Conversations with a couple of publishers this week about how offering print and digital bundles has fuelled revenue growth, deeper engagement and increased renewals. In both cases after and initial rapid growth, the number of ‘digital only’ subs has not increased much over the past few years, but the number of bundled subs continues to increase.
One of the important elements of the bundle is ensuring that the new subscribers activate their digital subs – they’re paying for it after all, and if they don’t engage with this aspect of their subscription then it is less likely that they will renew their bundle.
One of the publishers has quite a complex CRM process in place to make sure that subs use their new digital edition and then keep using it throughout the year. This involves emails, in app notifications, offline messaging and various other devices.
The other publisher has just done a telemarketing test to people who had subscribed offline, paid for a bundled sub, but then not activated the digital element of that subscription. Of the people they spoke to 70% (no that’s not a typo, 70%) activated their new digital subs there and then. That’s an unbelievable response.
I don’t know the reasons given for not activating the sub before, but one imagines it is a combination of forgetfulness, technical problems and ignorance of actually having a bundle.
Remember that this was to people who had subscribed offline, so the success of the campaign is almost certainly influenced by that, but it still shows that you should be looking at new ways to get your subscribers to engage with the digital product that they have paid for. If they do, then it’s likely your retention rates will go up, which will give a boost to both volumes and revenues.