Acquisition and Renewal Costs
Increase Subscriber Retention
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 mass2ones 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
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 Chronicles
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 Chronicles 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:
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 Chronicles 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 Chronicles
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 programs
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
provides an immediate response. This chart shows the number of subscribers
signing up for the Chronicles EZPay option by hour.
Results from the Chronicles 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
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.
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.
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