results

Results from our partnership far exceeded benchmarks from more traditional news advertising, and many of the new subscribers came from well outside the DFW and Texas geographic area.

Key Learnings

Breaking the boundaries of what is considered the “norm” can have stellar outcomes – expanding the geographic scope of the Dallas Morning News and the type of ad presented was a risky venture that paid off immensely.