Don't Count Out Email Newsletters

Loyalty and premium ad dollars still make the medium lucrative

While it’s unlikely that a company that focuses on email products alone will be able to survive the harsh online climate, don’t discount the less-than-sexy email newsletter.

“Email continues to be an important part of the marketing mix,” said BIA Kelsey analyst Peter Krasilovsky. The email newsletter still remains a lucrative staple of an online company’s strategy. Krasilovsky said marketers are earmarking more of their budget toward integrated marketing, including promotions and customer loyalty programs—and email newsletter companies stand to get premium dollars for ads.

Part of the reason email remains viable is because it’s native for mobile. The average smartphone user spends nine minutes daily with their emails, according to O2/Samsung.

“It’s still core to how mankind communicates,” said Ben Lerer, CEO of Thrillist Media Group.

Email subscribers can also deliver something that traditional websites and social media struggle with: loyalty. Thrillist websites get 7 million uniques monthly. But, it’s the 2 million email subscribers who “jump-start” its morning traffic, Lerer explained.

Andy Russell, co-founder of newsletter InsideHook, argued that newsletters deliver an audience with a high lifetime value. “Every time you touch [readers] on a daily basis, you have an opportunity to renew and grow that deep relationship,” he said.

Still, emails must evolve or die; NBCUniversal recently shuttered 14-year-old Daily Candy, an e-newsletter trail blazer, which seemed to have lost its mojo.

Krasilovsky, however, insists that emails are a viable medium that won’t go away anytime soon. “Anyone who says email is dead is a little early,” he said.

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