Building Trust Through Privacy and Personalized Push Notifications

Long before the Covid-19 pandemic, and the impending death of the third-party tracking cookie, publishers were feeling the revenue squeeze. As consumers flocked to social media, publishers invested heavily in those channels resulting in major losses and very little control over the relationships with their audiences. So what’s a pub to do?

We already know that email is one of the best channels for delivering the personalized content consumers crave. Instead of using a browser cookie, a user’s interests and preferences can be tied to their hashed email address across devices.

Then there’s the exciting new channel called push notifications. They provide deep one-to-one and highly contextual experiences and are easy to implement and optimize across devices. Plus the acquisition and retention rates are off the charts.

Leading up to our webinar, Personalization Power at Scale, on June 18 at 1 PM EDT (Register now!), I spoke with Powerinbox CEO Jeff Kupietzky about personalization, privacy, and how publishers can build trust while increasing engagement and revenue with push notifications.

Lynne d Johnson: In your report, “Common Audience Engagement Misconceptions: What do digital consumers really want?” You learned that 78% of people are really uncomfortable with being tracked online. Yet, they still expect personalized messaging and recommendations—and even ads. How can publishers best leverage this information and also use it in conversations with advertisers, especially now that the third-party tracking cookie is nearly extinct? 

Jeff Kupietzky: I think what consumers are really telling us is that they want us to protect their data and be judicious in the way it’s used. Consumers hear stories about data breaches, which makes them extremely wary of who has and is using their data. But, they likely don’t realize just how rare those events are when you consider the massive amount of data they share with companies every single day. What they want is to feel comfortable and in control of their data. They don’t want publishers to sell it or share it without permission, and that’s a reasonable expectation. This is also why first-party data—what publishers gather about their subscribers—is so valuable for advertisers. It’s much more precise than cookie data and provides much more targeted personalization.

LdJ: I know in the past you and I talked about the power of personalization (and monetization) in email, but can personalization and privacy really co-exist? 

JK: Yes, and this is why opt-in methods like email and push notifications work so well. Consumers consent to sharing their data when they subscribe, and they can unsubscribe at any time. Of course, publishers still need to take the most stringent precautions to protect subscribers’ data, and by cultivating trust with their subscribers, personalization and privacy can co-exist.

LdJ: Powerinbox recently acquired Jeeng, an AI-powered autonomous personalized notification platform.  You guys already work with a lot of publishers with their email monetization. And you’ve often talked about the value of push notifications for publishers and the brands they work with. How will this acquisition help you to help publishers increase engagement and revenue?

JK: Jeeng gives publishers a new channel to engage audiences and monetize their traffic. Our data shows that more users are subscribing to push notifications and publishers can leverage this growing interest to give their subscribers more of what they want, which increases the “stickiness” of the relationship and keeps subscribers coming back. And by monetizing push, this creates a new revenue stream for publishers that can help to offset some of the ad dollars that are being siphoned off by social channels. Also, from an operational perspective, the ability to manage your web, email and push notification programs all from a single platform is so much more efficient for publishers. This is especially important for smaller publishers with lean teams.

Don’t forget to sign up for our webinar with Powerinbox, Personalization Power at Scale, on Thursday, June 18 at 1 pm EST? Along with Jeff, we’ll have speakers from Assembly and IQVIA. See you there!