New York Magazine’s headwind-resistant retention strategy | WARC | The Feed
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New York Magazine’s headwind-resistant retention strategy
New York Magazine, the venerable publication owned by Vox Media, adapted its newsletter strategy in 2019, resulting in a doubling of its audience base and a 10% improvement in subscription retention just in the last year, according to reports.
Why it matters
Sustainable digital publications are something of an oxymoron without subscriptions, which are critical to NY Mag’s business, and one of the attractive elements to Vox Media when it acquired the property in 2019.
As a result of the recent economic tumult, and the sensitivity of digital advertising to fluctuations in advertiser confidence, subscriptions tend to weather storms more effectively, provided they give readers what they want. Keeping paying subscribers engaged is the aim of the game.
What’s more, the format is a brilliant testing ground for new ideas that can start as one-offs but can then become valuable products in and of themselves, a kind of minimum viable product.
What’s going on
“Part of the value of a subscription business for a company like Vox Media is that it is counter-cyclical, in that it can buffer a bad advertising period,” editor-in-chief David Haskell told Adweek, in a story about the magazine’s strategy.
One of the ways it has done this is through its suite of newsletters, which has now reached one million email subscribers to 30 separate products, both standard newsletter offers paid for by programmatic ads, and subscriber-specific “pop-ups” around big cultural moments, like the current and final season of hit HBO show Succession.
- Through a combination of internal traffic and social media play, the magazine’s three newsletter editors and its writer design newsletters around topics that appear to make readers want more.
- Specificity is crucial to the company’s newsletters, but even a small audience is a strong move for the company when its newsletters achieve a 39% open rate among non-paying readers and 64% for subscribers, the magazine told Adweek.
Sourced from Adweek
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