New York Media Partners With Sailthru To Tackle Subscription Growth, Engagement

New York Media is partnering with Sailthru, a customer retention cloud company, to turn unique visitors into loyal subscribers. The partnership will focus on subscriber growth and prioritize retention efforts using personalized customer engagement across all digital communication channels, such as email, mobile apps and Web sites.

New York Media, which publishes brands such as New York, Vulture, The Cut and Grub Street, hopes to use Sailthru’s technology to strategically personalize content to drive subscriber growth, re-activation and engagement.

“New York Media has always prioritized the individual value of each reader, and we sought to partner with a company that matched this vision,” Ken Sheldon, executive director of audience development at New York Media told Publishers Daily.



As many of New York Media’s loyal readers subscribe to their daily newsletters, the company wanted to retain and expand that audience with Sailthru’s solution.

“Our daily email newsletters are critical to driving onsite advertising revenue,” Sheldon said. “With a continued investment in subscriber engagement and retention, we hope to capitalize on Sailthru’s personalization and cross-channel capabilities to drive new and current readers to New York Media’s sites and increase both frequency of visit and depth of session.”

Neil Lustig, CEO at Sailthru, told Publishers Daily that in order for publishers to turn unique visitors into a loyal audience of subscribers, “you have to speak to them as individuals.”

New York has a variety of different articles and subjects and topics of interest. Every New Yorker is going to have their favorite parts of the magazine. Why not reflect and highlight that and build an engagement based on what a reader is excited to read?” he said.

Sailthru observes what content an individual reads, what interests them and what they click on. After a few weeks of engagement, the technology builds an individual profile on the subjects that each reader cares and doesn’t care about.

Then Sailthru sends out email communications to the reader and helps tailor the Web site experience for each individual.

“We select from the available content to match the content with your individual interest. We’ll actually scale all the available content and see which of the articles you are more interested in. We are going to highlight those in the daily newsletter and prioritize those,” Lustig said.

Sailthru can track each individual reader and detect when somebody stops visiting the brand and when somebody’s engagement starts tailing off.

“Part of our platform is some data science on which of your users are likely to churn and engage them differently and not wait for them to actually churn,” Lustig said.

Digital media is a tough business and publishers are struggling to maintain a subscriber base given the array of choice, Lustig said. He added that more Sailthru’s consumers are adopting retention as a core metric.

“You have to adapt to the reader, find out where they are and communicate to them the subjects that they are interested in and in the mode they want to read it in — an app, web site, email, but more likely it’s a combination of all three. You can’t do this manually, you have to do this with machine learning,” he said.

Lustig said the goal is to have readers feel like the content is curated by hand, with the most engaging content for each individual reader put in front of them.

“If you don’t do that, you care going to lose readers,” he said.
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