Expert: How a newsletter could change your business
Kristina: What is the current draw to newsletters?
Nick Dujnic, VP of Marketing, LiveIntent: Publishers and other players are flocking to email newsletters because of the versatility and value that the email address provided them.
For publishers, newsletters are highly engaged media. Consumers opt-in to receive it, and they make a conscious decision to open and read it. And while newsletters have always been highly effective at driving readers to a publisher’s webpage, they are discovering that the newsletter itself can generate high CPMs and incremental ad revenue. Why? Because the reader has logged-in using their email address. When readers are logged-in, advertisers know more about who is consuming the content, justifying a higher premium. This is, of course, also true on publisher websites. But while only a percentage of web audiences might be logged-in at any given time, email newsletter audiences are guaranteed to be logged-in.
Newsletters can also help increase subscription revenue. Publishers can leverage insights from who is engaging with their email content and at what frequency to inform dynamic paywalls. This allows the publisher to implement paywalls in a more targeted fashion, effectively increasing the number of paid subscribers without harming a casual reader’s experience.
These are examples of how an email program can provide value today, but for the industry at large, the real value of the email addresses is in bolstering their business for the future. As third-party cookies are slated to be phased out, everyone is looking for an Identity solution that will long outlast the death of the third-party cookies, and Publishers realize the email address will be at the crux of that solution.
Kristina: Is this renewed interest in the medium because of the pandemic?
Nick: As people socially distanced and isolated themselves over the last year, we did see email engagement increase. In fact, just in the first few weeks of COVID-19, LiveIntent’s platform saw a 5% increase in email opens. And that trend has continued. In a time of crisis, people want information theyknow is true, and they grew weary of untrustworthy user generated content that proliferates on social media. Email newsletters represent a 1:1 relationship with a trusted news source that they’ve chosen; not one that has been chosen for them by an algorithm.
But while the pandemic may have played a part in email’s resurgence, the email address will remain important even after we’re all vaccinated. That’s because publishers – and marketers, for that matter – now understand that it is central to the foundation of identity resolution. We recently ran a survey of small publishers and marketers asking about the future of marketing post-cookie and they designated the email address as the most significant asset that will solve for marketing in an identity-ruled future.
Kristina: With more businesses opening, with vaccines on the horizon, will newsletters be as important as in 2020?
Nick: Absolutely. Email and newsletters have always been the cornerstone of online commerce and CRM, and that’s not going to change. But it’s deeper than just the pandemic. Newsletters will become even more important as the deadline for third-party cookies phasing out draws closer.
Kristina: What are some takeaways from the growth in newsletter subscriptions over the past year?
Nick: Especially throughout the last year, consumers have ramped up their consumption of email, driving up subscriptions so they could access quality content, informational news updates, and helpful deals from brands they’ve built relationships with while they navigate this crisis. This year, the industry learned that the email inbox equates to trust. Moving forward, publishers need to own and continue to foster that trusted relationship, providing value to their subscribers.