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3 million+ subscribers: How The Telegraph acquires and retains readers

What's New in Publishing 12 Feb 2019 11:30

The Telegraph had earlier set a goal of reaching 3 million subscribers by the end of 2018; it beat the target by half a million and is confident of reaching the 10 million milestone in a few years.

A key component of the strategy that helped drive subscribers’ growth was shifting from a metered paywall to a hybrid one, and gating 20% of the content for starters (the rest being available to all users freely).

The amount of gated content has now gone up to 35%. This is in line with the French publisher Le Monde’s strategy. It was able to increase subscriber conversions by 46% after placing around 37% of its best content behind a paywall.

Under the new model, registered users of The Telegraph can access one premium article per week. While exact figures were not revealed, according to the publisher, the move led to a tripling in the number of daily subscriber acquisition.

Registered users: “Far more valuable”

The Telegraph began shifting from going after mass-reach audience numbers to building a base of registered users over two years back. The benefits were clear: registered users are generally more ripe for converting into paying subscribers compared to flyby readers, and the publisher would have more detailed first-party audience data for advertisers to improve campaign targeting.

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The TelegraphChris TaylorUKfootballChris Duncan
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