'Economist' Utilizes New Tech To Up Engagement Stats

The Economist experienced marked audience engagement growth as a result of its partnership with Sailthru, a customer retention cloud company.

Based on over a year’s worth of data, The Economist saw a 160% increase in Web site page views from email subscribers and a 16.75% increase in email click-through rates.

There was also a 78.6% increase in page views per click.

Anna Rawling, VP of digital engagement and retention at The Economist, stated that Sailthru has helped the brand “understand the interests of individual readers online and to serve those readers with increasingly relevant content.”

Sailthru utilizes email marketing and Web site personalization technology to increase publishers’ audience engagement, usually measured by email click through rates and Web site page views.



Neil Lustig, CEO at Sailthru, stated that publishers face challenges brought on by “pressures for digital monetization and increasing competition.” Lustig told Publishers Daily that personalization technology is “the new normal” to increase engagement with individual readers.

“For email, personalization now extends to automating the selection of campaign type, dynamic content and even the time of day messaging is delivered to the individual,” Lustig said. This level of personalization is “incredibly powerful,” but has to coincide with a personalized email, Web and mobile experience that also delivers, otherwise it can lead to audience disengagement.

Lustig said publishers who “recognize this and prioritize efforts” to personalize these digital experiences will see “success for years to come.”

Audience retention has never been more important than in the age of ad blocking, he added. Lustig suggested that a way around ad blocking is to ask for readers’ email address before they can access publisher content. Then publishers can send personalized emails straight to readers’ inboxes.

In May, New York Media, which publishes New York, Vulture, The Cut and Grub Street, announced a partnership with Sailthru to focus on subscriber growth and prioritize retention efforts.

At the time, Ken Sheldon, executive director of audience development at New York Media, told PD that “email newsletters are critical to driving onsite advertising revenue.”

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