It’s a well-known truism that keeping existing customers is often more valuable that finding new ones. This applies to subscription-based publishers as much as anyone.
The LA Times offer an illuminating cautionary tale. Their efforts to grow subscription revenue were failing badly by the first half of 2019. They hoped to double digital subscriptions to 300,000 through the year, instead this happened:
Performance for the first half of the year, however, has been disappointing. While we added 52,000 digital subscriptions, significant cancellations during the same stretch left us with a net increase of only 13,000
This is the risk when you focus too much on getting new subscribers and not on keeping existing ones engaged.
Jacob Donnelly from CoinDesk (and author of the highly recommended A Media Operator newsletter) offers two key suggestions for keeping readers engaged:.
1) Track the right analytics
Make sure you’re measuring and monitoring key subscriber metrics like # of visits and also the kind of content they are most interested in. If you understand how often they’re coming back and what they like this forms a basis for communicating effectively with them.
2) Nail the communication
This is all about reminding them that you exist and why they liked you enough to subscribe in the first place. Welcome series, newsletters and targeted ads are all things to consider.
As mentioned in the previous article – a valuable app for subscribers can also dovetail well into your retention strategy.