UK Publishers Study has Lessons for Both Sides of Pond

Lessons Learned From UK Publishers Study

The recent UK Publishing Email Benchmarking Survey conducted by Adestra shows some interesting results, according to a post on InPublishing by Henry Hyder-Smith. He focused on the importance of acquiring new data and managing your existing data, and cited the example of Centaur Media, “who segmented the information they gathered at sign-up and delivered dynamically personalised emails to improve their results for their National Home Improvement Show. Emphasising that data is king, and when used creatively, it can have a massive impact on response – Centaur saw a 43% open rate and an impressive 34% clicked-through.”

Amazingly, the survey showed that just 6% of publishers in the UK have a mobile strategy that includes email—and “over half are doing nothing to change their approach to email marketing given the growth of mobile.” That will have to change if these companies want to move forward. “So while the U.S. marketers are embracing mobile optimisation, over here we appear to be behind the times. [Publishers should check out SIPA’s recent webinar—Going Mobile for Publishers: Developing a Content-Delivery System for an Increasingly Portable World—that sits in the Online Resources section of the SIPA website.] It’s not just the mobile channel that needs attention. Findings from the UK report show publishers can improve email marketing response rates and ROI by concentrating their efforts on automation and social media too.”

We know how important a social media strategy can be. In November, SIPA’s Hotline newsletter ran a cover story on tracking ROI in your social media efforts. “What do I get back mostly depends on what you want out of it,” said Rachel Yeomans, marketing director for Astek Consulting. “New customers? Sell product, buy books or just good public relations and branding. You’re not going on trying to make money directly. Only retailers try that and it isn’t really for that. It’s more for creating that trust. ‘Buy this’–people are turned off by that…”

The Adestra survey highlights two other problems for U.K. publishers:
1) “Automation by publishers is low…Only 20% automate subscription renewals and 33% use content automation,” writes Hyder-Smith. As a positive example, he cites Haymarket, which “introduced email content automation for their well known Autosport title and saw an 80% reduction in time spent on creating their weekly newsletter, as well as improved opens and click-throughs.”
2) “Only a fifth (21%) integrates email with other business functions well. The least popular area for integration is sales data, with only 15% well integrated; this makes it very difficult to track email campaigns for an ROI figure.”

Another past SIPA webinar could be helpful here: Email Marketing for Publishers: How to Improve Deliverability, Readability and Results Without Increasing Your Opt-Outs. “Rule Number 1 of email deliverability is try and send as consistent of daily volume of email as you possibly can, insofar as your own business requirements and strategy allow you to,” said Andrew Barrett, senior director of ISP relations and deliverability for Real Magnet, LLC. “But anything you can do to even out volumes of email over time will improve your email reputation….” He also suggest that you “use dynamic content wherever you can. A certain amount of customization and personalization is always useful and appropriate. And don’t include just a sales pitch…”

On the mobile front, while I concede thatresearch from ABC “shows a staggering 85% of magazines and newspapers offer mobile optimised content for smartphones, tablets and e-readers,” I wonder just how many have clear strategies. There’s a lot of work to be done in that area on both sides of the pond.


Check out these exciting SIPA Europe events:

Feb. 23
Marketing Directors Roundtable
Speaker: Rachel Maund, founder of Marketability

March 14
Training: From Analysis to Action
how to work out what to do next
Trainer: Julian Turner, chief executive, Electric Word plc

March 28-30
SIPA Munich 2012
Hosted by SIPA, VNR Verlag für die Deutsche Wirtschaft
AG (Bonn) and Akademie des Deutschen Buchhandels (Munich)

Helping you give your customer the content they need
… in a format they demand … at a price they will pay


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