Peter Houston explores the ‘Four P’s of Retention’ in his latest article for Publishing Executive.
Though the UK’s vote to exit the EU and the election of Donald Trump may have roiled the British and American public, both have been great for subscription sales. Stories of the readership surge caused by the Trump Bump and the Brexit Bounce are legend among audience development professionals.
Everyone knows, except maybe the president, that The New York Times gained more than 250,000 subscribers in the quarter after his election. The UK’s own Times newspaper doubled its subscription sales over the weekend of the EU referendum by opening access to deep-dive Brexit pieces like: Life after Brexit: what happens next.
In 2018, the turmoil continues, and the danger is that disruption has become the new normal. The need to buy trusted information, the impulse to resist, or signal support, with a partisan media subscription seems much less acute than it did two years ago.
So what can publishers do to keep the converts they won in those early, cloudy days of disruption? And more generally, what can consumer and B2B publishers do to keep the paying customers they’ve captured in their recent push into paid content?
It’s Cheaper to Keep Old Readers than Find New Ones
It’s no secret that there are two parts to building a significant subscription business. The first is to convince people to pay for what you’re selling. The second, and arguably most important, is to keep them paying. What people don’t always remember is that keeping readers is way more cost effective that finding and converting new ones.