GWADS Promotional Award

2019 Award Submissions
Digital Subscriber Growth

Bay Area News Group

Promoting Local Stories to Increase Newsletters Engagement

City: San Jose, CA
Daily audited circulation size: 310,217
Sunday audited circulation size: 471,130

Objective

To increase readership & subscriptions to our newsletters by promoting single local stories of high impact.

Strategy

The Single Story Promo campaign was created as a way to give our readers an in depth analysis on quality content. In this campaign, there were 14 stories total that focused on local issues that brought a level of awareness to the community.

Response Method

People responded by clicking on the email newsletter to read more. Once they did this, they would land on the landing page. At the bottom of the landing page, people had the option to sign into their social channel (ie. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and leaving a comment.

Target Goal

The goal for this campaign was to increase overall engagement amongst our subscribers and newsletter signups. We also wanted to have an open rate of 40% and clickthru rate of 30%.

Timeline

This campaign debuted on May 31, 2018 and continued throughout the year with its last story on December 29, 2018.

Results

Other Metrics Contributing to Success: Although we were not able to meet our targeted open and clickthru rate, we did exceed on engagement in terms of page views and page clicks. We found that those who clicked thru from the email newsletter stayed on the page longer and were more likely to click to other pages.

Results

2.9 mil email sends
21.4% open rate
97,137 clicks
2.4% clickrate

Bay Area News Group

Digital Only Stop Saves

City: San Jose, CA
Daily audited circulation size: 310,217
Sunday audited circulation size: 471,130

Objective

To Save Digital Only Stops initiated via our web-site.

Strategy

Provide $5 credits and $10 gift cards to save digital subscribers that stopped via our web-site.

Results

Out of 1,664 web-based stops, we saved 84 (5%) in 2018.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Fund NIE Digital Program

City: Fort Worth, TX
Daily audited circulation size: 191,498
Sunday audited circulation size: 164,105

Objective

To help fund the Fort Worth Star-Telegram NIE digital program that reaches over 8,000 students daily via website, educational resources and access to the eEdition.

Strategy

To partner with Pediment Publishing to produce and sell a historical pictorial book. Project started with scanning sessions for subscribers and public to upload their photos or bring them to a scheduled scanning location. This followed with pre-sales and then launch of the book in December 2018. The promotion began in July 2018 and is ongoing through 2019 until all 3,700 books are sold. The campaign was promoted through various marketing channels; email, online ads, social media posts and print ads. The creative changed on a regular basis to keep the campaign fresh.

Results

Currently sold 3,528 books and generated $26,275 revenue for NIE program.

Skagit Valley Herald

Turnkey Emails

City: Mt. Vernon, WA
Daily audited circulation size: 10,009
Sunday audited circulation size: 10,086

Objective

To enhance our retention efforts, and to digitally interact with our subscribers throughout the duration of their subscription. By automating a series of both Welcome and Retention/Renewal emails, we reduce the cost of direct mail, and save time by eliminating the need to make Customer Service calls.

Strategy

With the technology provided by MSG, we have implemented an ongoing series of automated emails, which run for a total of eight weeks. When a person becomes a subscriber and have provided an email address, they are opted into our Turnkey program. Through this program, he or she will receive an email once a week which contains different information regarding his or her subscription. The first four weeks of emails are "Welcome" emails. The first email describes the different features of our daily/Sunday newspaper, the second informs of how to set up their digital access, the third explains the benefit of signing up for our newsletter, and the fourth is a customer satisfaction survey. The results of this survey are sent in a report to us quarterly; the surveys provide us with the opportunity to both understand our reader's experience with us, and the insight into how we can improve our service, if need be. The following four weeks of emails are comprised of reminders to renew the subscription, to update an account if a credit card has expired, and a final customer satisfaction survey. All of the Turnkey emails feature information specific to our market, with pictures that have been specially selected to best represent the top demographics in our market. The emails also contain click-through links to the pages we would like to direct subscribers to. Through Second Street, we are able to view these emails on a dashboard to see how many people are receiving them, and who among them are clicking on the links within, as well as what time of day they are most likely to view the emails upon receipt of them, if they are viewing the emails on a PC or mobile device, what zip code they are in whilst opening the emails, and so on. This information is immensely beneficial to our marketing efforts, as we learn the most effective times to send future email blasts.

Results

We launched this program in February of 2018, and it costs us only $100 per month. Since we initiated our Turnkey emails, we have grown to include six other papers from our division who are now also utilizing the program as a retention tool. The goal of the Turnkey program is ultimately to be able to engage with our subscribers through a hands-off approach, but simultaneously in a way that allows us to remain "present" throughout their subscription. It has been a successful endeavor in that we can connect with subscribers, keep them informed about new opportunities to be involved in through their subscription, remind them to update and renew their accounts, and to give them an opportunity to share their feedback.

BECOME A MEMBER

Your membership goes to support GWAA, a nonprofit organization committed to continuing education and sharing of ideas. Members get preferred rates at all GWAA sponsored events, the opportunity to network, learn revenue-generating strategies, and stay in the forefront of ongoing digital engagement. The GWAA Executive Board of Directors and Board Members look forward to your participation and support in advancing our audience development program.

Connect. Learn. Drive Change.

Our Valued Business Partners

Stay in the know with
GWAA news and offerings