Audience Loyalty in the era of Subscription News

The pandemic, along with the limitations and lockdowns that accompanied it, endowed news organisations with a huge range of digital subscribers. As the digital advertising market collapsed, most companies and organisations scrambled to enhance or develop an effective digital presence: high street booksellers transitioned to an E-commerce model, while news publishers were forced to depend on paid subscriptions. The lockout was particularly profitable for news organisations who had previously made the transition to a digital service behind a paywall. This surge in subscription sales is great news for believers of the model; nevertheless, retention is the key to success for these publishers, since membership renewals account for 70-95 percent of overall income. But the big question now is will these publishers be able to retain their "lockdown subscribers"?



To establish loyalty and improve your relationship with your audience, you need to take a comprehensive strategy. In the digital era, the reader's journey is difficult, and consumers frequently transition between devices and information channels. You should try broadening your reach and experimenting with other platforms in order to keep up with them and meet them wherever they are.

According to the study by Markinblog selling to an existing customer has a 3x to 35x better chance of success than selling to a new one. You'll be able to boost client retention and maintain a long-term relationship with your readers if you use a multichannel strategy. 

1. Add value to your Subscription

Subscriptions may be made more valuable by adding value to them.Subscription rates are significant, even if they aren't a reliable predictor of reader loyalty. The majority of people are unaware of how journalism is funded. They don't realise that paid subscriptions in digital publishing might be the difference between staying in company and going out of business. That is why many readers refuse to subscribe to and pay for services that may be obtained for free.

Here are some ideas for how you use subscriptions to build client loyalty:

 Provide incentives

Consider increasing the value of what readers get in exchange for their money by including incentives like:

  • Limited editions
  • Content that is unique
  • Discounts for affiliates
  • Benefits associated to a specific niche

Freebies can entice readers to consider paying for a membership by making them feel more involved with you and keeping them interested.

 Non-subscribers should not be overlooked

However, not all of our regular readers are subscribers. Someone may see your magazine as their most trustworthy source of information, yet they may not be a frequent reader since they do not consume material on a daily basis.

The frequency with which a consumer visits your website should not be considered a determining factor in their loyalty or relationship with you. If you simply pay attention to paying subscribers, you risk alienating the rest of your readers and losing their trust.

You can keep various audiences around and gain their loyalty by establishing a balance between paid subscriptions and free content.

2. Send Personalised Newsletters



Some people like daily updates, while others are okay with once a week updates. With a regular flow of curated content based on their tastes, newsletters may keep your readership interested. Emails may be readily automated to convey breaking news from various parts of your publication or on certain themes. Popular publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post provide subscribers with over 70 different types of newsletters to choose from. Even the most specialised audiences are made up of individuals with distinct reading preferences.

You give your readers power over the information flow by presenting a number of options. This reduces churn by reducing the chance of overloading customers with stuff they don't want or like. According to research 58% of companies pursue personalisation strategies for customer retention.

3. Use Social Media Platforms to Engage Readers



More than half of American adults say they get their news from social media platforms rather than news websites these days. However, one of the drawbacks of social media is that it's difficult for people to tell the difference between fake and misleading news.

You have credibility as a publisher, which distinguishes you as a trusted expert to your audience and makes your work a trustworthy source of information. By meeting your readers where they are, you provide them simple access to reliable information while also saving them the trouble of having to modify their habits. You'll be more likely to maintain them as loyal consumers and keep them interested if you do it this way.

Furthermore, sharing your free material on social media on a regular basis is merely the first step. Social media platforms provide you with nearly infinite opportunities to interact with your audience and form vital connections. The following are some of the advantages you can investigate:

  • Organise live streaming events where your audience may ask you questions regarding current events.
  • Making polls to find out what people think about key issues.
  • Listening to what your readers have to say about your stories.
  • Participating in talks.

Social media platforms can help you engage with your audience on a more personal and real-time basis. It virtually puts you face-to-face with your readers, removing the obstacles and distance that print and digital versions impose. This helps publishers to create a community as well as a dedicated readership.

4. Create paths for users to follow as they progress through the loyalty funnel



Providing signals to induce a behaviour then rewarding that action when it occurs  is the key to developing a habit. As a result, giving concrete advantages that consumers find useful is just as crucial as generating meaningful product experiences – and pushing users to pursue the journey down the engagement funnel. Using a chat platform as part of an editorial strategy, for example, draws the reader in and increases stickiness. Users will return for more if you implement incentive systems like user badges, reputation points, or unique access based on user recognition within the community.

Publishers offer quality material for readers to bond around, unlike social media. Users may better nurture and understand their community by giving a platform for them to interact. They can also give what is useful to their group. Users eventually grow increasingly eager and inspired to pay for great news and information — since it's more than simply material — as a natural development.

Interested in growing audience loyalty on your site? Contact us today and we can explore our various modules which will help your publication to unlock its true potential with loyal customers. 

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