I don't care if Monday's blue, Tuesday's gray and Wednesday too. Thursday I don't care about you. It's Friday I'm in love…
…with membership models.
Are they the Cure for journalism's ills? Here's some curated reading about subscriptions, and how to grow them.
I'm sorry for that intro — it's been a long, busy week…
Theory of the week
I'll be honest: I'm not sure I buy the argument made here. It's built on fairly thin evidence. And even if it's correct, it'll only work for a limited subset of very large publications.
But it's still worth a read.
How Amedia addressed its gender inbalance in subscription
It turns out that if you quote more women, more women read your stories… and thus more women subscribe:
In addition, an analysis of the stories from 19 newspapers over the same 21-month period showed that publications which featured more stories containing women sources had higher readership among women, supporting Amedia’s hypothesis that better gender representation makes business sense.
Newsletters as subscriber targetting mechanisms
Interesting (and not uncommon) approach of using newsletters as a segmentation tool, but with a data influence that's less frequently seen:
The team creates newsletters based on user data. They segment users according to their engagement patterns, history of payments, propensity to buy or churn, and the type of content they like.
How to completely fail to take adavantage of a major newsletter success:
We finished the 12-week campaign with an average 40% open rate and 7% click-through rate, which were among the highest we’ve ever seen. Without a dedicated subscription offer, it drove three total conversions, which reinforced what we learned with Power on Trial: Every newsletter needs a subscription.
The path to memberships
This quote gets to the heart of a detailed look at one publication's journey:
While a move to membership is not about altering the journalistic practices at DoR, it requires a lot of thinking about how we communicate our mission, in order to ensure that our readers and supporters understand the value our work brings into their lives.
It's a useful and compelling story from my friend Catalina who is now their digital editor.
Well, congratulations if you made it to the end. You, my friend, really care about making journalism work. Feel good about that as you go into the weekend… 😉