Bonnier News Local uses data to target younger sports fans

By Shelley Seale

INMA

Austin, Texas, USA

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When Bonnier News Local in Sweden looks at its reader engagement and behaviour data, it uses those findings to engage new audiences — especially younger sports fans.

“We have the benefit of having a large amount of data,” Theresa Letterhag, head of lead generation and partnership at Bonnier, told INMA members at the European Media Subscriptions Town Hall on Thursday. “We’ve had a data-driven approach for quite some time.”

While the focus has been on churn reduction, the team intends to next turn its strategy to reaching new audiences — especially younger ones — as part of its work with the GNI Subscriptions Lab.

Bonnier’s reader engagement decreases with age, especially in the 35-45 year-olds, which is why they decided to focus on that age group in particular, Letterhag said.

Bonnier Local News knew sports fans were key to its digital subscriptions growth.
Bonnier Local News knew sports fans were key to its digital subscriptions growth.

“We looked at our reader behaviour and how we can define the tipping point of engagement,” she said. “We could see our most engaged readers between 35-45 fall into three categories.”

  • Super engaged sports fans.

  • Highly engaged sports readers.

  • Moderately engaged sports readers.

“We knew sports was an important content area for our readers, but this confirmed it, and we are looking at ways to reach those audiences more,” she told INMA members in her panel presentation.

“If we focus on the age bracket 35-45 who aren’t visiting [Bonnier] today but who we want to reach, we target them in social media campaigns offering free trials.”

Because Bonnier has a hard paywall behind which upwards of 90% of content is locked, it needs to offer free trials to allow potential subscribers to sample and engage with the journalism.

“We also implemented a new onboarding,” Letterhag added. “Since we know they are less engaged, we felt we had to really engage and educate them during onboarding.”

Some offerings given during this onboarding process include editorial newsletters. Content in these newsletters is free, but they also include links to further articles that Letterhag says the team hopes will help convert those trial subscribers into loyal, engaged readers. 

About Shelley Seale

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