Study: Newsletter Readers Want Push Notifications For Breaking News

Email newsletter readers are increasingly open to messages in other channels — provided they trust the publisher, according to 2121 Digital Publishing Industry Report, a study from Powerinbox, conducted by Mantis Research. 

For instance, 53% of subscribers now want push notifications for breaking news, up from 27% in the prior year’s survey. Moreover, 47% will accept personalized ads in push notifications, compared with 19% in the previous year. 

And trust is growing: 53% now say it is the main factor that drives them to read email newsletters, versus 45% in the last survey.  

Readers are so barraged by fake news they are “more desperate than ever for reliable sources of news and information they can trust,” the study explains.   

Mantis Research surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers in November 2020 in the third annual survey of this type.  



Readers assessing these results should remember that Powerinbox provides ad/monetization services for newsletter publishers. Last year, it acquired Jeeng, a notification platform, adding push technology to its arsenal. 

In another finding, 71% are more likely to click on an ad in an email newsletter if they trust the sender, up from 69% in the prior year’s study. Plus, 70% will click on an ad on a website they trust. 

In addition, 49%, trust will also entice them to subscribe to text messages, and 45% to WhatsApp or FB Messenger. 

However, there has been a slight drop in the percentage of readers who will accept ads in newsletters if it means they get content for free instead of facing paywalls — from 82% last year to 78% in in 2021.  

But 48% say ads in newsletters don’t bother them, versus 41% in the prior year.   

Prior to the pandemic, Powerinbox CEO Jeff Kupietzky said paywalls “work for The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post, but the bulk of the publisher community is not able to convince end users to pay them to offset the cost of their curation.” 

“Publishers have an opportunity to engage audiences more, but it has to be done in a way that serves subscribers' needs,” adds Kupietzky. “Precise personalization is absolutely critical, and publishers must implement automated tools to deliver exactly the content subscribers want at scale in order to maintain trust and engagement." 

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