Nearly 7,000 people threatened to cancel their newspaper subscriptions. Here's what got them to stay.
You're a print newspaper subscriber, and one morning your paper doesn't show up. You call customer service (how brave of you!) and threaten to cancel. The apologetic customer service rep offers you a discount for the remainder of your subscription, which you accept. But what will you do when that subscription comes up for renewal?
According to a new study from Notre Dame and Emory, newspaper subscribers who receive a short-term price adjustment to quell the disappointment of a delivery failure are actually less likely to renew their subscription when the time comes – suggesting that newspapers might want to adjust their tactics for addressing customer complaints. Among the things they can try instead: Renewal discounts, extending or upgrading the subscriber's existing subscription, and regularly taking the opportunity to remind customers of what the "full" subscription price is.
Read more from NiemanLab.MORE
Share your successful circulation subscriber sales and audience acquisition ideas and get more proven ideas in return!
SNPA is hosting a free video conference designed to give you actionable, proven revenue-generating ideas. The next P2P (Publisher-to-Publisher) session will occur on Thursday, Aug. 8, and be dedicated to growing subscribers.
Participating is simple. Contribute one idea and in exchange, you get the login codes and the complete package of ideas that are contributed by other newspapers.
Send an email by Aug. 2 to Greg Watson with the subject line P2P and share some information with us.MORE
For Adams Publishing Group, cutting edge technology and automation will give even the smallest community newspaper marketing and subscriber retention capabilities that weren't possible before.
APG has selected LEAP Media Solutions for the job. LEAP, based in Raleigh, N.C., is a full-service provider of data-optimized omnichannel marketing solutions. Its clients include GateHouse Media, Tribune Publishing and Shaw Media Group among many others.
For APG, LEAP is a high-end solution for community papers with small circulation staffs. Founded in 2013 by Mark Adams with the support of his family, APG consists of 27 daily papers, more than 100 non-dailies and other media businesses in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
"Our circulation departments are focused on getting the paper out every day, and this type of marketing seems to go by the wayside. We just never get to it. That is why we decided to go with LEAP," said Esther Maina, vice president of circulation and marketing and audience development.
According to its news release, "LEAP specializes in the media industry, applying best practices in the use of data, analytics and multi-channel marketing to drive digital and print subscriber initiatives, enhance customer value and diversify revenue. At the heart of those solutions is the BlueVenn Omnichannel Marketing Hub, specifically tailored to deliver analytics and customer journeys that grow, engage and monetize audiences."
Maina said the technology is "head and shoulders" above anything else she's seen in a newspaper career dating back to 1981. "It's like a wizard machine," she said.MORE
Executives who addressed this month's topic were:
- Jeff DeLoach, president of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
- David Kirkman, vice president of audience services, Richmond Times-Dispatch.
- Mark Adams, audience acquisition and retention manager, The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C. Adams also is a member of the NEX GEN Class of 2018-19.
- Retaining current subscribers is much more efficient than acquiring new ones.
- Utilizing value-selling techniques with each subscriber touch point is critical – especially with incoming calls.
- Reader revenue, both print and digital, has growing importance for future financial health, not only audience needs.
- Traditional sales channels will remain important, enhanced with innovative digital marketing (email and social media).
- Market audience leadership through quality content is essential.
Members of the Certified Audit of Circulations voted unanimously to support a merger with the Alliance for Audited Media. One hundred percent of the votes cast were in favor of the merger with more than 30 percent of members voting. AAM's membership also overwhelmingly supported the merger with 99 percent approving it. With support from both memberships, the merger was completed on May 29.MORE
With unanimous support, the board of directors of Certified Audit of Circulations is recommending a merger with the Alliance for Audited Media to help keep audit rates low, ensure easy access of independently verified data to media buyers, and enhance customer service. Pending approval by both CAC and AAM members, the merger is expected to be complete this summer.MORE
A four-page wrap provided a lighthearted approach to subscriber renewals: blank space to illustrate what they would be missing without their local paper.MORE
What factors comprise your publication's image? I believe your image is comprised of many factors, including – but not limited to – print quality, web presence, employee attire, employee attitude, your office cleanliness, the area outside your building, the racks you use to sell your publication (both coin and inside racks), your delivery and your editorial objectivity, just to mention some that top my list.MORE
There was a time when we went after circulation with an attitude of "damn the expense – full subscriptions ahead." The understanding was the cost of delivery was offset by ad revenue. Then, advertisers decided that "all circulation was not equal." As more advertisers came to this conclusion, ads or inserts declined as advertisers sought only the areas they believed worked best for them.
As revenue declined, expenses were cut and – in, some cases, publications pulled out of areas not generating ad revenue. In other cases, subscribers quit because of a lack of advertising or due to things being dropped from the publication that they liked.
In response to these declines, publications cut more expenses, increased subscription rates, and the circle began again with more cut backs from advertisers. To survive, this is a cycle we must stop. So, how do we go about it?MORE
Here's a taste of what you'll hear in Chicago, Oct. 6-8:
- Walter Hussman reports on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's bold move to convert all its subscribers to digital subscribers.
- Recruitment guru Laurie Kahn on what newspapers need to do to assemble a team of sales superstars.
- The Post and Courier reveals results from the Google News Initiative – literally days after its conclusion.
- News from Washington on the newspaper industry's fight to get a fair share of revenue from Facebook and Google.Springs.
Read about the latest job openings posted on the SNPA website. And, send us your listings to post at no cost.More