The 5 Email Automation Must Haves Online Publishers Didn't Need Yesterday

Online publishers produce a ton of content and their challenge is to get this content in front of readers. Media companies often have limited resources and time is of the essence for these companies.
Email automation is a critical component for the media and entertainment industry. What functions do they need to look for in their (future) tools?

Why online publishers need email marketing automation so badly?

Email can help optimize traffic and drive readers back to a media company’s website. Having more eyeballs means more readers and subscribers, which in turn means a higher advertisement returns and readership, and reach.

So how can publishers take advantage of email automation to help benefit their business goals? There are several different functionalities tied to tactics that media companies are employing to get their messages into the inbox first without editors having to go into a system and schedule an email.

1. Webfetch and tagging for automated newsletters

Webfetch allows media companies to build newsletters for integrated with any content management system capable of publishing content to a URL. The publisher can use the webfetch or RSS functionality in their email automation tool to scrape their site for content to populate a newsletter based on a set of prescribed rules. This can significantly increase (email) production by automating the message assembly and scheduling process via WebFetch.

For instance, the media company can pull all content that was published in the last day or the last hour, or all stories that are tagged with a specific subject and then send daily personalized emails based on these parameters to subscribers.

2. Automated breaking news alerts

Creating a breaking news alert is the best way for a media company to push out important content through their real time email database, performing a service to readers who want up to-the-minute news and ‘having the scoop’.

News publishers can take advantage of pre-designated templates which can automatically be populated with breaking news and sent out to subscribers in 60 seconds. Be sure to check if your ESP is able to send that quick. Publishers can take advantage of these templates without even having to log into a platform.

Breaking news alerts can be set up automatically and content is pulled directly from the website and dropped into the email without any additional work for the media company. This allows for quicker time to the inbox and reduces the level of effort required for media marketers.

3. Personalization and browse behavior tracking

Media companies can create automated email newsletters based on their reader’s browsing behavior using web personalization tools. Web browsing tracking allow marketers to follow a subscriber’s activity on their website and then use that activity knowledge to send personalized email content to subscribers based on these behaviors. This is an effective way to send highly targeted messaging to a confirmed engaged user base.

4. Group link categories and automate profile enrichment

With Link Categories a publisher can group like or similar links within your mailings into a single category such as advertiser, product or area of interest. This can be used for reporting back to advertisers or form insight into the areas of interest and identify (niche) target groups.

After the data has been collected, you can then also target to your engagers based on information they have clicked on. Higher targeted email advertisement, advertorials and additional subscriber information often leads to more attractive offering for advertisers and media partners alike.

5. Automated retargeting and mobile app promotion

Many media companies have built mobile apps to help drive engagement with their audiences on smartphones and tablets. Automated emails can be used to help promote these mobile apps. Publishers have the power to use device detection features in order to understand how their readers are accessing content. A publisher can then use this information to learn which subscribers are reading emails on mobile devices and then retarget email messages to them, in an automated manner, to promote their mobile apps.

Email marketing automation for media companies

Publishers have a goldmine of content to get in front of readers. This is the kind of messaging that helps drive opens and clicks in emails. Media companies that are serious about significantly increase their efficiency and drive revenues through email should consider the following features for inclusion in their RFP:

  1. Automated breaking news dispatch through content push and pre-designated templates
  2. Webfetch for automated newsletters and connection to their CMS
  3. Individual web tracking, tagging and personalization functionality to send email based on browsing Behavior
  4. Group link categories and automated profile enrichment
  5. Device detection and for app promotion and automated retargeting

These functionalities will help publishers get their message to readers, optimize their site traffic and increase revenue with a reduced level of effort on their end.

Image by Moon Lee (cc)

Tony D'Anna

About Tony D'Anna

For the past 5 years, Tony has led the PostUp and UnsubCentral businesses. Tony holds 20 years of management experience in the software, technology and direct marketing arena with some of the world's top global companies and technology innovators. Prior to PostUp, Tony served as Vice President of the Unicast division at Enliven Marketing Technologies. Following Enliven's merger with DG FastChannel, he remained with the company and managed the re-launch efforts for its SaaS based - rich media ad solution into the Agency Channel. Earlier in his career, Tony held senior management roles at Dell and Sony Electronics. Notably, Tony oversaw Dell's retail sales organization of more 150 locations nationally. He also was a key player as Director of Sales and Operations in the launch of Sony's first Direct Sales and Marketing business: Sony Style.

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