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In a nutshell

Welcome to our latest subscriptions special, this time looking at all aspects of subscriber retention. All of the insights and opinions come from leading suppliers to the publishing sector and from senior subs specialists at UK publishing companies.

By James Evelegh

In a nutshell

Our ‘subscriber retention’ special feature consists of five separate sections:

Key stages

Key performance areas

Organisational structure

In a nutshell

Suppliers spotlight

We asked our contributors to distil their best advice regarding subscriber retention into a few words:

  • “Consider the life-time value of your subscribers, nurture your readers and create an emotional soft-sell. Listen to your readers. Choose the best software and tools to leverage smooth marketing processes.” Rob Sherwood, managing director, Adept Data Services
  • “Bringing your compelling content and interested readers together means that if the reader isn’t interested, let them go, and focus on those who should stay.” Dan Heffernan, vice president & chief product manager, AdvantageCS
  • “Keep it simple: clean, clear, easily understandable renewal journeys with simple calls to action will always out-perform complex and cluttered ones even if the offer is superior – put as few obstacles in your subscribers’ renewal path as you possibly can!” John Diston, head of B2C client services, Air Business Subscriptions
  • “Spending marketing budgets to win back customers that have churned involuntarily should be a thing of the past – automate processes to optimise renewals and increase payment conversions, so you can spend your time and budgets winning new customers, safe in the knowledge the current base is not leaving “by accident”.” Ana Lobb, VP, new business development, publishing, Europe, Aptitude Software (formerly MPP Global)
  • “Never stand still – implement change, review results, optimise and start over again!” Mark Judd, managing director, CDS Global
  • “Have a plan, and stick to it. By this I mean, create a pricing structure for the next three months, stick to it, and adjust with a rolling four month window in mind, not issue to issue, month to month. Execution is far better than strategy. You can tweak poor strategy, you can’t recover from poor execution.” Alan Leech, founder & chief architect, crmSubscribe
  • “Every customer touchpoint should be used as an opportunity to learn, earn, surprise and delight.” Angus Chenevix Trench, managing director,
  • “Determine the KPIs for your product and market and continue to measure and adapt – your success lies not in your data, but in the decisions you make based on your data.” Lorna Fenimore, senior VP, audience, ePublishing
  • “To retain valuable subscribers, one needs to engage and delight them – direct competitors are not the only “things” vying for their attention. Everyone is completely besieged with distractions in the form of emails, social and professional networks, apps, news sites, blogs, newsletters, pop ups, inserts etc etc. Each publisher’s brand needs to become part of their subscribers’ routines, ensuring the consumption of content (in whatever form) is a habit that they have no intention of breaking.” Louise McHale, deputy managing director, ESco
  • “Adopt a data-driven approach to decision-making supported by customer feedback loops throughout the lifecycle to improve experience.” Doug Purdom, head of retention, Future
  • “Communicate regularly to subscribers the benefits of their subscription.” Mike Halstead, managing director, HH&S
  • “Ensure the product is continually invested in and evolving as it doesn’t matter how many engagement and renewals comms you send out; it almost always comes down to how good the product is.” Helen Ward, subscriptions director, Immediate Media
  • “Don’t take a customer for granted; they are entitled to choose an alternative and it is down to you to ensure they recognise the value of your offer and the reasons why they need not look any further than you.” Jamie Wren, commercial & marketing director, InterMedia
  • “Bring all sources of customer data together in a professional CRM system and think in all directions when monetising content, even beyond classic subscription models.” John Lawson, managing director, knk Software UK
  • “Ensure the first experience was a great one – make personalised offers and content that makes renewal ubiquitous!” Michael Mendoza, founder & chief innovation officer, Lineup
  • “Understand why your customers subscribe and don’t let them forget it or regret it!” Will Woodrow, head of marketing, Mark Allen Group
  • “Put yourselves in your subscribers’ shoes.” Zamir Walimohamed, head of digital, marketing & subscriptions, Motor Sport
  • “Always make sure your team is aligned and has the right tools and structure in place to continually test and iterate with the goal of aligning value propositions with customer segments and packaging offerings to prospective subscribers in a fast and seamless user experience.” Andrew Morris, director of client relations, Pelcro
  • “Think about the entire subscriber experience as a whole. Quality content is obviously important but don’t under-invest in your delivery platform, personalisation and friendly customer service.” Edwin Bailey, chief operating officer, Publish Interactive

This article was first published in InPublishing magazine. If you would like to be added to the free mailing list to receive the magazine, please register here.