Satisfying Audiences Blog

Satisfying Audiences

Why half of your print orders should come from the Internet

27 December 2012 · By Lynne Brennen

New research suggests we need to use every direct marketing tool at our disposal to woo weekday digital consumers to print over the weekend.

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism published the latest research regarding demographics of mobile news consumers.

Not surprisingly, the findings were that young, college graduates and men were more engaged in mobile news than print, and the younger audience was significantly less likely to pay for a subscription to news, be it digital or print.

One could view the research findings as yet as another nail in the print coffin. However, in my opinion, one would be wrong.

My opinion is based on experience in digital subscription marketing at both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and, more recently, from in-depth analysis of local newspapers across North America.

Here are three facts for consideration based on that experience:

  • Market research indicates that younger readers of digital news make a distinction between their weekday reading and weekend reading. They prefer the speed of digital during the week, but also enjoy the more relaxed read of a print newspaper on the weekend.

    At The New York Times, this weekday and weekend reading behaviour was described as “the shower versus the bath.”

  • The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both have had significant success with “The Weekender” and “Saturday WSJ,” respectively. These weekend focused newspaper “products” have grown, while full-week or weekday subscriptions have not. 

  • When trolling the range of newspaper sites across North America — the source of content for these young digital readers — it takes exceptional effort to find a print subscription link, much less an intuitive e-commerce process for purchasing the print subscription.

    This experience is widespread and applies to many newspapers, regardless of geography, newspaper company, print/digital strategies or back-end e-commerce solution.

I suspect that the young digital news readers in the Pew research wouldn’t be able to recall seeing a digital offer for a print subscription. How could we expect young readers to subscribe if they’re not asked?

Most digital marketing for print subscriptions that I’ve come across assumes the prospect is actively seeking a subscription and will go to great effort to find an offer and make the purchase. There are very few of those prospective subscribers left.

Today, we need to use every direct marketing tool to present compelling offers, such as a weekend print product for readers of the Web site, with an intuitive, streamlined order form.

If half of a newspaper’s print orders aren’t sourced from the Internet — primarily its Web site — then the newspaper is paying too much for a new print order and leaving a critical group of qualified prospects untapped.

Lynne Brennen is principal at the U.S.-based New Leaf Media LLC. She can be reached at 

print article send to friend

blog comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The Satisfying Audiences Blog aims to reflect print and digital content not just across platforms but extending into consumer events, non-news-related subscriptions and other audience vehicles for newsmedia companies. This blog written by INMA members is dedicated to identifying the emerging linkages between content, audiences, and platforms. The blog is an initiative by the INMA North America Division Board of Directors.

Meet the bloggers

Lynne Brennen
New Leaf Media Consulting
Montclair, New Jersey, USA
send message

Nadine Chevolleau
Consumer Marketing
The Toronto Star
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
send message

Kathleen Coleman
Sales & Marketing
S-R Media
Spokane, Washington, USA
send message

Kevin Curnock
Executive Director
Business Improvement
Brunswick News
St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
send message

Jim Fleigner
Managing Partner
Impact Consultancy
Santa Monica, California, United States
send message

Claire Hawley
Vice President of Audience Development
Tribune Publishing
Los Angeles, California, USA
send message

Dan Johnson
Vice President,
Business Development
Gilbert, Arizona, USA
send message

Sandy MacLeod
Chief Operating Officer, Print
The Toronto Star/Metro English
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
send message

John Newby
The Times
Ottawa, Illinois, USA
send message

Nicki Purcell
Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President of Consumer Sales
The Dallas Morning News
Dallas, Texas, USA
send message

Maria Terrell
Director of Content
Dallas, Texas, USA
send message

New York City, New York, USA


RSS feed

Blog archives

March 2015 ( 2 )
February 2015 ( 5 )
January 2015 ( 4 )
December 2014 ( 3 )
November 2014 ( 3 )
October 2014 ( 2 )
September 2014 ( 4 )
August 2014 ( 4 )
July 2014 ( 3 )
June 2014 ( 3 )
May 2014 ( 3 )
April 2014 ( 3 )
March 2014 ( 3 )
February 2014 ( 3 )
January 2014 ( 3 )
December 2013 ( 4 )
November 2013 ( 2 )
October 2013 ( 2 )
September 2013 ( 4 )
August 2013 ( 5 )

Blog roll

Brain Traffic

Join INMA Today
Upcoming Events
INMA Ideas Day on Advertising
Paris, France
24 April 2015
INMA World Congress
New York, United States
10-12 May 2015
INMA Ideas Day on Marketing
Brussels, Belgium
22 May 2015
INMA Big Data for South Asia Media Summit
New Delhi, India
26 May 2015
INMA Congreso Latinoamericano
Bogotá, Colombia
13-14 August 2015
INMA South Asia Conference
New Delhi, India
19-20 August 2015

More Events

Member Profiles

  • Ilse Peeters

  • Bengt Ottosson

  • Daniel Nielsen

  • Luiz Antonio Urquiza

  • Wendy Hurwitz

  • Francis Hirn

©2015 INMA | Home | About | Contact | RSS | Privacy