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Subscriber acquisition: words of wisdom

James Evelegh picks some of the best quotes from our subscriber acquisition special feature.

By James Evelegh

Subscriber acquisition: words of wisdom

Pictured: Top row (L-R): John Sheehy, Tom Mullen, Lucy Davis, Steve Russell, Angus Chenevix Trench, Blake Pollard. Middle row (L-R): Lorna Fenimore, Graham Elliott, Mike Halstead, Seema Bilimoria, Jamie Wren, Sam Shedden. Bottom row (L-R): Andrew Parkinson, Madeleine White, Robert Jay, David Coveney, Patrick Lidstone.

If you’re on the mailing list for InPublishing magazine, you can’t have missed the subscriber acquisition special feature (sponsored) in our current issue.

If you haven’t read it yet, do take a look. There lots of good advice from leading publishers and suppliers.

Here are a few of their thoughts:

  • “Consumers are too smart these days to rely on the old “for a limited time” messaging techniques. Instead, be straightforward with customers about the value of the content and terms of the subscription.” (John Sheehy, chief solutions architect, AdvantageCS)
  • “Make the terms of continuous offers very clear, not hiding any devil details. Customers are more likely to subscribe if they know all the information and trust that everything is being relayed to them upfront, especially when it comes to payments.” (Tom Mullen, head of B2B client services, Air Business Subscriptions)
  • “Unifying behind a metric such as LTV can galvanise finance, leadership and marketing teams, allowing an understanding of both past acquisition performance and predicting future profitability.” (Lucy Davis, growth partner, Atlas)
  • “Everyone involved in your product – publisher, editorial, sales or marketing – all should have access to tools that provides them with information and insights that enable them to easily understand their audience and help them contribute to the overall strategy.” (Steve Russell, client services director, Circdata)
  • “Only with accurate and ongoing intelligence will you be able to identify your sweet spots and areas that need optimisation – this is especially true with the explosion of marketing channels.” (Angus Chenevix Trench, managing director,
  • “New subscribers should have to do very little to gain access to the premium content experience they have just signed up for.” (Blake Pollard, co-founder and CRO, eMagazines)
  • “Simplifying and automating the collection of audience data and using this information to engage your subscribers should be a top priority for publishers.” (Lorna Fenimore, senior VP, audience, ePublishing)
  • “Keep forms simple and easy to complete: not too many options, keep input to a minimum.” (Graham Elliott, managing director, Gordon & Gotch Publishing)
  • “Create engagement via content or other means. Engagement is the first step to action and eventual retention.” (Mike Halstead, managing director, HH&S)
  • “It is vital to offer relevant and high-quality content to entice new prospects and have a segmented and targeted onboarding journey to maintain this pool.” (Seema Bilimoria, head of acquisitions marketing, Immediate Media)
  • “Publishers need good systems – and more importantly, systems that interact with each other seamlessly.” (Jamie Wren, commercial & marketing director, InterMedia)
  • “The post-subscription moment is filled with potential. Publishers have the chance to solidify a relationship, gather valuable data, and showcase the subscriber experience of their brand.” (Sam Shedden, head of customer loyalty, National World Publishing)
  • “The ultimate aim is for your product to become part of their habit over the introductory period, then it is less likely the subscriber will give up when the price increases.” (Andrew Parkinson, head of client relations, NewsTeam Group)
  • “Registration has finally become a priority for media houses looking to maximise the value of their readers online, acting as a soft conversion step prior to subscription, increasing a reader’s propensity to subscribe by up to 40%...” (Madeleine White, head of international, Poool)
  • “You need to map out the entire customer journey and lifecycle. How they are contacted and when. I would physically write this out and have it up in your office or at home.” (Robert Jay, board member, Realfin)
  • “Don’t scare people too much with a big data grab. It’s possible to set up a system to ask for a little data at a time.” (David Coveney, director, Standfirst)
  • “Subscriptions no longer stand alone, but form part of a broader e-commerce strategy – with similar strategies such as abandoned basket reminders, cross-selling and tiered membership.” (Patrick Lidstone, managing director, The Engine Shed)

PS. Don’t miss our next webinar (‘5 ways to boost revenue from your SME advertisers in 2024’) on Tuesday. It will be of particular interest to publishers and their commercial teams. Click here for more information and to register.

You can catch James Evelegh’s regular column in the InPubWeekly newsletter, which you can register to receive here.