TextNow launches direct deals business with Google Ad Manager
Success Story

TextNow launches direct deals business with Google Ad Manager


Based across the United States and Canada, the TextNow team is on a mission to democratize phone service and provide everyone with an affordable way to communicate. The app caters to a diverse user base including those tired of paying big wireless bills, small business owners who need a second phone line, and people looking for a free – or close to free – way to stay connected with friends and family.

TextNow is able to offer their services free of charge thanks to their ad-supported monetization model. Recently, they chose to partner with Google Ad Manager for its ability to support the specific in-app experiences core to the team’s ad strategy. Following a successful migration from their previous ad platform, TextNow invested in further growth by building an internal sales team, creating new jobs, and upleveling their revenue strategy.

Customized options for a better value exchange

TextNow was seeking a flexible solution with innovative ad products, one that would make the value exchange model clear for its users. “The user brings their data to the table, and we believe they should benefit directly from it,” says Evan Thor, Director of Ad Monetization and Operations at TextNow. The team was drawn to the flexibility of Google Ad Manager, and the platform stood out as the natural choice to support the customized ad products TextNow was looking to build. “With Ad Manager, we’ve been able to allow advertisers to sponsor reduced ads in-app and offer premium feature previews – options that enable us to add more value and go far beyond just displaying relevant ads for users,” Thor says.

TextNow adopted Google Ad Manager for support across programmatic and direct-sold inventory. They then developed an internal strategy for building a direct deals business, diversifying revenue, and growing their first-party data to enable advanced targeting capabilities for advertisers.

Moving forward, faster

The flexibility of Google Ad Manager helped TextNow diversify its ad serving and decisioning technologies to reduce revenue risk. “The options that we have for our direct buyers and indirect demand partners are much broader today than they were before our migration, allowing us to move faster, capitalize on more opportunities, and grow,” says Thor. TextNow has also been able to better test, customize, and iterate on user experience by passing A/B test segment identifiers into Google Ad Manager, and have been gathering fresh insights on user behavior through deeper reporting and segmentation.

Despite 2022 being a challenging year for the ad industry, TextNow was well-equipped with the optimization tools and reporting capabilities to find and capitalize on revenue opportunities – consistently outperforming the market throughout the year. “Our partnership with Google allowed us to not only find revenue growth in 2022, but to be confident that we made the most of what was otherwise a difficult year,” says Thor. TextNow’s success with Google Ad Manager has enabled the creation of a multi-million dollar direct ad sales business, advancing the team’s revenue strategy for the future.

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