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.
Members of the Certified Audit of Circulations voted unanimously to support a merger with the Alliance for Audited Media. One hundred percent of the votes cast were in favor of the merger with more than 30 percent of members voting. AAM's membership also overwhelmingly supported the merger with 99 percent approving it. With support from both memberships, the merger was completed on May 29.MORE
With unanimous support, the board of directors of Certified Audit of Circulations is recommending a merger with the Alliance for Audited Media to help keep audit rates low, ensure easy access of independently verified data to media buyers, and enhance customer service. Pending approval by both CAC and AAM members, the merger is expected to be complete this summer.MORE
A four-page wrap provided a lighthearted approach to subscriber renewals: blank space to illustrate what they would be missing without their local paper.MORE
What factors comprise your publication's image? I believe your image is comprised of many factors, including – but not limited to – print quality, web presence, employee attire, employee attitude, your office cleanliness, the area outside your building, the racks you use to sell your publication (both coin and inside racks), your delivery and your editorial objectivity, just to mention some that top my list.MORE
There was a time when we went after circulation with an attitude of "damn the expense – full subscriptions ahead." The understanding was the cost of delivery was offset by ad revenue. Then, advertisers decided that "all circulation was not equal." As more advertisers came to this conclusion, ads or inserts declined as advertisers sought only the areas they believed worked best for them.
As revenue declined, expenses were cut and – in, some cases, publications pulled out of areas not generating ad revenue. In other cases, subscribers quit because of a lack of advertising or due to things being dropped from the publication that they liked.
In response to these declines, publications cut more expenses, increased subscription rates, and the circle began again with more cut backs from advertisers. To survive, this is a cycle we must stop. So, how do we go about it?MORE
Is your publication's goal to reach newcomers quickly and to become relevant to them in their new home? If so, here's a win-win for you and your local Chamber of Commerce.MORE
Here is what I consider the best sampling program – ever: hospital delivery. This could be sponsored by an advertiser, or from public donations, or you can make it your community contribution. You can do any or all of these – just do the delivery and let the sponsorships come in.MORE
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.
Dean Ridings will be its chief executive officer, effective Nov. 11.
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