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An exclusive article from InPublishing

There’s a growing trend of retailers becoming publishers. Online retailer ASOS recently launched a digital edition of its popular ASOS Magazine to help expand its reach internationally, and supermarket publications have been around for a while. Indeed, ASDA magazine recently announced an 11% growth in readership.

In its first Content Marketing Survey Report 2012, Econsultancy found that nearly three quarters (73%) of digital marketers agree that “˜brands are becoming publishers’. In addition, some publishers are becoming retailers as they diversify into ecommerce and other non-traditional areas in a bid to widen their brand appeal. Direct-to-consumer opportunities are rising, fuelled not least by the Apple Newsstand and other digital app stores.

So what can retail learn from the publishing sector when it comes to email marketing? And conversely, how can publishers look to take advantage of the online tracking / immediate sales conversion skills that retail are so good at?

We look at these two sectors from the Adestra / Econsultancy Email Marketing Industry Census 2012, the largest survey of email marketers in the UK.

Which ESP services do you use?

Publishers are using more social media integration and personalisation in their email marketing, while retailers use more automation.

Email volumes

Retailers are more prolific users of email, with 41% sending upwards of half a million each month (against 33% of publishers). This in itself is not surprising, as retailers have for a significant amount of time focused on loyalty schemes and customer retention, even before email became commonplace.

How do you rate the following channels in terms of return on investment?

Email tops the chart for ROI. Retail sees the best ROI from email for any sector (39% said “˜excellent’ ROI); publishing is in second place (with 29% saying “˜excellent’). For retailers, as sales tend to be direct, it is easier to track and justify ROI. For publishers, a sale may be more indirect and involve a longer leadtime and may concentrate on delivering content via email. With changes in how content is consumed across social channels, whether through the changing of Twitter’s API terms or from shifts in Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, email holds its own as it lies outside of these walled gardens.

To read the full article visit the InPublishing website >