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Publishers' Top Email Marketing Pain Points [Infographic]

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
November 17, 2014

More than half (54%) of companies in the publishing industry say list growth is a major email marketing pain point, according to a recent report from FOLIO and Lyris.

Publishers' other top email pain points include dynamic content/personalization (42% cite as an issue), list maintenance (41%), mobile optimization (33%), analytics (33%), segmentation (30%), and content automation (29%).

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 182 respondents from various sectors of the publishing industry, including B2B, consumer, and association publishers.

Email Priorities

  • 60% of respondents say growing their list size is a top email priority for next year.
  • 58% see improving list/data quality as a top priority and 39% want to focus on optimizing messages for mobile devices.
  • Personalization/dynamic content only ranks sixth as a priority for next year despite being cited as the second biggest email pain point by publishers.

Mobile Optimization

  • 34% of publishers say their emails are fully optimized for mobile devices.
  • 31% say their messages are partially optimized for mobile and plan to complete the process in the next 12 months.
  • 19% have not optimized for mobile but plan to begin in the next 12 months.
  • 16% have not optimized for mobile and are not sure where to start.

For more findings from the report, check out the infographic:

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 182 respondents from various sectors of the publishing industry, including B2B, consumer, and association publishers.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Pam Neely Tue Nov 18, 2014 via web

    This is fascinating! If list building is the big pain point, I would love to have known (or know) what kind of churn these businesses are seeing with their lists. I.e.: How many subscribers they're losing.

    According to the report, 82.5% of them are getting less than 10,000 new subscribers a month... wish that had been broken down more. And the real number to know (which they may not tell you) is what their opt-in rate is.

    If list growth is a big problem, one of the best ways to help it is actually to work the other side of the problem - to reduce opt-outs. It's also very surprising that 79% don't have a way to re-engage inactive subscribers, and that only 38% do welcome emails/programs. Both of those items are proven subscriber retention tactics.

  • by Ian Gilyeat Thu Nov 20, 2014 via web

    This shouldn't be much of a surprise - although very interesting and pertinent research. Magazine publishers have deep circulation expertise, which is a great direct marketing skill to have; but it does not translate directly into marketing automation, email marketing and dynamic content. For this you really need to add to it a deep technology skill set and strong process design capabilities. Oh, and let's not forget analytics. :)

    How do I know? Many years ago, I was Circulation Director for a BPA qualified magazine with over 200,000 paid subscribers,

    Publishers are in a great position to leverage the latest messaging platforms, but they will have to beef up on the technology skill sets within their circulation departments. And they will have to combine editorial direction with circulation skills in order to deliver relevant dynamic content to their readers. Hard work, but well worth it.

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