July 30, 2019 | Lucy Tozer
Increasingly publishers are using newsletters to drive traffic and subscribers to their websites and other digital products, such as their apps and ePapers. As well as attracting new subscribers they are also being effectively used to retain and keep existing subscribers engaged with their content.
Newsletters are essentially emails containing a collection of stories or headlines that are mailed out to subscribers. After seeing how they are successfully increasing engagement, publishers are tweaking their newsletter strategies to ensure that they are delivering personalized content that’s more likely to generate clicks and keep their readers engaged.
Some publishers are even positioning their newsletters as a standalone editorial product which shows just how important they are.
Recently, UK title, The Economist changed their strategy as they felt subscribers were overwhelmed with content and that too much content was actually increasing their churn rate.
Now they have just three newsletters, including their daily ‘Espresso’ newsletter. According to them, a ‘potential’ subscriber who receives their weekly newsletter is 1.4 times more likely to subscribe than one that doesn’t.
“A Digiday survey found that 65% of publishing execs thought that email was the most effective customer acquisition channel for subscriptions, by a long shot.”
In South America, Clarin has adopted a strategy whereby they have 18 newsletters in total. They claim to have 150,000 subscribers to at least one of their newsletter products and these help them to drive traffic to their website and distribute information to their subscriber base.
In the states the Globe and Mail have 28 newsletters, they are either used to build brand or audience. As well as driving subscriptions, their newsletters are also used to generate advertising revenue.
“We see significant conversion rates with free newsletter readers to paid subscribers, but it’s important to note that readers are not subscribing to get the newsletters. They’re paying for the journalism and the newsletter is a convenient gateway to the journalism” says The Globe and Mail’s Director of Digital Subscription Product Development, Scott Adams.
Many of our clients currently using newsletters to drive subscriptions and increase engagement are implementing a more personalized newsletter strategy whereby they are segmenting data and sending subscribers much more targeted content because ultimately, readers are looking for quality journalism.