Newsletter Audiences Should Not Be an Afterthought

Excerpt from The Squiz commercial director Kate Watson.

Meta axing Facebook News may be a move that is widely slammed, but there is now a big opportunity for advertisers with newsletters.

One of the notable things to come out of the possibility that Meta might pull news from Instagram and Facebook completely is that many publishers are now imploring their audience to sign up to their newsletters, and boy am I glad to see it.

The Squiz started as a newsletter business. We launched our daily newsletter, Squiz Today, seven years ago, and have been telling anyone who will listen (including advertisers) that it is an incredibly valuable channel for years now.

We have 65,000 subscribers across our newsletters with an average open rate of 50%. Across a month, over 85% of our entire database read our newsletters. Nearly half of our newsletter audience say they took action after seeing ads in our newsletter. We are the reigning Mumbrella Newsletter of the Year. And if the tech gods fail us and our newsletter doesn’t land in people’s inboxes at 6am, we know about it by 6.05am because our audience gets in touch to tell us: “Where is my Squiz?”

Newsletters like The Squiz with a trusted voice and content specially written for the format have been undervalued by advertisers for too long now. They’ve been tacked on to media schedules and included as ‘value-adds’ – but I reckon their time has come. This is their moment.

One of the biggest concerns the advertising industry has sighted about the possible removal of news content from Meta’s channels has been that a shrinking news ecosystem will make it even harder for their clients to buy brand-safe environments. And to be clear, I am not talking about retail newsletters which remind me to buy something I put in my cart – they are valuable too – but with a different purpose. I am talking about newsletters written by publishers who understand the format and have built trust with engaged audiences.

All publishing boats rise with the advertising dollar tide. From experience, we know this is true. Back in 2018, we launched the first daily news podcast in Australia and many have since entered the market. We have reaped the rewards of the ad dollars that have followed. So, as far as I am concerned, the more publishers doing good newsletters and shouting loudly about them the better.

Because you know what? It might mean that advertisers start to pay attention. To value them. Heck, we might even have a newsletter ranker if we’re not careful.


First published by Mumbrella. Read original here



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