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.
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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.
America's Newspapers – the association formed from the merger of the Inland Press Association and Southern Newspaper Publishers Association – was ceremonially launched October 6 at its inaugural annual meeting in Chicago.
America's Newspapers unites two of the oldest press associations to form one of the industry's largest advocates for newspapers and the many benefits to their communities, civil life, freedom of expression and democracy.
"Newspaper journalism provides a voice for the voiceless, challenges elected officials, shines a light on government, calls for change when change is needed, and exposes corruption and injustice," said Chris Reen, the president and publisher of The Gazette in Colorado Springs who will serve as the first president of America's Newspapers.More
A new association formed by the consolidation of SNPA and the Inland Press Association was officially launched today. The name of the new association will be announced on Oct. 6 at the association's first annual meeting in Chicago.
Edward VanHorn, SNPA's executive director, said that the merger unites two of the country's oldest press associations into a progressive new organization that will use its bigger and more powerful voice to be an unapologetic advocate for newspapers.More