More publishers pushing email

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Kristina: What trends are you watching in publisher email right now?
Kerel Cooper, SVP Global Marketing, LiveIntent: As publishers continue to lose ad revenue and audiences to platforms like Facebook and Google, they are shifting their focus to driving subscriptions and memberships. Subscriptions and memberships create predictable revenue and benefit off of the direct relationships they’ve built through their quality content. We’re seeing publishers start to think more like retailers. They aren’t just throwing up a paywall and hoping readers opt-in. They are using retargeting and email newsletters  to entice users into becoming a paid member, similar to how retailers market.
Kristina: Ownership of digital content seems to be firmly on publishers’ radar this year – what is pushing this change?
Kerel: Publishers are in the fight of their lives with the triopoly, and they are shoring up their futures by thinking more holistically about revenue. Ad sales revenue isn’t enough anymore. According to a survey from Reuters, more than half of respondents (52%) said subscriptions and membership will be their “main” revenue focus in 2019, as opposed to simple ad dollars. This means publishers need control of where and how they monetize their content which is a shift in how publishers have been operating. Over the years, publishers have given so much of their inventory over to Facebook, and and the Publishers haven’t gotten back as much as they’ve given. Facebook gets revenue from user engagement, and the publisher doesn’t own or control distribution.
Kristina: And more are turning to email to regain control and distribution of their content?
Kerel: We’re witnessing the renaissance of email for publishers as a response to realizing they’ve been taken advantage of by the walled gardens. With email, Publishers have a logged-in channel that they own. Email is a logged-in environment that’s virtually fraud-free. Email represents a direct relationship with the consumer, detached from the platform intermediaries that have stolen so much of their revenue and their attribution. Email is impervious to subtle shifts in an algorithm that forces a publisher to buy the right to reach people (as opposed to just owning the relationship with people who have requested it.) The email address itself represents an identifier that works seamlessly across devices and sits at the center of the Identity conundrum, increasingly important as marketers see the decline of their reliance on the cookie due to ITP 2.0 and other factors. The point is: the email newsletter represents one of the last great hopes for fighting back against the walled gardens.
Kristina: How difficult will it be to entice users away from their favorite social network, at least in terms of content?
Kerel: The beauty of email is, contrary to popular belief, it’s still a channel where people spend over 5 hours a day, and it’s the preferred channel for people to hear from brands.  Email doesn’t need to siphon off users, the users are already there. If publishers deliver personalized content that provides a value-add to their users, then they will be successful.
Kristina: What can brands and marketers do to increase the value of email for their customers?
Kerel: The key to increasing the value is personalizing the content using audience insights. Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10% and personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates.



Kristina Knight-1
Kristina Knight, Journalist , BA
Content Writer & Editor
Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.