Lower Acquisition and Renewal Costs
Increase Subscriber Retention

mass2one helps newspapers integrate email into their marketing, sales, and service mix to lower costs, improve results, and increase subscriber retention. Email Campaign Manager software will allow your newspaper to develop and implement email sales and service programs that will deliver the targeted messages, offers, and results required to maintain and grow circulation.
Learn how the San Francisco Chronicle used mass2one’s email marketing capabilities to triple their response rate and convert subscribers to auto-payment at 32% of the cost of other sales channels.

EZPay Conversion at the San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle has aggressively pursued the conversion of subscribers to automatic credit card payment (EZPay) for their subscription. The newspaper has demonstrated that retention rates for subscribers on EZPay are 51.8 percentage points higher after six months than for subscribers that are not on EZPay. The Chronicle has used a number of sales channels to convert subscribers to EZPay including telemarketing, direct mail, crew sales, and email marketing.

A recent email marketing program promoting the Chronicle’s EZPay option targeted 7,595 subscribers. The list of subscribers with email addresses was compiled from a number of sources including direct mail program response and the Chronicle’s Web site. Subscribers were offered a $10 Safeway Coupon or two free movie tickets for signing up for EZPay within a specified period of time: seeemail message.

This email program was unique in that it was launched on the week of Thanksgiving 2001, a time of year that most direct mailers avoid due to increased mail volume and message clutter. “We had a number of reservations about the timing for this email campaign,” reported, Michael Cohen, Customer Relationship Manager, Chronicle Circulation. “This campaign demonstrated that subscribers are willing to respond to email communications during periods when traditional communications channels are ineffective. The email campaign also benefited from the timeliness of the offers (Safeway Coupon and Movie Tickets) and the fact that we offered subscribers a choice of incentives to sign up for EZPay”.

The Chronicle’s EZPay email campaign was sent to subscribers at 2 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, November 19, 2001. After subtracting approximately 400 bounced emails and 86 undeliverable emails, the universe of deliverable email addresses for this campaign consisted of 7,473 subscribers. 5.4% of subscribers clicked on the response link in the original email with 2.9% completing the Chronicle’s EZPay sign-up form with their credit card information. “This response rate was much higher than previous efforts and the cost per EZPay subscriber was about 32% of the cost of other sales channels,” reports Cohen. “We were surprised, but pleased with the speed at which subscribers responded to the EZPay offer, with more than 50% of sign-ups received within the first 10 hours of the program’s launch.”

While this program was launched in the middle of a Monday afternoon, subscriber response to the program was immediate with 75 subscribers signing up for the EZPay program within the first three hours. Following is a summary of EZPay sign-ups by hour for the first day of the program.

Email provides an immediate response. This chart shows the number of subscribers signing up for the Chronicle’s EZPay option by hour.

Results from the Chronicle’s EZPay email campaign demonstrates that consumers access their email 24 hours a day, and that it is not uncommon for subscribers to access their personal emails from work, and their work emails from home. The EZPay campaign also demonstrates the value of providing subscribers with a limited time offer and call to action. Nearly 15% of EZPay sign-ups were received during the final three days of the offer. The following chart shows the number of EZPay Sign-Up forms completed by time of day over the course of the email campaign.

Consumers access their email 24 hours a day. This chart shows the number of Chronicle EZPay sign-ups by time of day. Please note that responses are skewed for the 2-5 p.m. time period as the program was launched at 2 p.m.

The EZPay email campaign provided subscribers with the option to unsubscribe from future email communications via a link in the original email message. The response form for the campaign also asked subscribers if they would be willing to receive ongoing email communications from the Chronicle as well as their preferred format (Text Vs. HTML) for email communications. 68% of subscribers signing up for EZPay provided permission for future email communications with 67% preferring to receive HTML email messages: see sidebar for description of email message types.

“A side benefit of this campaign was the information gained as part of the EZPay sign-up process,” reports Cohen. “Nearly 8% of the EZPay sign-up forms were submitted by someone other than the subscriber name on record, which provides us with a database building opportunity. The information submitted by subscribers also provided updated information (name spelling, complete address, phone number, etc.) for 17% of the subscribers signing up for EZPay. Cohen was encouraged by results from the EZPay email marketing campaign and shared his thoughts on future circulation email marketing efforts at the Chronicle. “As a result of the better than expected success of this first campaign, we believe there are new opportunities to promote other retention campaigns via email. Moreover, to maximize response rates, we segment our campaigns based on communication channels in which our customers are most comfortable.”

For more information on how your newspaper can integrate email communications into their marketing, sales, and service mix to lower selling costs and increase subscriber retention, please complete the response form below or contact Scott Stines 1-800-499-6780 today.

Yes, I’d like to learn more about how email communications can help lower selling costs and increase retention. Please call.

I’m interested in the following email marketing applications:

New subscriber verification

Single copy trial/sampling
Conversion to auto-payment Subscriber acquisition
Out-of-cycle renewal Subscriber rewards programs/e-newsletters
Subscription type/length upgrade Other newspaper applications (Advertising, Customer Service, Content Promotion, Customer Satisfaction Research, E-billing)
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