Commentary

Email Remains 'Killer App' To Boost Reader Revenue For Publishers

Email has been around since the beginning of the internet, and has endured as the "killer app" publishers must continually develop as part of their monetization strategies.

After reading a recent report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism that discussed how publishers are prioritizing subscription revenuethis year, I started asking sources for more information about those strategies.

Publishers have learned they can't be dependent on social networks like Facebook or search engines like Google for web traffic. The companies can adjust their algorithms with little warning, disrupting how audiences find online content.

To better control of their digital destinies, publishers need to connect directly with readers and email is one of the best ways to do that.

Almost everyone has an email address for work or personal use, and often times, an email address is necessary to set up social-media accounts or gain access to other online services.

"You can't really do anything without an email account," Kerel Cooper, senior vice president at LiveIntent, an email marketing platform, said in an interview. Before joining LiveIntent, he held senior jobs at Advance Digital, a unit of Advance Publications.

We recently discussed how email provides unmatched capabilities for publishers to engage audiences while delivering eyeballs to their sponsors. Email can be personalized with custom content, while also delivering ads at specific dayparts and to targeted geographies.

Those features boost the likelihood that ad impressions are more relevant to readers.

No one wants to have their email inbox inundated with spam. However, readers who share their email addresses with a publisher are indicating their receptivity to certain kinds of communications, including a mix of editorial content and sponsorship messages, making email a key part of any revenue strategy.

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