As publishers around the world strive build better relationships with their audiences, it’s understandable that many treat their readers like customers. But what if you stopped treating it like a business transaction and started treating it like a relationship?

How do you show your value on the first date to secure that all-important second date, and hopefully begin a lasting relationship with this person?

Sure, having a fling and getting what you need from a one-time user is great, but what if you’re losing interest in those one-night-stands and want something more meaningful? Is that one quick click enough to satisfy you, or do you want your reader to click with you every night as part of a long-term relationship?

You could get that one click/ad impression from a user and never see them again, but that means you’re constantly searching for the next one. Constantly putting yourself out there to find another reader who wants to click with you.

By building a more meaningful relationship, you could have a committed user who will care about your content for weeks, months, or years to come. It just takes a little patience and persistence.

Would you propose to someone on the first date, or ask your Tinder match to be your boyfriend before you even met? No. And would they say yes if you did? Probably not. So why should a first-time reader buy a paid subscription if you haven’t shown your value yet? It’s better to ease into things, take it slow, and get to know each other first.

You can’t just jump straight into things and expect your desired result. Building a relationship takes a lot of communication over time. You text, you talk, you discuss issues, you have deep meaningful conversations.

So why are some publishers so reluctant to start a conversation with their readers, who are human beings, and preferring to think of them as statistics and numbers in a spreadsheet? Many news sites offer few chances for readers to actually interact, instead opting to overload users with adverts (or pop-ups asking them not to block their ads).

It’s no surprise that comment and interaction rates on many news sites continue to linger around 5%.

Opinary has found a unique and effective way to foster this communication and enable publishers to build the loyalty they crave. Think of us as your relationship coach.

We understand the engagement funnel and have built tools to effectively demonstrate your value to your readers. We make it easy to engage, understand and convert users by starting with a simple conversation.

With industry leading engagement rates of 15% (versus 0.2% in the average comment section), we’ve learned that users feel rewarded and heard when they have the opportunity to share their opinions. Using our knowledge, we can effectively convert those engaged users into social followers, paid subscribers, app users, etc.

Not only does this give you a more fulfilling and loyal relationship with your readers, that stable and consistent audience will also make you more attractive to advertisers and help you diversify your monetization strategy in a healthy way.

Want more relationship advice? Send us an email or use our contact form.

Stick man support provided by Tim Urban / 

A recent Hubspot survey found that only 36% of executives were up to date with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and 12% admitted it was the first time they had even heard of it. 

Great news from London! Our campaign with fisherAppelt and Merck in the UK has been nominated for two categories at this year’s Digiday Media Awards Europe:

A new way to engage with Opinary

Opinary is always striving to find new ways to orient and empower our users with our suite of tools.

The Speedometer allows readers to place themselves on a scale between two answers, the Multiple Choice tool allows you to visualize different types of debates, and our newest tool brings even more choice.

Our latest offering provides readers with a way to share their opinion on a numerical scale – from 1-10, 0-100, or any other range you can imagine.

What should the maximum speed limit be?
How would you rate the latest Star Wars movie?
How much would you pay for the newest iPhone?

The opportunities for Slider polls are almost endless.

It’s simple, it’s intuitive, and it’s available in the Opinary Dashboard right now.

How does it work?

It couldn’t be simpler to create a Slider poll in our Dashboard – only 5 simple steps stand between you and the newest way to start a conversation with your readers.

  1. Select the lowest and highest number
  2. Choose your unit of measurement
  3. Select the step size
  4. Hit Save
  5. Embed with one click

It’s that easy.


Ready to find out more? Send an email to

Want to work with us? Opinary is hiring!

Click here to view open positions.

Opinary provides newsrooms with an engaging and exciting way to start a conversation with their readers – a vital factor in the current landscape of digital publishing. Loyalty has never been more important to those hoping to build and retain their audiences.

We hope to help publishers break through to passive browsers and turn their content into an experience that will keep readers coming back for more. By orienting and empowering readers to share their opinion with one click, we can burst the filter bubble and make a difference in the way people consume content.

If you think this would be useful for your organisation, please fill out the form on our contact page.

It’s the festive season, so we have a special gift for you.

We’ve scoured through our database and picked some of our favourite opinion trends from our publishers.

We hope this was interesting! If you want more fun insights, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

This is how marketers can harness the power of engagement to connect with their target group, position their brand on the topics that really matter to them and drive conversion at an unprecedented scale using Opinary.

Asking questions is what we do best at Opinary. We’ve been doing it for a long time, and we’ve spent a lot of time assessing the results, so we’ve learned a few things about what makes users more likely to engage with a poll.

To ensure your readers are as empowered as possible, we’d like to share a few tips on how to optimize your Opinary polls. There are some exceptions to these suggestions, but these best practices are recommended in the majority of cases.

1. Keep your answers short, snappy, and simple (but still interesting)

We recommend keeping the answers to your polls down to less than three lines (which can be checked in a preview), but they should always be more than a simple “yes” or “no” to give a little flavor. This encourages users to vote and gives them more orientation to better place themselves on the arc.

2. Look to the future

According to our studies, the most engaging questions are those which pose a question about the future — for example, “Do you intend to buy the new iPhone?”, “Should Scotland have a second independence referendum?”, “Would you support tax increases to support the NHS?”. So, when phrasing your questions, it’s a good idea to ask yourself if there is any way you can alter it to be more focused on the future rather than the past or present.

3. Make questions accessible

If a question is heavily convoluted, too long, too complicated, or full of confusing words, people are less likely to vote. Make your questions more appealing by avoiding boring words, keeping things snappy, and being clear. You want your readers to already have an idea of their answer as soon as they finish reading the question — they shouldn’t need to think about what the question means before they start to formulate an answer.

4. Don’t overdo it on the opinion bubbles

A key part of our tool is helping readers to see opinions from outside of their usual zone of influence that can be propagated by social media, but if the speedometer polls are too cluttered, it can reduce the engagement rate. Aim for a maximum of 3 or 4 bubbles per poll unless the debate is heavily contested with multiple varied viewpoints.

5. Embed as much as you can (and then some)

As you embed more polls, readers will become more used to seeing them, and therefore more likely to interact. It’s a good idea to integrate as many polls as possible across different articles, even if it’s the same poll multiple times — one article about a certain topic might be viewed by an entirely different group of readers than another post bearing the same poll.

6. Frame the question with the reader in mind

Users feel more invested in a poll if it feels like they’re directly being asked for their opinion. Rather than asking “Should the US build a wall on the Mexican border?”, it would be better to go with “Do you think the US should build a wall on the Mexican border?” or “Do you support Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the Mexican border?”.

7. Formatting the opinions

The aforementioned opinion bubbles are best used to denote where a celebrity, analyst, or person of importance stands on the debate. Based on the strength of their stance, they can be placed in a specific place along the opinion spectrum.

This is the best way to format the text within the opinion bubbles:

Give some background and provide a link to the context of the quote, then include a full quote. Making sure all of the opinion bubble texts are formatted similarly is always helpful.

Have other questions about Opinary polls?

Feel free to reach out to me at!

Okay, sort of. Newsrooms already try to read people’s minds but don’t have objective metrics for it. From the start of the editorial process (what does “the audience” want/need?) to the analysis of the results (why don’t they scroll to the bottom?), it’s a guessing game as to what users are thinking. But there’s a new way to bridge that gap and measure audience opinion like never before. I’ll get to that below. First, let me tell you about monkeys.

Your Audience Is Human

Believe it or not, I know a thing or two about monkeys.

I spent August of 2013 studying primatology in Kenya. One of the key debates in primatology is around anthropomorphization, or ascribing human attributes to the animal you’re studying. One side of the debate goes so far as to say that a primate in the wild is not “scratching its armpit” as that might imply it has an itch there. Instead, a primatologist might say a primate is “making a scratching motion against its underarm.”

In general, this makes sense. Primatologists cannot ask the monkeys if they have itchy armpits so they don’t want to make assumptions that they do.

Luckily, in journalism, your audience is human. You don’t have to guess if they have itchy armpits. You can just ask them if they have itchy armpits.

The more readers you ask, the more a subjective interpretation can transform into an objective metric: what your community-at-large is thinking.

Measuring Opinions En Masse and Over Time

This is a hypothetical armpit itchiness trend graph shows a steady level of itchy armpits across half of the audience while depicting an increase of readers with resolutely unitchy armpits.

The method Opinary has identified to engage normally passive users creates an opportunity to tune into what a newsroom’s audience is thinking and debating like never before. Above, you see how we would visualize opinion trends over time on the question of armpit itchiness. Here are a few real world examples:

(Date formats in DD/MM/YYYY)

Here’s how Opinary visualizes trending audience polarization:

(Pardon the German. U.S. publisher dashboards are in English, obviously.)

Here how Opinary visualizes trending audience agreement:

(Again, pardon the German. U.S. publisher dashboards are in English, obviously.)

What Does This Mean For A Newsroom

With ways to engage readers in conversation in new ways, Opinary has found the secret sauce to get users to share their opinions and enter into a deeper exchange with the newsroom. These users are human. Newsroom rely on these humans. This is a platform for newsrooms to serve their communities better by understanding what they think and how content influences their lives.

The questions that shape a newsroom’s mission aren’t just for the newsroom anymore. If your audience is not a part of your mission, then you’re behind the curve. Use Opinary to ask and listen like never before.

Reach me at

This is a picture of the Balloon Saloon on a Tribeca-street corner in Lower Manhattan. Blocks away from the World Trade Center’s high-end retail mall, the Balloon Saloon specializes in serving a sliver of New York City’s population.

There are 1.6 million people living in Manhattan. Around 500,000 people live on the southern half of island, within range of the Balloon Saloon. Sure–the store might serve the other boroughs and even parts of New Jersey. But what proportion of that population are customers of the Balloon Saloon? That’s a rhetorical question, but it’s safe to say it’s small.

The Balloon Saloon has found a community to serve in the 1.6 million-person haystack of NYC. How can news organizations find communities to serve within their wider audience, whether it’s 10,000 readers or 10 million?

An example of finding a community in a haystack.

Ask A Question

The answer: ask a question.

All relationships start with a conversation. Conversations start with a question: “Hi, how are you?” or “Are you from around here?” or “How has the Trump presidency affected you?”

That last question is there to make the point that newsrooms and journalists are ultimately in conversation with the public they serve. The process of reporting news is actually answering questions reporters and journalists assume audiences have. Things like “Am I being hoodwinked by any of the stores I frequent or brands I buy?” or “How did the town council vote on that ordinance?” or “Is the president putting his business interests before public interests?”

What newsrooms often fail to realize is that their reporting is not the end of the conversation. It is a prelude to a much larger public discussion and debate. Therefore, it is a newsroom’s moral responsibility to try to facilitate a constructive conversation around these issues by asking questions of their readers.

It is also in their editorial and business interests, because it is by asking these questions that newsrooms can find communities in their haystacks. Here’s an example:

Alabamians and Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Nearly 1 in 4 users who saw this question left their opinion on the first day of voting. built and ran this Opinary poll this week, asking their readers if Attorney General Jeff Sessions should resign over undisclosed conversations with Russia. The engagement rate on this poll on the first day of voting was the second highest in the Opinary network, at just about 25%.

What that means is that has found a community in their haystack of 13 million monthly users.

Admittedly, it would have been safe to assume that residents from Session’s home state would have a lot to say on the matter. But this is an example of how asking a question and listening to your audience can a) potentially blow your mind if opinion trends are unexpected and b) help push editorial and business development in a new direction.

How does a question like this inform strategy? Well now there seems to be an editorial and business case for…

  • a news product with a focus on Sessions
  • events to facilitate discussion among readers on this question
  • an opportunity to find the 5% of readers in middle and ask them about their nuanced opinion

With this process, you’ve found a community to serve by asking a question, seeing an engaged response to the question, and ideating around how to serve the community that responded.

Questions Are the Answer

I believe that it is in service to the public that journalists and newsrooms can find meaning and mission but also revenue to support that mission. Questions are the answer to finding that mission. The first stage is to deepen our relationship with the audience and the first step in that process is to ask a question. Find the answer to your questions by asking those questions of others. What do you have to lose?