Media Moves

How The Economist has increased subscriber retention

October 21, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Lara O’Reilly of Digiday interviewed The Economist president Bob Cohn about how the magazine has increased its subscription retention.

O’Reilly writes, “Subscriptions and circulation made up around two-thirds (£204 million ($265 million) of the £326 million ($423 million) The Economist Group generated in revenue in the year to Mar. 31 2020. In recent months, pre-pandemic, the company had already shifted its subscription strategy from focusing on acquisition to more of a retention push. The surge in subscribers during the coronavirus crisis created ‘a kind of urgency’ to keep the newly acquired users.

“‘We were an acquisition machine; we were not focused as diligently as we could on retention,’ prior to Cohn’s arrival, he said. ‘We came into this year with a determination to be better at that and embrace best practice and go beyond best practice.’

“Some of the new efforts have involved the creation of subscriber-only digital events (some 27,000 subscribers tuned in to watch a Bill Gates interview), increasing the price of its introductory offers and exclusive subscriber newsletters. The number of subscribers in The Economist’s ‘highly engaged’ category increased 21% last year, Cohn said.”

Read more here.

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