What is Grow.me?

person in denim shirt using grow.me on an ipad in a cafe

We get a lot of questions about Grow.me, so we thought we’d put all our answers in one place, starting with the basics:

What Even is Grow.me?

Grow.me is Mediavine’s user engagement suite. 

The product’s goal is enhancing websites with better user experiences by encouraging audiences to engage and log in.

By logging in, readers consent to receive personalized, higher-performing ads through the collection of first-party data.

grow logo

What is First-Party Data / Authenticated Traffic?

First-party data refers to data publishers provide to advertisers themselves rather than data provided by a third party. Grow.me lets independent content creators collect first-party data by encouraging users to log in. Logged in users are known as authenticated traffic. That traffic earns the most ad revenue.

Read more about first-party data.

Who Can Run Grow.me?

During the initial beta phase, Grow.me is only available to Mediavine Ad Management clients. Soon it will be available to any and all content creators!

How Do I Enable Grow.me?

Mediavine publishers can enable Grow.me right in their Mediavine Dashboard with one toggle under Settings > Grow. There’s nothing to install. 

After you enable the setting, Grow.me is automatically loaded through the Script Wrapper and all configuration can be done directly in the Mediavine Dashboard!

Do I Need to Run Grow.me?

Grow.me is completely optional for Mediavine publishers.

We’re taking a wide-ranging and multifaceted approach to the changing programmatic ecosystem (the end of third-party cookies in Chrome), from adopting Privacy Sandbox features like FLoC, pioneering contextual and, of course, first-party data. 

You can use our solution — Grow.me — collect your own first-party data with the Identity API, run other solutions that work with our API like our new integration with Slickstream or do nothing at all.

infographic explaining how grow.me works with hundreds of sites to collect first party data

Why Should I Run Grow.me Now While Third-Party Cookies Are Still Around?

First of all, you will make more money today.

Third-party cookies are already a thing of the past in Safari on Mac and iOS devices, and authenticated traffic is already worth more. On Chrome, even with third-party cookies still around (for now), first-party data has always been considered more reliable, so you’ll see a revenue boost from it.

More importantly, building up an audience of registered users is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. The sooner you start, the more prepared you’ll be for the eventual end of third-party cookies in Chrome.

Large publications have been doing this for years; Grow.me is all about providing those same tools to publishers of all sizes. 

Does Grow.me Require Grow Social?

Grow.me does NOT require our social sharing WordPress plugins, Grow Social or Grow Social Pro. However, if you’re running one of them (the free or paid version), Grow.me offers some pretty cool integrations, including pulling your share counts!

Does Grow.me Require WordPress?

Nope! Much like Mediavine ads, Grow.me works on any CMS including Blogger, SquareSpace and more. Any integrations with our WordPress plugins like Create, Trellis and Grow Social Pro are totally optional and designed only to enhance Grow.me.

How Much Does Grow.me Cost?

For Mediavine publishers, all current features of Grow.me are free.

Accessing some features found only in Grow Social Pro requires a paid license for Grow Social Pro and future Grow.me features may require similar costs as well. We are still working on pricing for non-Mediavine publishers.

Will Grow.me Slow Down My Site?

No. Come on. What company created this?

Seriously, it’s optimized with pagespeed and Core Web Vitals as the highest priority, just like everything we build at Mediavine.

Is There a Dashboard? How Do I Track Success?

Right now, you can track how users engage with Grow.me features via Google Analytics events and traffic sources. We’ve set up the following Google Analytics template to help.

(How to install the template: login to your Google Analytics accounts in another tab or window in this browser – you’ll need to do this on desktop – and then return here and click the link above. You’ll be prompted to add the Dashboard to a view in your GA account (see screenshot below). From there, you can access your Grow.me data under Customization > Dashboard.) 

screenshot of adding grow.me google analytics dashboard
screenshot of the google analytics grow.me dashboard

We will be adding a way to measure authenticated traffic through Grow.me and Identity API in the Mediavine Dashboard in the future, as well as a dedicated Grow.me Dashboard.

How Do I Encourage Readers to Sign In to Grow.me?

Great question! The key with any user engagement suite is that you can’t expect results if you “set it and forget it.” You need to encourage readers to engage actively and often.

This will become more important for Grow.me users as we continue introducing new features. For now, please keep providing feedback on our existing features and sharing ideas for what you’d like to see on the roadmap.

With that in mind, let’s talk about the tools Grow.me offers and how they can help you convince readers to sign in. 

(Note: Please keep in mind this is only the beginning of Grow.me tools to entice your readers to engage. More features are coming soon! That’s part of the reason we released Grow.me in open beta so early: We need the help of our publishers to guide the roadmap. You know your readers and what will encourage them best.)

screenshot of the login for grow.me

What Are the Current Grow.me Features?

Favorites

Readers are able to save their favorite pages and easily access their bookmarks across all Grow.me sites, all from a single login. If a reader is logged out and tries to save a favorite, they are given a nudge to create an account or log in to store that bookmark. 

This is one of the top drivers of sign-ups today.

screenshot of the sharing options on mediavine's grow.me widget.

Social Shares

Readers can share their favorite content right from the floating Grow icon — including direct to Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter — without slowing down your site with third-party scripts. 

Plus, if you’re running Grow Social Pro, it can pull in all your social counts and combine them with favorite counts.

If you have enabled this feature, your readers will find a search button when clicking on the Grow.me widget. You can also email in to grow.me@mediavine.com to have us integrate directly with your native search bars and buttons. Search will encourage readers to log in to receive personalized search results.

screenshot of the grow.me's recommended content widget.

Grow.me shows readers Recommended Content in the form of three widgets: in-line, header carousel and sidebar.

Opt in to one or more of the three and machine learning will help increase your traffic, as well as your session duration, by sizable margins.

Note that you can now exclude specific pages from appearing as Recommended Content, such as your About page, author bio pages and other administrative information pages. 

Recommended Content will encourage readers to log in to receive their personalized recommendations.

For a numbers breakdown on the awesomeness of Recommended Content, check out this piece on how Grow.me is helping The Hollywood Gossip earn more now, even before third-party cookies disappear.

We highly recommend enabling at least the in-line widget. Results from blogger testing have been very positive!

Subscribe and the Spotlight Widget

Subscribe lets you build your mailing list while encouraging readers to sign up for Grow.me and consent to personalized ads.

You have two easy options for moving your subscribers from your Mediavine Dashboard to your ESP: (1) a downloadable file that’s ready to be imported into your subscriber list at your ESP; and, (2) our new integration with Zapier that automatically adds subscribers obtained through the widget to your ESP.

The Spotlight Subscribe widget is an in-content call to action with conversion rates nearly three times as high as traditional methods.

Subscribe and the Spotlight widget are available now via a toggle in the Mediavine Dashboard.

animation of the spotlight subscribe widget on a website using grow.me

Save Recipe in Create / WPRM 

With a simple toggle in the Mediavine Dashboard, you can add a “Save Recipe” button to your recipe and how-to cards, generating up to 200% more favorites and sign-ups. WP Recipe Maker users can now do the same directly in their template editor! 

Like favorites, users are given a CTA (call to action) to sign-up after they save, leading to an impressive number of sign-ups.

screenshot of grow.me save button in a recipe card using mediavine create.

What Tools are Coming Next?

The next round of tools we have planned are designed to be a little more aggressive in encouraging readers to sign up, with the goal of 5-10% authenticated traffic from Grow.me in 2021.

Grow Social and Create CTAs

Looking for other spots to encourage your audience to save your posts and log in to Grow.me? Don’t worry; we’re bringing additional calls to action and features to both Grow Social Pro and Create that help explain what Grow.me is and encourage readers to engage.

Downloadables

Publishers who offer digital cookbooks, printables, patterns or similar downloadables will have the ability to require readers to subscribe to a newsletter and sign up for Grow.me in order to access your downloads. Imagine the increase for both your newsletter and your RPM!

Exclusive Content

You’ll be able to mark certain sections of your content as available only to readers who have signed up for Grow.me and your mailing list with our new Exclusive Content feature. 

The appeal is obvious: Reward your most loyal readers with exclusive content and more will consider signing up as a result.

Follow / Notifications / Feed / Digests

In addition to subscribing to your newsletters, readers will be able to follow you on Grow.me as well. In the future, your followers can opt in to digest emails or follow you in their Grow.me feed.

Grow.me Ads

Was all of that for free not appealing enough? How about if Grow.me starts to pay you? 

Soon you’ll be able to opt in to new, exclusive Grow.me native ad placements that will blend right in with Grow.me features.

What Do I Do Now?

If you’re with us for Mediavine Ad Management, please consider running to visiting your Dashboard and enabling Grow.me today.

It’s free. You’ll earn more ad revenue immediately. You’ll begin building authenticated traffic ahead of the end of third-party cookies in Chrome.

Plus, we need your feedback to guide the Grow.me roadmap.

If you’ve tried it and it doesn’t work for your site? Tell us why by emailing us at grow.me@mediavine.com. We want to make this product work well for as many content creators as we can, which can’t happen without your feedback.

If you’d rather go with a different solution for collecting first-party data, we still recommend starting now. Whether we like it or not, third-party cookies are crumbling in programmatic advertising. Our goal is to help content creators continue with their sustainable businesses in a privacy-centric, cookieless open web.

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