LiveIntent commissioned research finds 87% of publishers and marketers are actively invested in email and 94% are prioritizing scaling their email programs this year.

LiveIntent, the people-based marketing platform that reaches 290 million logged-in people each month via its 2,500 brands and publisher partners, today announced the findings of a commissioned study that examines how the advertising ecosystem is thinking about the email address in 2021. Conducted in March 2021 by polling more than 200 senior marketers and publishers, the results show 87% of publishers and marketers are actively invested in email newsletters or email advertising.

Other key findings include:

Email performance boomed during COVID, setting the stage for continued email investment

LiveIntent has been surveying publishers and marketers consistently during COVID in order to garner insight into how market forces are changing as a result of the quarantine. In an earlier survey, LiveIntent found that marketers were focused on email over the summer as COVID continued.

This March survey uncovered an industry-wide shift towards the email newsletter. During the pandemic, the March survey found 52% of publishers and marketers increased their investment in email. They saw how the channel was performing and, particularly as the walled gardens closed around them, decided to double down.

“Our readers have opted-in to our newsletters because they’re looking for wisdom, inspiration, and fun,” said Joshua Jaffe, President at Horoscope.com. “During quarantine, we’ve seen our email investment blossom. Email is delivering our content to our readers without the distractions of walled gardens, letting our readers focus on our content rather than being distracted by the maelstrom of noise in channels with User Generated Content. Readers trust our 1:1 relationship in email. I’m glad we invested in the email newsletter well before this crisis, including monetization and optimization with LiveIntent, so we can benefit from the returns as we expand our email efforts to bring more content to users and increase engagement with the channel.”

Industry motivation to invest in email is the result of data-driven decision-making: 47% of respondents who sent email enjoyed an increase in opens during quarantine. For those senders who had ads in the emails they sent, over half (52%) saw an increase in CPMs.

“Amid millions of Americans sheltering at home to avoid the pandemic over the last year, we saw an explosion in email performance,”  said Kerel Cooper, CMO at LiveIntent. “This is likely a result of the direct and trusted relationship between a publisher and a consumer. It makes sense that during a time of crisis people would turn to the places they trust the most to keep them informed. We anticipate this relationship continuing to grow as we navigate the vaccine rollout and our new post-COVID world.”

Post-Pandemic Investment Builds Upon What Works for Publishers

The email has long been considered the workhorse of CRM. In the survey, 90% of publishers and marketers ranked email as very important or important to their business. 87% of publishers and marketers invest in newsletters.

The email newsletter provides many avenues for profit, with 65% of respondents monetizing their newsletters with third-party ads, 51% leveraging their email program to direct traffic to their site, and 45% monetizing via affiliate links.

As 2021 continues, expect more of the same. 94% of respondents believe that scaling their email is a priority in 2021. They’ve seen the light.

Email as a Bridge to the Identity Driven Future

As the era of the third-party cookie comes to an end, publishers are looking ahead by adopting the dual value of a successful email program. 25% of respondents view the email address as the most valuable piece of first-party data for an identity-driven future and a full 87% of respondents think the email address will be very important after the end of third-party cookies.

Nearly 30% of publishers leverage their email programs primarily to collect valuable first-party data, while 36% leverage their email programs in order to build a deeper connection with their audience. 34% leverage their email programs to drive sales or subscription sign-ups.

“Brands and publishers are in urgent need of tools that can bridge identity beyond the reach of walled gardens,” added Cooper. “This research, and the adoption of our identity framework, validates the power of email to fill that role, driving engagement and future business growth after the third-party cookie goes away.”

To learn more about how to effectively monetize with email and solve for identity once third-party cookies are phased out, visit www.liveintent.com.

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