2019 key executives mega-conference

10 essential ingredients to building digital subscriptions


This list, compiled by former Texas Tribune Publisher and COO Tim Griggs, was presented at the Mega-Conference by Ann Poe, senior director/digital consumer revenue for Advance Local.

• Deliver value: Develop, maintain and continuously improve a suite of products and services that highlight unique local journalism of the highest quality, fill community needs and connect audiences to you and to each other.

• Utilize a funnel approach (and scorecard): Pay equal attention to the top of the funnel (get ‘em to come), middle of the funnel (get ‘em to stay) and bottom of the funnel (get ‘em to pay).

• Get everyone on the bus: Adopt a “whole enterprise” (news, product, audience development, marketing, tech, finance, etc.) perspective and cross-functional ownership of results.

• Get the tech stack right: Employ systems (CMS/CRM/meter logic/registration/payment processor, etc.) that work seamlessly.

• Capture, analyze and make decisions based on data: Build, segment and leverage a central repository of data on user behavior.

• Think and operate like an e-commerce company: Organize around product and marketing iterations; stay laser focused on the KPIs that matter; test and learn religiously; and make quick decisions (fail fast/fail cheap).

• Obsess over UX: Create and continually improve a compelling, transparent, and frictionless user experience (for free users, registered users and purchasing users).

• Treat your subscribers like the gold they are: Implement best pracies I billing; provide subscriber-only benefits; and employ public media[style stewardship to thank loyalists.

• Maximize return across the demand curve: Use pricing/packaging/bundling/tiering to convert audiences of all kinds into paying users, including high-dollar and entry-level products/experiences.

• Recognize that growth doesn’t happen organically: Continually improve base on data and testing results.