Personalization for Publishers: How 5 Media Brands Are Doing It Right
By Kristine Lowery | May 7, 2020
When interacting with brands, today’s consumers have come to expect a more personalized experience. Creating a more seamless, personalized customer experience results in greater loyalty, which itself leads to more sales. In fact, Boston Consulting Group found that when retailers use personalized marketing, they see sales gains of 6% to 10%, two to three times higher than their competitors. When it comes to personalization for publishers, the ROI isn’t quite as obvious — but it’s still important.
Every single second, people post 978 pictures on Instagram and watch more than 83,000 YouTube videos. What’s more, by the time you finish reading this sentence, more than 17 million emails will have been sent. When you consider the volume of content, suddenly personalization for publishers seems far more vital.
According to Sailthru research, 37% of media site users only want to view content that is tailored to their specific interests. There are many different approaches you can take to personalize their marketing and reward their loyal readers. Feeling the need for some inspiration? Check out these five popular media brands that are excelling at personalized marketing:
Create Personalized Digital Experiences Like Spotify
Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlists consist of 30 songs customized to each user’s unique listening habits and music preferences. The playlist appears in the user’s account every Monday, and the songs reflect the type of music that the user played recently. Discover Weekly works by analyzing each user’s listening history and then finding similar tracks to compile into a unique playlist. Spotify launched Discover Weekly in 2008. In the 12 years since, it remains one of the platform’s most popular features — and brands can now sponsor it, too.
Develop Audience Profiles Like Business Insider
Business Insider has a winning strategy to personalize content recommendations for each reader. The company uses behavioral data to develop profiles of its readers, based on their previous interaction with Business Insider’s website and email campaigns. It then uses the information in these profiles to personalize email newsletters and onsite content recommendations to better engage readers. These efforts have paid off in a big way for Business Insider, increasing clickthrough rates by 60% using Sailthru’s media marketing platform. Additionally, Business Insider boosted ad click rates in their email newsletters by 150%.
Go Beyond Batch-and-Blast Like National Review
Conservative publisher National Review’s email program has traditionally been batch-and-blast, resulting in a high volume-low engagement audience that kept shrinking. Working with Sailthru, National Review suppressed disengaged subscribers and worked to evolve its email program to make it more personalized. Between personalized subject lines and send times, not to mention newsletters filled with content based on readers’ interest, National Review increased clickthrough rates 142% year-over-year. That’s not the only way incorporating personalization for publishers paid off. National Review also increased pageviews per thousand emails sent by 387%.
Make Behavior-Based Recommendations Like The New York Times
“Because there’s so much to see in The Times, we want to help you find your best reads.” Even The New York Times, which publishes about 200 pieces of journalism every day, knows it has more content than any one person could conceivably read. As a result, the publishing giant uses a reader’s past behavior to make the most relevant recommendations. These emails are just a sampling; to drive more website traffic, The New York Times also includes a link to an extensive Recommendations Page with even more content.
Master Triggered Messages Like Netflix
Triggered messages account for the overwhelming majority of retailers’ email ROI. Why wouldn’t they? Inherently personalized, these messages are often direct responses to consumer behavior. Publishers can deploy personalization in the same way, as Netflix does. Widely regarded for its sophisticated recommendation algorithms, Netflix sends “Continue Watching” emails, the streaming equivalent of a cart abandonment message. Additionally, if someone finishes a show, a “What’s Next” message is sure to follow.
2020 Holiday Marketing Playbook
With all that has happened this year, we expect to see a holiday season unlike any other. That said, the time to start testing and building out email and CRM strategies is now. Along with our Retail Advisor, former JustFab VP Monica Deretich, Sailthru has developed this playbook to help retailers crush Q4 and beyond.
The Very Real Notion of Act-GIF-ism
This article is the first in a larger series that focuses on diversity and equity in marketing, as we are committed to amplifying the...
Interested in Increasing Traffic from Email? Here’s Where to Begin
As an assistant at Glamour magazine in the early 2000s, I recall being tasked with creating and sending out “Glamourgrams,” the brand’s email newsletter....
By Allison Mezzafonte