Maverick Insider Marketing
2024 Finalist

Maverick Insider Marketing

Daily Maverick

Cape Town, South Africa

Category Digital Subscriptions

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

Maverick Insider’s overarching objective is to be the best reader revenue initiative in the world. Our vision is to have an outrageously committed community and our mission is to sustain truth. 
As a team, we use stretch targets and our goals for 2023 were to 
Grow to 30,000 active members 
Reduce our involuntary churn from 7% to 4% 
Receive an NPS score of 8 from our members 
Asking readers to pay for the news, as we see globally, is not exactly an ‘easy’ task. Asking readers to pay for the news, which we have committed to keeping free for all in a poor country such as South Africa, is arguably ‘mission impossible’. 
Yet it was a mission we were willing to accept. 
Having acquired the ‘early-adopters’ in our initial four years, we needed to overhaul our marketing strategy to appeal to our broader audience. As our membership model is voluntary, and the amount is determined by the member, we were excluded from being able to utilise discount offers or the usual copywriting tricks such as ‘scarcity of a deal’. To add to the challenge, South Africa’s media literacy is frighteningly low with readers asking the obvious question, “why should I pay for a free service?” 
We needed to communicate Daily Maverick’s mission (who we are), our sustainability challenges (media literacy) and the value our journalism brings (reader needs). Understanding that we are all in the battle for attention, we needed to do this in 600 words or less, with copy that was compelling and utilising behavioural nudges all while eliciting an emotional response in the reader that was strong enough for them to not just reach for their credit card but one that would be remembered to prevent churn. 
Through truly understanding our reader needs, taking our lead from our editorial key themes and having a mantra to always test, track, alter, improve and scale Maverick Insider can report 50% acquisition growth in 2023.

Results for this campaign

In 2023, we have grown from 19,843 members to 27,105 members equating to 38% growth of our active membership. 
Our acquisition total for 2023 was 10,081 new members equating to a 50% acquisition growth. 
We achieved this by overhauling our direct mailer strategy. Multiple iterations and tests were deployed and it was the cumulative effect of these that yielded these results. 
With only four people on our membership team, we needed to work smarter, not harder. 
It was the year of the ‘evergreen campaign’; we shifted the focus of our messaging from what we’ve achieved in our journalism to why our journalism needs to be supported and how our journalism affects the readers’ lives. As this copy didn’t focus on a particular story, we created a workflow where new subscribers to our newsletter list would receive an ‘evergreen’ campaign after one month. Not only did this achieve a spike in acquisition of new members but we acquired these members five months earlier than our average. With six evergreen campaigns in circulation, we were afforded the time to create new copy every week. 
When a reader clicked on the sign up button but didn’t convert, they would automatically receive a Q&A mail answering common reservations. 
We utilised behavioural bias’ such in every mail. 
We implemented colour psychology A/B tests in our CTA buttons and discovered that the historial-favourite red button yielded less conversions than green buttons using the same micro-copy.  We then extended these experiments to our on-site messaging and saw that changing the colour of our ribbons from yellow to blue resulted in a 112% increase in sign-ups. 
One of our greatest challenges is involuntary churn as members' credit cards expire. Through refining messaging and consistent targeting, we were able to reduce this involuntary churn from 7% to 4% hitting our stretch target. 
It was a good year and we look forward to scaling these learnings in 2024. 


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