Sara Guaglione interviewed John Slade, the chief commercial officer of the Financial Times, about its digital strategy.
Here is an excerpt:
On that note, it’s one thing to acquire 1 million subscribers and it’s another thing to retain them. What is the plan to stay at this threshold and continue to grow from here?
What we’ve learned with these big spikes and bumps from big news events is how to establish a playbook. We know we are going to see a big increase in audience around a big news event and we want to hold onto that audience. So the first thing to do is to manage the price effectively, so the price they pay when they come in won’t lead to an enormous shock in 12 months when it comes to renewal. Otherwise, that’s a surefire way to lose people. We treat them as a specific cohort of audience — people who come in as for big news events. It allows you to separate them from other marketing, communications and renewal pricing. We treat them as a distinct set of our audience.
The other thing we’ve learned is the faster you can get them engaged in content other than the thing they came in for, the better. So if you came into the FT because you were really trying to understand what was happening with Trump and US politics, we are going to make sure you get in your personalized feed and in your newsletters and in your communications from us as much US politics as you could possibly want. But we are also going to find out what the other sets of content are which we think might be interesting to you. We use data analysis for that. You come in for the depth, but our job is to get you across the breadth as quickly as we can.
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