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Subscriber onboarding tactics that boost retention

Subscriber retention efforts can start as soon as a subscription begins, as outlined in this guide to onboarding tactics from API's Reader Revenue Toolkit. Examples from a range of news organizations are ready for testing and adaptation, from video to thank you notes and email newsletters.

Once a subscriber signs up, the work of retaining them begins immediately, or it should, says Gwen Vargo of API. In a digital environment, “onboarding” reinforces the relationship between a news organization and that person in an effort to encourage that subscriber to continue paying for the service.

To do that, are experimenting with a spectrum of ways to reach the newly subscribed, from mailed thank you notes, timed email messages with video tours, to newsletters.

Regardless of the delivery mechanism, good onboarding includes

  • gratitude
  • a “positive initial connection” through a welcome message
  • feature descriptions
  • easy avenue to direct questions
  • reinforcement of the value of the news organization to the subscriber

The other elements, including tone, can (and should) vary, as explored in these illustrated examples from The Minneapolis Star Tribune, McClatchy, The Dallas Morning News, and others.

While there is no single formula for perfect onboarding, the goal is clear — to introduce your offerings and all their value in the most helpful, appealing way possible.