View profile

Newsletters and subscription funnels

Anna from Revue
Anna from Revue
Hello newsletter friends!
This is the second edition of “Last week in newsletters”.
I asked a few of you for feedback on the first edition and got some great encouragement and suggestions. Thank you. So today I have an extra heading for the main topic of the issue, shorter link headings, and a bit more commentary on the selected links. What do you think?
Any other feedback also more than welcome at But time to get to the main topic of today now.
Cheers, Mark.

Newsletters and subscription funnels
Last week two reports were published about digital subscriber funnels, one by the Shorenstein Center and the other by Atlantic 57.
What struck me was that both reports were very detailed in describing different types of visitors and how to increase conversion to digital subscriptions. Reader segmentation and conversion optimization are clearly going to be two of the keys for publishers to increase digital reader revenue.
The Shorenstein Center produced a “Digital Pay-Meter Playbook” through surveys of more than 500 for-profit newsrooms. The report is based on a segmentation of audiences into six levels, from the entire market to engaged subscribers.
The first key focus for publishers according to the report is to build engagement - with newsletters and social media:
(High-performing) publishers often invest heavily in audience development, effective newsletters and social media marketing to circulate their content to build engagement.
The second area of attention should be a paywall that “stops” the right readers at the right time from accessing the content for free:
We identified a “tighter” meter limit would lead to a higher stop rate and more subscribers from a publisher’s existing audience.
Atlantic 57 published a segmentation of an audience into “The Four Visitors To Your Site” based on experiences from inside The Atlantic. According to the report, newsletters play a crucial role in converting the “passerby” into an “occasional”
Encourage habit-forming behavior: Lead them to your habit-forming products— products like newsletters, podcasts, and recurring features. The editors at WIRED found that readers who come in from newsletters are more likely to subscribe than visitors coming from search and social. As a result, they have begun launching new newsletters tied to specific sections of the site.
Both reports are further proof that newsletters are crucial in creating engagement, which eventually drives subscriptions. It’s good to see in-depth coverage of these topics for which we had seen some anecdotal evidence before.
In 2017 Digiday reported on the progress of the NY Times towards its digital subscriber objectives and the key role of newsletters:
According to the Times memo, that growth matters because newsletter subscribers are twice as likely as regular New York Times readers to become subscribers, the primary area of focus for the publisher.
And in 2018 NiemanLab shared insights from The New Yorker that had made newsletters key to its digital strategy.
Whether someone was a newsletter subscriber was the No. 1 indicator. Thus, The New Yorker can draw a straight line between the quality of its newsletter readership and its bottom line: more newsletters subscribers, in turn, means more paid readers.
The week in newsletters
Lots of news about newsletters again last week. Here’s what I found interesting. Did I miss anything? Send any articles my way at
Tim Ryan Texts With BuzzFeed News
Building habit with short-run newsletters
The Financial Times is using newsletter polls
Want to talk newsletters?
Did you enjoy this newsletter? Or did you not? Any feedback or suggestions? Questions about your newsletter business? Just hit reply or send me an email at
Did you enjoy this issue? Yes No
Anna from Revue
Anna from Revue @revue

A weekly update for newsletter editors and audience managers.

Manage all your newsletter subscriptions here.
In order to unsubscribe, click here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Created with Revue by Twitter.