The Newsletter Dinosaur

The Newsletter Dinosaur

Is it time to bring the 38-year-old newsletter dinosaur into our millennium?

Today, most newsletter marketing delivers low customer engagement. Digital marketing has entered a more challenging territory. Building on the vast increase in consumer power brought on by the digital age, marketing is headed toward being on demand - not just always “on", but also always relevant, responsive to the consumer’s desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery. 

Are newsletter of today relevant and do they deliver with pinpoint accuracy and do they create customer engagement? No, far from. According to Janrain’s 2015 report ”Consumer Identity and Mistargeting”, 96% of the consumers say they receive mistargeted information or promotions. 37% unsubscribe to emails after only being mistargeted two or fewer times.

Is there hope for the 38-year-old email newsletter dinosaur?

Yes, definitely, we just need to adopt it to the consumer of this millennium. Let us first look at what the consumer of today want. Consumer demands is rising in 4 areas:

  • For me. They expect all data stored about them, will be used to target precisely to their needs or used to personalize their experience. They want the experience to reflect their personal likes, desires and needs.

  • Easy. They expect all interaction to be easy.

  • Social. Consumers expect any communication channel to be able to interact with their social media solutions.

  • At once. Consumers want to interact anywhere at any time in real time.

So, do newsletter solutions of today meet these new consumer demands?

For me

Some newsletter solutions claim they do personalization based on web click data, buying history, data from the registration form or data from questionnaires. Apart from web click data, this is probably a decade behind of the modern consumer’s demands. Furthermore, registration forms or questionnaires are in contradiction to Easy and it is not dynamical nor At once. What does For me, really mean? It is all about personalization! 

In a recent Gartner report titled “IT Market Clock for Digital Commerce, 2015”, published August 19, the analyst firm gave the following definition: 
“Personalization is a process that creates a relevant, individualized interaction between two parties designed to enhance the experience of the recipient. It uses insight based on the recipient’s personal data, as well as behavioral data about the actions of similar individuals, to deliver an experience that meets specific needs and preferences.” “Digital personalization engines are technology solutions that identify the optimum experience for an individual and will alter the online presentation layer, trigger an automated response, or pass analysis to the seller or service personnel to act on as deemed fit. “ 

Hence the consumer want to be addressed more personalized than just by web click data or collected static data. Personalization is cutthroat among brands. There is enormous value in demonstrating to consumers that you know them and understand their needs better than anyone else. One must take extra steps to deliver a consumer experience that is genuinely tailored at the individual level. 

In order to address the consumer with intelligent relevant personalized messages one needs a dynamic solution that will create the personalization based on personal data (demographic, interest groups etc), read content, own behavioral data as well as data about actions of similar individuals. This very individual personalized user profile, will of course be created for each send-out, in real time, thus acting on the latest user actions, meeting both the "At once" and the "For me demands". 

Many newsletters providers have a long way to go to reach this state of personalization. Ok, do I need to be that modern? Well, let us once again, see what Gartner says:

“In fact, by 2018, sellers that have fully invested in all types of digital personalization are expected to outperform companies that have not invested in personalization technologies by 30%.” 
“IT Market Clock for Digital Commerce, 2015”

One foundation of this personalization is your customer data, which makes data harnessing an utmost priority. Brands will want to consider every channel where data can be gathered, and each opportunity should be carefully considered. 


The consumers of today want a quick and easy registration. According to Janrain’s 2015 report ”Consumer Identity and Mistargeting”, 3 out of 4 use social login and 94% are satisfied with their experience. 70% of the consumers use social login because it reduces the barriers to registration. Furthermore 68% of the consumers have left incorrect information when site registration becomes tedious. This incorrect static information is one of the sources the newsletter providers use for their targeting in the newsletters. 

It seems like having a solution with a one click registration method via social media, which also got access to user data from social media for personalization purposes, would be great. 


According to the Pew Research Center 65% of adults used social media in 2015, nearly ten times the number in 2005. The expectations by the consumers are to have all kind of communication in their social media platforms, including market communication. I am not saying that one should stop sending newsletters, but one should also be able to communicate in other channels, such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Of course the market message in these complementary channels would also be personalized. This type of communication, obviously meet the At once demand as well. 

At once

Interaction with the consumer on any device at any time is becoming more and more ubiquitous. The mix of relevant personalized newsletter together with relevant personalized social media channels, such as Facebook messenger is cross device instant multichannel marketing. 

Key Insight

  • Consumer defection in the face of mistargeted marketing is significant and growing.

  • Personalization is dynamic near real time and is the result of a relevant algorithm applied on several user data parameters harnessed automatically.

  • Consumers perceive social login as an ease-of-use solution.

  • Relevant personalized newsletters should be complemented with relevant personalized messages in social media in order to reach the consumer anywhere at any time.

  • Social login usage and high mobile usage are strongly correlated; as the shift toward the mobile web continues, social login will become an essential part of the experience.

A modern digital marketing solution meeting the consumer demands

We at, Zummy, have developed a personalization engine and a personalized actionable digital marketing solution – addressing not only a personalized messaging solution, but also solutions for collecting user data from social media, as well as getting the users to engage in social media, supporting you and your market message. The scalable Zummy personalization engine can handle billions of user events calculating via our machine learning algorithms the best individual consumer profile in real time and automatically composing an e-mail newsletter or Facebook Messenger news-messages. 

Via the Zummy Solution, our customers have sent out millions of personalized e-mail newsletters and Facebook Messenger messages. The result is overwhelming:

  • Average open rate on e-mail newsletters: 62%

  • Average click through rate on e-mail newsletters: 22%

  • Average open rate on Messenger news-messages: 95%

  • Average click through rate on Messenger news-messages: 85%

  • 600% increase per month of new subscribers via our Social Media SignUp

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