New Study Confirms Consumer Trust in Email Drives Readership & Engagement

Publisher Trust is the #1 Driver of Email Newsletter Readership; Publisher Trust Translates to Advertiser Trust to Drive Click-Thrus

At a time when fake news is on everyone’s mind, new data shows that consumers have come to trust email newsletters as reliable sources of information, and their trust in the publisher sending those emails extends to brands that advertise within them. The insight proves that not only is email alive and well, but it’s also a valuable engagement channel for both publishers and advertisers.

That’s according to a recent study, “How Adults Consume and Filter Information Online,” commissioned by PowerInbox and compiled by Mantis Research, which looks at how adults perceive digital content and advertising.

Among the nearly 60 percent of US adults subscribing to some kind of email newsletter, trust in the publisher sending those newsletters is the #1 reason subscribers open and read them. In fact, nearly two-thirds say trust is more important than the content itself in enticing them to read newsletters that hit their inbox. By contrast, only a third of Americans trust social media.

“User trust in social media platforms like Facebook is declining. For publishers, relying on that source of traffic is problematic since Facebook controls the traffic publishers receive,” said PowerInbox CEO Jeff Kupietzky. “Publishers are desperately seeking alternative channels to directly engage audiences, where they know their audiences will be guaranteed to see their content and the audience trusts the source. This data proves that email fits the bill perfectly for both guaranteed distribution and as a trusted channel.”

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The survey also found that trust in the publisher translates to the brands who place advertisements with them, which drives engagement and click-thrus. Two-thirds of adults say they’ll click on an ad in an email if they trust the sender, while the same number will click on a website ad if it appears on a site they trust. Kupietzky says this means that, for advertisers, finding the right publishers to partner with is crucial in maximizing ROI.

“Consumers recognize that the ‘free’ content they enjoy in emails and online does come at a cost, and they’ve proven willing to ‘pay for it’ by accepting ads,” he said. “However, our research shows that trust and relevancy are also extremely important to keep from alienating audiences. That’s why working with a monetization partner who can help make the right matches between advertisers and publishers is so important.”

In other good news for publishers, the study also found that when subscribers are no longer interested in receiving email newsletters, the vast majority (75 percent) will unsubscribe, rather than arbitrarily flag it as spam. This has a major impact on protecting the publisher’s reputation, which further points to consumers’ respect for and trust in the newsletter publisher’s brand.

The study, which surveyed 1,000 US adults, gathered a wide range of insight on consumers’ attitudes toward advertising in email and other digital channels. To view more results, check out our infographic.

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PowerInbox’s automated email-based digital monetization platform matches advertisers with publishers to deliver real-time relevant sponsored content that’s personalized at the moment of open to newsletter and push notification subscribers and webpage visitors. The only digital monetization platform that offers direct integration with Google Ad Manager (GAM) and other mainstream online ad networks, PowerInbox lets publishers run cross-channel advertising programs that are easy to manage, all within a single dashboard while giving advertisers the ability to reach new high-value audiences through opt-in channels.

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