Food & Drink focused email newsletters enjoy most programmatic revenue with 60% YOY growth

Newsletters focused on automotive and education show fastest growth

New York, NY, June 17, 2021 — LiveIntent, the people-based marketing platform powered by the email address which connects 2,500 publishing and advertising brands with over 250MM logged-in users every month, today released a study examining the types of newsletters that benefited most from the programmatic demand seen this year as publishers lean into email like never before.

Traditionally, revenue from email newsletters comes via Direct Sold campaigns, in which a publisher works directly with an advertiser on a campaign. However, as readers flock to email, so too have programmatic dollars.

“Our email revenue has not only experienced strong growth in recent times, the nature of it has as well,” said Peter Chang, CRO of Likemind, an email and web Publisher whose focus on learning has found a devoted audience. “Email revenue has traditionally been driven primarily by 1:1 relationships with advertisers and will continue to be a primary focus for us. However, as advertisers have leaned into their CRM databases, we have seen an increase in email revenue driven by programmatic buys as part of larger campaigns by smart advertisers who understand performance and measurement.”

LiveIntent’s study found that newsletters that focused on Food & Drink had the largest gross revenue of any type of newsletter, which saw 60% YoY growth, followed closely by newsletters devoted to Arts & Entertainment coverage which grew 4.42% YoY. As more market dollars were devoted this past year to direct to consumer (DTC) goods, it stands to reason that programmatic dollars went to inventory that covered Food & Drink, since much of the DTC market was focused on people living their lives at home in a pandemic world. Similarly, in the shadow of the streaming wars, programmatic dollars directed to inventory that covers Arts & Entertainment also is a logical step.

The two biggest growers were Automotive and Education. Automotive newsletters’ programmatic revenue grew over 105% from the previous year. This tracks with the national demand for cars as the pandemic hampered the adoption of public transportation. Similarly, newsletters devoted to education have grown their programmatic revenue over 75% from last year, itself a reflection of the viewership coming from this content as parents struggle with full time care and school closures.

“It’s no surprise that Publishers are reaping the rewards of programmatic spend, and this is just the beginning,” said LiveIntent CMO Kerel Cooper. “Advertisers want campaigns that are measurable, targetable, and have incremental reach outside of the walled gardens. That is the email newsletter ecosystem to a tee. Of course programmatic dollars have fled to it. As the third-party cookie apocalypse makes logged-in and measurable targeting more scarce, the value of ads in email will only continue to rise.”