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As media companies look to differentiate their offerings, diversify revenue streams and focus on their readers, many are choosing to push their premium content behind paywalls – available only to their subscribers. Others are choosing a hybrid experience, with metered visits that offer a hint of their site’s value before also making it available through subscription only.

In both cases, they’re saving their best content for a small percentage of their readers. And for a lot of media providers today, it’s a smart move – but it’s only the start.

The Value of Subscribers

Industry reports show that subscribers, on average, make up only about 5-10% of a publication’s unique visitors. That may seem like a tiny fraction of your readers, but ultimately it’s this segment that drives most of your overall revenue. That means it’s not a group you should ignore.

Not everyone will become a subscriber, but those who do feel a closer affinity to your brand, content and contributors. They’ve also been presented with the right offer, at the right time, to the right person on the right channel. But getting them to subscribe is only the first step. These loyal and engaged fans still need to be entertained, delighted and surprised. Maintaining them as subscribers can take just as much work as gaining their loyalty did in the first place.

That may start with offering them the premium content not available to anyone else. But there are other ways to keep your subscribers coming back as well.

Earning Subscriber Engagement

Content counts, but to keep your subscribers engaged you need to go beyond that. And that begins with understanding what engagement is in the first place – and what converts that engagement into a subscription.

For media providers, engagement isn’t just a single metric, but rather a combination of how many times someone comes to your site (frequency), and how long they spend interacting with your content once they’re there (time spent). Both play key roles in a user’s decision to convert, and – as a result – can greatly affect your bottom line.

So how do you continue to drive both frequency and time spent on site while also reducing churn?

To accomplish that, modern news media companies and lifestyle brands promote engagement in four unique ways. All expand the value of their subscriptions by increasing the frequency of visits and building deeper attachment overall. These include:

1

Personalization:

Through customized newsfeeds and content recommendations, you can offer your subscribers exactly the content that appeals to them, personalizing their experience to suit their unique interests and needs.
2

Conversations:

By providing subscribers with a voice on your site, and letting them interact with other subscribers through live chat and real-time commenting, you create an onsite community and new opportunities for engagement – giving them more reasons to stay.
3

Connection:

Conversations lead to connections, enhancing subscribers’ loyalty and feelings of attachment by allowing them to create valuable relationships with other subscribers, as well as the journalists, personalities and experts they’ve come to admire.
4

Notifications:

By keeping subscribers up to date on content from the users and journalists they love, real-time notifications add value to your audience experience and keep those subscribers coming back.

To find out more about the best tools to help you build your own subscriber engagement, contact us.

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Contact an audience engagement specialist today
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1 800 711 4838