Report Gives Publishers Strategies To Turn Readers Into Subscribers

As part of The Media Insight Project, the American Press Institute recently revealed the results of a survey intended to find out how readers become subscribers.

Surveying more than 4,000 recent subscribers at 90 local newspapers across four circulation categories, the study found nine types of readers. It takes more than 70% of them over a month to decide to subscribe to a publication. Almost 50% of respondents reportedly took at least a year. 

The surveyors found the time it took varied across readers and was determined by their stage in life and interests.

Types of readers included:

-Topic Hunters

-Locally Engaged

-Social Media and Mobile Discoverers

-Life Changers

-Coupon Clippers

-Print Fans

-Friends and Family

-Journalism Advocates

-Digital Paywall Converters

The in-depth report offers strategies to publishers looking to covert each type. For example, the report found that Digital Paywall Converters care most about unlimited access and were willing to subscribe after hitting their allotted number of stories. The suggestion for snagging a subscriber? Make the process as easy as possible across multiple devices and ways to pay.

According to the report, these types of subscribers can also be Topic Hunters, are usually young and male, and are likely to subscribe to large metro newspapers.

Coupon Clippers, who enjoy leafing through a publication and also hunting out discounts, were one of the smallest but most distinct groups uncovered. This group is best reached through bloggers and sites popular with coupon enthusiasts, skews female, suburban, Republican or Independent, and likely became a reader through a Sunday edition.

In addition to reader profiles, the results offer resources across nonprofit organizations and newsrooms that further clarify the mystery around locking in subscribers. The study is just a first step in getting to know and understand a publication’s audience and turn them into loyal subscribers.

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