Sarah Scire of the Nieman Lab explores how The Wall Street Journal is using strategies to reach non-news junkies.
Scire writes, “The key engagement metric was active days, the group concluded. So while the news products like the catch-up module and live Q&As were designed to meet reader needs — Story said their research showed readers wanted to be able to get ‘caught up’ on the news quickly and that some appreciated the opportunity to feel ‘connected and involved’ with the Journal’s political coverage — the team also recognized that the tools could drive retention-friendly habits such as returning to the homepage regularly for updates.
“Only paying subscribers — members, in Journal parlance — can submit questions, but anyone can tune in to see them answered. The catch-up module and the live coverage pages can also be viewed without running into the Journal’s paywall.
“Each tool had to be optimized and recognizable for both subscribers and nonsubscribers, whether they were reading on their phones, desktop, or through the WSJ app, said Kabir Seth, the Journal’s vice president of product strategy and operations. ‘We were definitely thinking through the experience as we were building it. How does it feel for a nonmember? How does it feel for a member?’ he said. ‘The graphics team is super important, and there’s a lot of editorial input.'”
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