How the Economist reduces the cost of acquiring new subscribers

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The folks at the Economist are masters at converting visitors to their website, or casual readers of their magazine, into paying subscribers. This is all the more remarkable at a time when so much quality content is available for free. Some of the lessons shared in this interview with Michael Brunt, chief marketing officer and managing director of circulation, could apply to almost any business (hint: it all comes down to tracking and launching new products as a result):

But over the past year or so The Economist has also reduced the cost of acquiring those new subscribers by around 50 percent, by constantly reappraising the customer’s journey to subscriber.

That iterative process means The Economist has an accurate idea of the paths consumers can take en route to subscription: “It’s incredibly complex as we try and understand how people are interacting with us digitally across social, across the app, across the website. The biggest challenge for us has been getting all the tracking in place, getting all the marketing machinery up and running. We’ve got some incredible data visualisations that help us understand what people do next. 80 percent of our subscribers will have followed one of three or four journeys.”

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Read the rest.

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