19 years after the world’s first website popped up, newspapers have fully caught up on the web. They have teams of SEOs. Big pay-per-click budgets. Spend millions on analytics.
But - here’s the big question: Decades after the first email dropped into an inbox, where are all the great newspaper email programs?
Newspapers & Email: The Opportunity
With their investments in analytics, newspapers already have a vast wealth of behavioural data about their audiences online. Connecting that audience with relevant content by email is a win:win:win – it benefits the newspaper, the reader, and the advertiser.
Perhaps the newspapers feel like they’re in the business of producing ‘a product’. Translating a whole newspaper into a website is straightforward, whereas translating a whole newspaper into an email is virtually impossible.
Instead, like a good email marketing program, newspaper email could be personalised & relevant.
Here’re 10 quick starter ideas newspapers could pursue through email.
10 Simple Email Ideas for Newspapers
- There’s a big breaking story today & I want to stay up to date. I want to give you my email address & have you send me hourly updates & breaking changes until the story dies.
- Every week, I read the whole of your ‘money’ section . Why can’t I sign up to get money articles by email?
- I’m a big fan of one of your journalists. I read his blog a couple of times a year when I remember to check it. If you emailed his articles to me I’d read them every time.
- You’ve got minute-by-minute coverage of every football game on your site. Why can’t I get 15-minute email updates on my Blackberry when I’m travelling? Why can’t I get an email alert whenever there’s news about my team?
- I need to keep tabs on my competitors in the finance pages. Google is sending me alerts, but I only want the ‘finance’ stuff and only about those 3 companies – why can’t you email it to me?
- I’m really interested in any news articles mentioning my local town. Often I don’t spot them. Can I sign up so you email me whenever we’re mentioned?
- I’ve been to your site every day for the last year. You know exactly what kind of stuff I read. Can’t you cross-reference my tastes with your other readers and start sending me stuff they like? You know – like Amazon do with “Customers who bought this also bought...” emails.
- I left a comment about a political issue. I want to carry on the debate whenever it comes up, but I have to check your political pages every day to see if there’s anything new.
- I don’t have time to read the news, can’t you just send me a roundup of ‘most read news articles’ every week so that I can stay up to date?
- Let me register all my interests & my location and send me info every time an event comes up that matches.
All of these are totally relevant for readers, with great potential for advertising revenue. Pick anything along these lines and scale it across a big national newspaper’s million+ readers and you can see the huge opportunity. Newspapers make millions today from CPM display advertising, imagine the increased revenue, audience satisfaction & loyalty a great email program could produce.