Why email is key for publishers during COVID-19

Over the last month, publishers have had to rethink their content strategies as people’s interests and values have changed due to COVID-19.

Yes, traffic has increased, but publishers are having trouble monetizing that traffic. Advertisers are pulling their spend because they don’t want to be associated with COVID-19 content. And publishers know they have to tread carefully and provide relevant, timely during this unprecedented time.

That’s where email comes in.

In the first Real Time Banter webinar, LiveIntent’s SVP of global marketing Kerel Cooper and VP of marketing Nick Dujnic discussed why email is an important tool for publishers to reach audiences with valuable content, monetize this increased traffic, and mitigate revenue loss.

Here’s what they had to say.

It takes 24% fewer impressions to drive email signups

As LiveIntent found, people have been more willing to subscribe to emails since shelter-in-place guidelines were set. We’ve also seen a 5% increase in opens and impressions across our network of over 2,000 publisher newsletters.

Evidently, this is the time when people are hungry for email content. They want to remain informed, engaged, and entertained as they cope with self-isolation during this crisis. Publishers can make their value proposition by reaching these audiences with relevant and personalized content right in their inbox.

Fashion, news, and health emails increase engagement

In email newsletters, LiveIntent saw a 70% increase in impressions for style and fashion content, a 53% increase in impressions for news content, and a 31% increase for health and fitness content.

Mobile engagement has also remained steady, but there’s a 16% increase in desktop engagement as more people are working from home.

You can monetize email newsletters

Even if publishers are already releasing email newsletters, they might not be making the most of them. They can monetize these newsletters with programmatically placed ads that are relevant to each newsletter’s content and each reader’s interests.

Email also generates revenue because it drives traffic back to a publisher’s website, where audiences then continue to engage with content and increase impressions. From there, those email subscribers can become paid membership subscribers down the line – contributing even more ROI to email. In fact, one of the greatest predictors of a future paid subscriber is whether or not they are an email subscriber.

The point is: While publishers have increased traffic, they should be building those email subscriber lists and email acquisition campaigns. Email is the gift that will keep on giving not just as we go through this unexpected crisis, but even after we come out on the other side of it.