Over 2/3 of Gen Z & Millennials Say Personalized Content is a Must for Subscribing to Publishers’ Email Newsletters

New Study by Jeeng Proves Publishers Must Find Ways to Personalize & Automate Content Delivery to Reach Digital Natives

Despite years of naysayers claiming that email is dead, it turns out email newsletters are very much alive and well especially for publishers looking to engage Gen Z and Millennials (GZM). However, there’s one caveat: these so-called digital natives overwhelmingly demand that the content they receive from publishers must be personalized to their interests.

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That’s according to the new study, “Engaging Gen Z & Millennials: A Publishers Guide to Connecting with Digital Natives,” that proves publishers must leverage automated messaging solutions to deliver the personalized content these audiences expect at scale in order to drive the engagement and revenue publishers need to survive in a post-cookie world.

“As trust in social media has declined substantially, we’re seeing email reemerge as a trusted, tried-and-true channel for giving consumers the news, entertainment and information they want,” said Jeff Kupietzky, CEO of Jeeng, an automated personalized messaging platform for publishers that conducted the study. “And with expectations for personalization higher than ever, email uniquely provides a powerful way for publishers to build that coveted 1:1 relationship, especially with young subscribers, by delivering the individually curated content they want.”

In fact, despite all the noise about “do not track” and privacy concerns, nearly 80% of Gen Z and Millennials say they are fine with publishers tracking their online behavior if it means they’ll get a more personalized experience. That means publishers have a prime opportunity to invest in tools that allow them to gather first-party data about their audiences to deliver the content personalization they expect and end their reliance on third-party sources like cookies, social and search.

Even better, more than half of both Gen Z and Millennials say they would subscribe to multiple, topic-focused newsletters from a single publisher if they were personalized, which Kupietzky says reinforces what he’s been telling publishers all along: there’s no such thing as too much email, as long as the content is relevant for subscribers’ interests.

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Credibility is Critical

One reason publisher emails are so popular: readers trust the content. Across the board, GZM has very, very low confidence that content they see on social media is reliable thanks to “fake news” and spin tactics, and they feel obligated to fact check stories before they share it.

Meanwhile 95% of GZM are confident the news they read on publishers’ websites is credible, suggesting publishers have a clear advantage in growing their audience by emphasizing their trustworthiness—and steering clear of relying on social to send traffic their way.

Instead, Kupietzky says, “publishers need to leverage that credibility to take back their audiences, cut out the social media middleman and engage subscribers directly. Sending personalized email and push notifications is the best way to do that.”

Personalized Push is the Next Step

In addition to an affinity for email, Jeeng’s study also found that 8 out of 10 of Gen Z users and 7 in 10 Millennials are open to receiving browser-based push notifications, especially for breaking news. But again, personalization is paramount: 2 out of 3 GZM users say they want push content that’s personalized—one of the top four factors that influence their decision to subscribe.

By combining personalized email and personalized push notifications into a multichannel messaging strategy, Kupietzky says publishers can achieve the ultimate engagement trifecta: the ability to send the right message to the right user over the right channel based on their unique preferences.

“Of course, doing that manually would be impossible. That’s where automation comes in,” he said. “By deploying technology that indexes all of your content, gathers subscriber data and automatically matches the right content to the right person at speed and scale, even small publishers can deliver the personalized experience today’s savvy digital consumers expect with almost zero effort.”

The Engaging Gen Z & Millennials survey was conducted by Mantis Research on behalf of Jeeng, polling over 1,000 U.S. consumers in November 2020.

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