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Feb 23, 2009


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José Maria Gil

Very interesting post. I checked out the El Mundo (www.elmundo.es), the most visited website in Spanish (it is a newspaper), and it doesn't have a single way to leave my email to receive a newsletter, email alert or similar. They have a lot of rss feeds, even though 95% of their audience doesn’t know what that is. They are really missing a billion dollar opportunity.

Jordan Cohen

The news business has been missing a huge opportunity with email for years. Giving away "free" ad space in email newsletters is routine when selling "integrated marketing" packages to advertisers composed of more expensive media (print, rich web banners, online video pre-roll etc etc). And there lies the rub: Until they have more expensive email inventory to sell, the channel will remain low on the list of publishers' priorities.

Before we see news media email programs that really razzle and dazzle (and generate big bucks for the companies that generate them), at least three core issues need to be addressed:

- Deliverability. Newspapers know exactly how many papers have been printed and dropped off the next morning, but do not know exactly how many emails they've successfully delivered to subscribers' inboxes. Not exactly the assurance advertisers are used to.

- Declining Open/"Render" Rates. The near-ubiquitous adoption of image blocking by ISPs has lead to a steady decline in average open rates over the past few years. News organizations need to be selling a growing number of impressions, not a decline in them.

- Limited Creative. The security issues afflicting the channel have rendered it archaic when it comes to supporting interesting content and advertising possibilities. The introduction of video, rich media and other next-gen email marketing functionalities will go a long way towards getting the channel more attention from the publishing world.

Andy Gray

Great piece Dan. It seems most newspapers are still struggling to deal with their diminishing print sales and see online as a threat.
There are some email services sent by papers but they're generally poor - how difficult would it be to send readers a bulletin of content they'd expressed/demonstrated interest in? They might even claw back some sales!!!

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