After years of being written off as dead, email is having a renaissance, becoming one of the best “new” channels for audience engagement for brands and publishers. And it’s easy to see why: as consumer trust in the media and social platforms like Facebook have declined, consumers, publishers and brands are all looking for a better alternative—a channel that doesn’t make users cringe with concern over privacy and fake news.
New data shows that email is filling that exact void, not only providing a trustworthy medium, but also one in which publishers and brands have more control over both their distribution and monetization for Consumer Trust. According to a recent study, “How Adults Consume and Filter Information Online,” trust in the publisher is the #1 reason subscribers open and read email newsletters, and more than two-thirds say trust is even more important than the content itself in enticing them to open and read emails from publishers.
Even better news: that trust in the publisher translates to the brands that advertise within those emails. Two-thirds of adults say they’ll click on an email ad if they trust the sender. This is a huge advantage for publishers and advertisers who can finally gain access to the audience they need and control the engagement, while also no longer being at the mercy of platforms that aren’t trustworthy and siphon away revenue.
What gives email the trust advantage in managing Consumer Trust?
- It’s personal. Users are careful about with whom they share their email address, so when they do, it’s because they value the content and trust the publisher to send them relevant material.
- It’s opt-in. Subscribers ASK to receive email content, versus having it randomly infiltrate their newsfeed. That indicates that they’re more engaged with what the publisher has to offer, and this increases the value of that audience for advertisers.
- It’s reliable. Publishers can control the content, distribution, timing and cadence of their newsletters, and it’s virtually guaranteed to reach the intended audience. That’s unlike social platforms that take it upon themselves to determine what the audience should see.
- It’s more precise. Because publishers can track users’ behaviors based on their specific email address, they can build a deeper, richer user persona, which allows them to more precisely target content. This means users get much more relevant, useful material, which increases the trust and value they place in the content and their relationship with the publisher. This also allows for more precise ad content targeting, which leads to higher engagement for brands.
The fact that email is now the most trusted channel is a huge advantage for publishers and brands. By targeting users based on their email address, both can cultivate more meaningful and engaging relationships with their audiences and recoup some of the losses from waning faith in social platforms.