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Article first published January 2017, updated July 2019

When social networks started appealing to users more and more, marketers saw them as the cure-all for driving traffic, and for some time, social media was the biggest referral source of a publisher’s content.

That was until users got used to the novelty of social media and grew tired of seeing sponsored ads in their feed. Users bought into the idea of making their feeds more personal and private by using ad blockers and other software to eliminate notifications from brands they didn’t care to see in their feeds.

Some of the biggest problems people have with social media are actually easily solved by one of the oldest and more efficient marketing channels. Yes, email.

Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

Why email is every publisher’s hero

So what makes email the best option for driving traffic to your content as a publisher?

Email is direct

One of the weaknesses of social media is that as much as you can try and target an audience, your message won’t go directly to your customers. It simply goes into their rather crowded feeds where it can be easily missed. An email, on the other hand, lands directly into your customer’s inbox where chances of it being seen, opened, and read are quite high.

Email is personal

As much as you can tailor your social media posts to relate to your target audience, it’s not easy to personalize your message to the degree that you can with email.

Email affords you the ability to create highly personalized messages that compel the reader to engage with and take action. In fact, data suggests that emails with personalized subject lines have a 26% higher open rate than those that aren’t personalized.

Email is the preferred communication channel

Despite social media channels having their novelty, when it comes to serious business, your customers still prefer that you communicate with them via email. One of the reasons could be that they don’t want to miss your updates. After all, it’s easier to find an email in an inbox than it is to find a social media post in a feed.

Social networks are making it harder and harder to drive traffic to your sites, but email marketing continues to prove its value. We can help with a marketing strategy to grow your readership, attract subscribers, and drive revenue—a larger bottom line is the name of the game.



Digital Media

Check out email marketing for digital media and our guide to see how Campaign Monitor can help take your engagement to the extreme.

Hey digital media, it’s time to get your traffic back.

2016 started off strong, but with new algorithms, ad blockers, and plummeting page views, the year ended on a sour note for digital publishers – because it was harder and harder to drive traffic to their content sites.

But then came email marketing to the rescue.

In the beginning of the year the trend was up.

Facebook drove the highest percentage, Google was close behind.

  • Facebook – 41.4%
  • Google – 39.5%

Some publishers saw 75% or more of their social traffic coming from Facebook. (Yowza)

But somewhere in there it all hit the fan.

Yahoo and Twitter fell behind 3rd and 4th most traffic.

Yahoo declined, even more, dropping an additional 3%.

Facebook changed its algorithm and organic reach for publisher pages tanked by 52%.

And digital media content saw dramatically fewer views.

Plus 60% of all internet users between 18 and 34 used ad blocking technology on their desktop and devices.

This software drastically reduced publishers’ ability to get traffic to their content.

Evil ad blockers have grown at an astonishing rate, 20M users in 2009 vs 200M users in 2015.

The digital media industry lost an estimated $41.4 in advertising revenues in 2016.

Enter email marketing.

Today digital media needs a hero, so smart peeps are turning to email marketing to combat this frightening trend.

Email has nearly 3x as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined.

In fact, if you combine all the posts on Facebook and Twitter each day it will equal less than 1% of the number of emails sent each day.

So, it makes sense the publishers are spending their money on email marketing to keep their readership growing versus social media or ads.

In 2016, email marketing drove 174% more conversions than social media.

Email is here to save the day for digital media.

In 2016, there were over 2.6 billion email users worldwide.

By the end of 2020, the number of email users worldwide will top 3.0 billion – that’s half the world’s population.

As email global use continues to grow and grow, visionary publishers will reap the rewards.

Wrap up

Email has been proven to be the most reliable marketing channel over and over again. Whether it’s a product or a piece of content, you’ll never go wrong if you use email. For publishers, email is the most important distribution channel you can use as your audience is already warm and engaged. This will result in higher engagement rates and more shares. The perfect recipe for driving organic traffic to your media assets.

For more in-depth insights into how you can use email to drive traffic to your media assets, check out our article on the methods media companies can use to drive website traffic.

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