No offer is one size fits all

Guest Column: Trena De Landro, VP, Publishing & Media, North America at MPP Global, says that personalized user experiences are the ones that get repeated, and should be goal for every publisher

For more than a decade, customers have been shifting their reading habits to consume more and more digital content. As a result, traditional media companies are being forced to follow the readers and implement new strategies to market digital, alongside traditional print, to grow revenues.


L’Équipe, founded in the 1960s as a daily newspaper, focused solely on sports and was one of the publications facing this obstacle. Three years ago, L’Équipe took a positive step toward their future and moved into the digital realm.

To successfully monetize the digital medium, publishers must market it to new consumers. It is important for publishers to remember that not all readers are the same and therefore, not all potential subscribers will respond to the same offers. Instead of simply trying to sell content to readers, the goal should be to spend time continually understanding those consumers.

L’Équipe tested and implemented a wide variety of new marketing strategies to grow their digital presence alongside their traditional print media — over 100 different offers to engage and retain their sports fan clients online. These offers included selling individual articles as well as bundling multiple articles together, in order to provide greater consumer choice. They were tried, tested and evaluated to determine their efficacy and conversion rate.

The individual articles or micropayments strategy worked best with casual readers. Less than 30 percent of buyers of individual articles made repeat purchases, but these one-time transactions were a successful new revenue stream.

If a publisher has a heavy mobile readership, micropayments may be a strategy worth considering. 85 percent of L’Équipe’s individual article purchases were processed through mobile devices.

Free trials, where payment details were required to access the offer, proved the most successful in terms of post-trial conversions. This offer led to a more than 50 percent uplift in subscriptions for L’Équipe.

Even if offers do not succeed in the exact way a publisher hopes, most offer some value to the media brand. For example, free subscriptions in exchange for removing ad-blockers or a one-month free trial without collecting payment information did help with L’Équipe’s email and data acquisition, but did not translate into subscription lift.

One of the great advantages to digital publishers is the speed and flexibility with which they can introduce innovative offers and incentives to monetize content. L’Équipe was able to create and test over 100 different offers to analyze how each impacted subscriptions, and importantly, which offers led to the highest conversion rates. The publisher found that their free trial period offer significantly increased conversions and can now boast reaching over 300,000 accounts within three years of launch. L’Équipe’s experience drives home the point that today’s consumers demand personalized experiences and content distributors are most successful when tailoring appeals to a specific demand.


The positive results L’Équipe has achieved can be attributed, in part, to multivariate testing. It is vital for publishers to test offers as part of an overall strategy to lower customer acquisition costs and reduce subscription churn. Publishers must recognize that applying a centralized, 360-degree view of the individual subscriber and improving the customer experience along each step of their journey is key. Publishers should pay attention to their readers’ consumption habits, geographic location and consumption habits (e.g., content-types accessed, frequency of access) and create personalized offers to incentivize conversion into paying customers. By adopting a customer-centric point of view, publishers meet their readers where they are, making it easy for them to access the kind of content they want at a price that represents a fair value exchange.

In summary, personalized and streamlined user experiences are the ones that get repeated and that should be the goal for every publisher – to develop and strengthen customer relationships that are enriched over time and with each engagement. As publishers apply techniques to better identify, acquire and engage their readers, they will reap the rewards of new and reliable revenue streams that aren’t tied directly to advertising and contribute to sustainable, recurring revenue growth.

Trena De Landro, VP, Publishing & Media, North America at MPP Global.

The post No offer is one size fits all appeared first on Talking New Media.