Email newsletters may deliver high ROI, but they’re not a popular content form — especially when people are asked to pay for them, according to The State of Email Newsletters: 2021 And Beyond, a study by the What If Media Group.
A staggering 84.1% of consumers are unwilling to pay for newsletters, even if the content is the kind they like the most.
Indeed, 79.6% would rather access ad-supported content for free than pay for ad-free content.
Media giants like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times can get away with charging for content.
But “the subscription-based model opportunity for smaller publishers is practically non-existent,” the study observes.
Not that people want even free email newsletters cramming their inboxes.
In general, 52.7% subscribe to no email newsletters at all, either for news or entertainment. Only 19.4% subscribe to two or three newsletters, while 14.7% subscribe to one, 7.5% to five or more and 5.7% to four or five.
Of the people are willing to pay, 71.5% would cough up to $10, 14.6% from $11 to $15 and 14.4% more than $15.
It may be that newsletter advertisers have to do a better job.
Only 13.1% say email newsletter ads are very relevant. And 32.4% feel they are somewhat relevant On the other side, 17.3% say the ads they see are somewhat irrelevant and 11% say they are very irrelevant. And 26% don’t even notice newsletter ads.
“That leaves a majority of respondents — 54.5% — either oblivious or actively repelled by the ads they see,” the study says.
Moreover, 43.7% say email newsletters do not influence their shopping decisions.
On the brighter, side, 45.6% say they’re some whatever influential, and 12.8% feel they’re very much so. Add it up, and “56.4% felt their email newsletter ads were very or somewhat influential on their shopping decisions.”
What If Media Group surveyed 9,313 U.S. consumers in December 2020.