GWADS Promotional Awards

2019 Award Submissions
Print Subscriber Retention

Bay Area News Group

Tableau Retention Initiative

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


Improve subscriber retention and profit.


Use Tableau retention reporting to track new subscriptions by channel FOD and rate.

It guides our decisions:

  1. We reduced low retaining door crew starts
  2. Increased higher retaining kiosk starts & raised rates
  3. Maximized kiosk digital only starts & priced them the same as 7-day print ($14.90/month)
  4. Maximized high retaining low cost e-mail starts


Improved profit from new subscriber starts from a loss to +$428K by year two.

Bay Area News Group

Rewards Program

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


To provide an incentive for new & existing print & digital subscribers to subscribe and renew their subscriptions.


As part of our retention strategy for both print and digital subscribers, we created and currently manage the Membership Rewards program. This includes sweepstakes, coupons, and e-cookbooks that are available to any Mercury News and East Bay Times subscriber.

Response Method
For the sweepstakes portion of the program, people respond by entering via the customer care site associated with their subscription or by mailing in a letter to our Membership Rewards team. If a subscriber would like to view and download a coupon they start the process at the customer care site and then move to our vendor's site to view and download. For the download of our free e-cookbooks the subscriber starts at the customer care site and them moves to our Bay Area News Group site.

Target Goal
Our goal for each contest varies depending on what we are giving away. As a rule of thumb, we always want to see a few hundred entries. The same goes for the coupons and e-cookbook downloads.

We run our Membership Rewards program all year round with an average of 3 contests per month, hundreds of coupon offers per month and one e-cookbook per month. The past months and years cookbooks are available all year long.

Other Metrics Contributing to Success
We run print ads and an email blasts promoting each contest and e-cookbook in both participating publications. These help to push our subscribers to the customer care site to participate in the Membership Rewards program. In addition to the ongoing contests, coupons and e-cookbooks we published a Membership Rewards physical coupon book. This was given as an incentive for EZ pay which will help our retention in the long run.


CY 2018
Total contests: 40
Total entries: 18,334
Largest single contest entry: 3,511 (Win a trip to Maui)
Total e-cookbooks: 12 (in 2018) 25 in total
Total downloaded e-cookbooks: 20,928 (activity in 2018)
E-cookbooks from previous years are available to download
Most popular downloaded e-cookbook: Quick & Easy Chicken (3900)
Total subscriber coupon access: 20,424
Total coupons downloaded: 911
Top coupon downloads: Jiffy Lube, Wendy’s, Arby’s and El Pollo Loco

Idaho Statesman

Call Center Stop Save Initiative

City: Boise, ID
Daily audited circulation size: 29,618
Sunday audited circulation size: 52,814


Decrease permanent stops from subscribers contacting the call center.


Starting Monday September 3rd, 2018 customer service agents at our call center were tasked with improving the ratio between the number of permanent stops and the number of subscribers agents convinced not to stop, appropriately referred to as stop saves. Prior to this date the ratio of subscribers saved was 23.3% which was far below the average of other markets. Retention team curated a script that helped agents effectively change the mind of the subscriber in their reasoning for wanting to permanently stop their subscription. Over the course of the next 4 months, the Retention Director met with call center managers every day for 15 minutes to recap the previous day’s results as well as discuss the results they expected to have in the current day. Every day, the call center managers were pushed to meet an expectation of 50% stop saves. In addition to these meetings, a weekly meeting was set up to listen to random calls between agents and subscribers calling to stop and calls were critiqued thoroughly.


In 2019, stop save ratios are now consistently averaging between 50% and 57% each week. This large improvement of having an average of 55 stop saves per week to over 120 stop saves per week increases our revenue and currently helps us better maintain audience volumes.

Modesto Bee

Spring Great Outdoors Giveaway

City: Modesto, CA
Daily audited circulation size: 33,857
Sunday audited circulation size: 53,136


To reward subscribers, create loyalty and drive online engagement with our main newspaper websites and rewards sites–increase rewards members and engagement.


Promotion ran 4/17/18 – 5/17/18.
We conducted sweepstakes promotions for Yeti Coolers and $100 Sporting Goods (Dicks Sporting Goods or Bass Pro shops) gift cards. We awarded both prizes in 11 markets–one winner per market.

  • All current and new rewards members could enter the sweepstakes.

We used in-paper ads, web ads, email and Facebook to promote.

  • Print ads – Wednesdays and Sundays 4/18 through 5/16
  • Digital – web ads – run of site 5/10 – 5/15
  • Email – weekly blast – featuring new outdoor images (see below of canoe, beach, family, and picnic) to special offers filter – rewards members and acquisition filters
  • Rewards Newsletters: featured prize with the outdoor images


Rewards Registrations:

● Grew registered members by 24% during the contest period.
● Total of 12,107 entries for the contest..
● Added 5,221 new members during the duration of the contest.

Modesto grew 445 members (56.6%).

The News Tribune

What's in it for you?

City: Tacoma, WA
Daily audited circulation size: 34,731
Sunday audited circulation size: 77,220


Print retention through branding campaign–home delivery and single copy.


Conduct an ongoing brand awareness campaign that reinforces the features, benefits and value of purchasing and subscribing to the newspaper, using various marketing channels.

Promoted the following from August to December 2018:

  • Coupons
  • eEdition, which inlcludes bonus content (ExtraExtra & SportsExtra)
  • News and Innovation
  • Rewards
  • Holiday shopping savings
  • We used in-paper ads, web ads, email and in-store marketing.


No direct results to correlate as this was a branding campaign.

Skagit Valley Herald

Mosiac Segmentation

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


Strengthen our customer intelligence in order to better engage with audience. Utilize Mosaic demographic categories to understand and appeal to various segments.


Partnering with MSG has provided us insight to our market population on a profoundly personal level. According to Experian's Mosiac segmentation portal page, "Mosaic divides the US population into 19 groups and 71 more detailed types. It paints a unique picture of US consumers based on their demographic characteristics, lifestyles, and behaviors."

Through the segmentation portal, we are able to input our geographic location and then view our top market audience demographics, or "Groups" and sub-"Types", which are broken down further into composition percentages. The in-depth analysis of a person based on his or her digital footprint grants us the ability to better understand their needs and motivations, ultimately allowing us to market to them more effectively and efficiently.


Equipped with the Mosaic breakdowns, we have been able to strategically target specific audiences for our promotions. For example, in February of 2019 when we were conceptualizing a promotion which would allocate donations to the American Heart Foundation, we were able to pull a list from MSG of people within our top Mosaic Groups who are former charitable donators.  In an effort to increase our chances of enticing the non-subscribers on that list to subscribe, we offered. in return a donation to be made in his or her name. We also held a meeting with our newsroom/editorial department to inform them of our top Mosaic Groups, and to help them better understand the characteristics of our market as a whole, (i.e. their hobbies, and interests-both political and personal) in the hopes that they might then shift the tone of our local newspaper to fulfill the content desires of our subscribers. Between the nine papers which make up our division, our partnership with MSG (and subsequently our access to Segmentation and MSG's other marketing software) costs about $300 per month. Having this comprehensive market demographic information at our disposal is invaluable, and we plan to continue to use in whatever way it best fits our marketing, retention, and promotional needs in the future. Ultimately, it provides us with a sense of exclusive access into the lives of those who we currently serve, and those we hope to serve in the future.

The Spokesman-Review

Automated Direct Mail Program to Reduce Non-Pay Stops

City: Spokane
Daily audited circulation size: 59,850
Sunday audited circulation size: 75,640


Reduce non-pay stops
Preserve revenue


Identify subscribers in their last week of grace.
Create an automated process to send files to a mailhouse.
Utilize an eye-catching graphic and "soft" message on a large postcard.


15.21% reduction in stops versus the control group.
Preserved $287,215 in annual revenue.
Cost of the program is $5379 annually.
Net revenue gain = $273,336


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