The Graveyard Of Email Newsletters? People Don't Always Read Them, Study Shows

Maybe we shouldn’t let you in on this, dear reader. But people don’t always read the email newsletters they subscribe to.

Instead, 55% scan the headlines before reading anything, and 20% read nothing at all, according to Survey: How Audiences View Content Marketing, a study by Blue Fountain Media.

Of course, 20% will read anything that comes in, they are so desperate for entertainment. But 12% say email newsletters are a nuisance. 

The reason for this disdain? It may be that 68% subscribe to newsletters just to get discounts and promotional offers — then they’re through. 

And contrary to what some CEOs believe, only 21% subscribe for information about the company, and a mere 12% to receive such content as recipes and tips. 

Obviously, we’re talking about brand newsletters, not the journalistic e-letters sent by outfits like Quartz, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Of the consumers polled, 65% subscribe to at least one newsletter, and some get up to nine. But 50% dislike receiving emails from the company. And less than 2% make purchasing decisions based on newsletter content.



Of course, this may be part of a broader problem — the fading luster of content marketing. 

Of those polled, 52% say content is too commercial — all sell, sell, sell — and 48% complain they have other reasons for disliking it: 

  • It’s too long — 21% 
  • It’s boring — 19%
  • It’ too basic — 8% 

Worse, yet, 32% say half-baked content leads them to question use of the product or service. But an equal percentage say it does not alter their feelings about the brand. 

Yet 10% say that bad content makes them want to tear their hair out. And 23% admit they don’t care a hoot about content.

This, too, may be tied to an even broader trend — that “consumers have grown cautious of blindly accepting online content as Gospel," the study continues. “Being transparent in your marketing campaigns would be seen as a plus.”

Of those surveyed, 65% are very concerned about whether the information they read online is true. But only 37% believe they can tell the deference between fake and real news.

Over 60% assume that political ads are biased and manipulative. 

Well, since we’ve trashed newsletters and content, we may as well let you in some of the positive findings.

One, the future is in pictures and video — 75% say this type of content drives them to action. And social is a big content medium — YouTube is deemed the most useful by people seeking content products and services, followed by Facebook and Instagram.

True believers never give up. At the bottom of this online report, Blue Fountain Media Invites you to sign up for their newsletter.


1 comment about "The Graveyard Of Email Newsletters? People Don't Always Read Them, Study Shows".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Peter Rosenwald from Consult Partners, August 15, 2019 at 9:17 a.m.

    Interesting data, Ray. And it has the ring of truth.

    However, let me take exception to the bland statement of the 'broader trend' — that “consumers have grown cautious of blindly accepting online content as Gospel'. 

    Of course, they have because just because content is delivered 'online' doesn't make it valuable. But our experience as a publisher of a number of newsletters delivered online, comes back to the verification of the old adage, that if you give them a better mousetrap, they will beat a path to your door. 

    Our problem as marketers is we all too often allow the 'marketing' to become more important than the non-marketing content and turn off customers who, satisfied with splendid content will be receptive to the marketing that supports it. 

Next story loading loading..