Well done on earning another subscriber for your media company! But contrary to popular belief, it isn’t time to pop open that bottle of Champagne quite yet. In fact, whether you’ve gained one, ten or hundreds of new subscribers for your organization, the journey to long-term success is far from over.
“People are, on average, likely to pay for one news subscription and up to three entertainment subscriptions,” says Lucinda Southern, a reporter at Digiday. This means that “the pool for acquiring new readers quickly dwindles.”
Even so, you don’t need to miss out on that profitable, sustainable business you’ve probably always dreamed of. The solution to that shrinking pool of consumers lies with your existing subscribers. If you’re aiming to be a competitive player in the media industry, the subscription experience your company offers must be second to none.
Make your subscribers want to remain active, paying members of your digital community by engaging them continuously. After all, a sustainable business model doesn’t just acquire subscribers — it retains them as well.
Here’s how to keep your subscribers from, well, unsubscribing.
Build a Community for Subscribers
While your content offering may have convinced a visitor to subscribe to your brand, it likely won’t be enough to keep them interested for long. Especially with countless other media organizations fighting for your subscribers’ attention.
But rather than fretting over your loyal subscribers losing interest, take action.
One of the best ways to keep subscribers loyal to your platform in the long run is to delight them with continuous social interaction. This can be accomplished by maximizing the opportunity for them to build meaningful bonds: to both your brand and to other loyal users within your audience. Think live commenting or chat tools.
“An organization able to build relationships with members — as opposed to plain customers — has… a powerful competitive edge,” says Robbie Baxter, author of The Membership Economy.
Humans are creatures of habit who instinctively crave social interaction. Use this to your advantage and form a sustainable business by offering ongoing social experiences to your audience.
Monitor Subscriber Behavior to Enhance Their Experience
“To truly engage customers and clients, to broaden customer bases or nurture relationships that fuel engagement and growth, data is where it begins,” states a managing director at Deloitte Digital.
In other words, the audience engagement data you have access to on your platform is key to strengthening subscriber loyalty.
This is your chance to dig into the numbers, gather insights into your audience’s behavior, and in turn, use those insights to improve your user’s experience.
Take sports media, for instance. More and more sports organizations are beginning to use their first-party data to offer up a premium experience to their subscribers. And oftentimes, a premium experience means personalization, where brands cater to the unique needs and appetites of the individual.
Consider personalizing your subscriber’s experience by sending them recommended content and experiences based on their data.
Prevent Churn Before It Ever Happens
Sustainable businesses in the media industry have already realized that preventing churn — the loss of subscribers — should be a priority. Even The Economist pours 70% of its marketing resources into retaining its subscribers.
At the end of the day, “acquiring a new customer is up to 25% more expensive than retaining an existing one,” says the International News Media Association (INMA).
So how does one exactly stop churn from taking place and extend the lifetime value of each subscriber?
The answer lies in your engagement tool and paywall strategy. When implemented properly, your engagement tool provider should be able to identify dips in user activity, and notify your paywall provider when churn is on the horizon. Then, your paywall provider can send special subscription discounts and content offers for the subscriber in question before churn ever happens.
Alternatively, you can use your first-party data to send out personalized emails directly to your inactive subscribers with content that would appeal to their interests.
When it comes to paywalls and engagement tools, you can’t just set them and forget them. It is absolutely essential to check on your audience, and enhance their experience time and time again. The fate of your business depends on it.
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