Instead of running down a lengthy list of metrics, methods and mechanisms, getting to the heart of the matter when it comes to retaining your subscribers can help cut through the confusion and simplify your goals. 

It is far more profitable to keep an existing customer rather than convert a new one. Knowing what successful news publishers are doing to satisfy subscribers can elevate your customer retention rate. 

The American Press Institute suggests that publishers take a look at what they are doing right now as well as considering areas of improvement. Three of the most widely used methods to retain subscribers were based on a survey including 526 small and large publications all of which had paid subscribers. Some of the methods used were based on encouraging new subscribers to sign up for email newsletters, tracking data showing which content users engage with most, and sending welcome emails detailing the subscriber benefits. 

Three Methods to retain subscribers

  • Encourage new subscribers to sign up for newsletters 
  • Track data showing content users engage with
  • Send welcome emails detailing benefits

Newsletters offer many ways to build relationships with customers lending to an increase in retention such as sharing information about your company and your brand, further strengthening customer loyalty.  

When companies track data showing what content their readers engage with, it provides an opportunity for delivering personalized content. Knowing which authors are highly read, whether users seek weekly columns or feature stories can provide insight into future content choices.  These insights show publishers where they need to alter their coverage to build customer satisfaction. Most publishers surveyed said they discussed these metrics at monthly meetings providing opportunities for employees to share insights and suggestions. 

Sending welcome emails informing your subscribers about included features prompts users to take advantage of offers and establishes a connection.  It provides yet another opportunity to personalize your communications while establishing customer loyalty. All three of these methods open the door for communication while building trust and improving the customer relationship. 

Many of the underutilized tactics involved personalization methods. Some of them included personalizing communications with individual subscribers depending on what content they were reading, surveying users when they visited the website or app, and sending personalized messages.

Underutilized Methods Worth Implementing

  • Personalizing communications with individual subscribers
  • Surveys
  • Sending personalized messages

With only 17% of respondents saying they personalized their communications with individual subscribers based on what content they are reading, there appears to be plenty of room for improvement. This can be achieved through adapting content including email, website, and social media. By understanding your audience, try making recommendations based on the content they consume, or using related posts on social media. 

Roughly 25% asked users to fill out a survey. When publishers check in with subscribers about where they are accessing news, what issues are most important to them and whether they feel represented in that coverage, as well as offering a chance to provide feedback and respond by truly listening, trust is established. When subscribers visit your website or app, be sure to ask them to complete a customer survey. 

Only 20% of respondents said they sent individuals a personalized message. Consider offering options for preferences based on the frequency and time they would like to receive offers and communications. Be sure you are addressing them by their preferred name, and send a birthday message with a reward. Find out if they prefer brief interactions or longer chats. 

If  71% of consumers anticipate companies will deliver personalized interactions, these low percentages represent missed opportunities for personalized communication. Knowing the advantages of personalization, these areas have the potential to increase profits and return on investment significantly,  so taking advantage of including personalization in as many transactions as possible should be a goal for all businesses. By keeping in mind these top methods to retain subscribers and those worthy of implementation, your readers are sure to come back for more. 

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