It’s been seven months since The Santa Fe New Mexican launched a newly redesigned site atop a new content management system — six months since it implemented a metered site.
In the spirit of helping other small market newspapers that are considering a meter, we’d like to share a few specifics regarding how it has impacted our traffic as well as what type of response we’ve seen in terms of online subscriptions.
Comparing our traffic from April through October 2013 to the prior year, santafenewmexican.com has seen a 20% decrease in unique visitors and a 25% decrease in total pageviews.
The good news for us is that this decline isn’t outside the range of what we had anticipated, and we expect these numbers to rebound and continue to grow. Best of all, we are happy to report that since April 10, santafenewmexican.com has gained more than 12,000 registered users and 750 paid online subscribers; 1,600 users have claimed the unlimited online access we’ve granted to seven-day print subscribers.
The New Mexican has also been pleased with the rise in print sales since implementing the meter. Since April, weekday single copy sales have seen a steady increase. Best of all, both print and online subscription starts are now exceeding stops — a trend reversal that would put a skip in the step of any circulation director.
Additionally, our new “Total Access” print and online combination packages are helping us to meet our goals of increasing auto-renewal (EZ-Pay) subscriptions. EZ-Pay subscriptions have increased so far this year by 25%.
Overall, we believe we’ve realised one of our major objectives: to redefine the value of our product. Essentially, we’ve simply stopped giving our content away and believe that’s been a turning point in our community’s perception of our brand.
We lost some online traffic, as we expected. Our take-away is that our audience statistics are still impressive to advertisers, and that’s what counts. With the help of our new look and an aggressive sales strategy, santafenewmexican.com has seen a 40% increase in digital dollars over the prior year.
We still can proudly say we’re “the number one way to reach Santa Fe.”
We look forward to continuing to improve the quality of our products and to pursuing new opportunities and revenue streams in this exciting, relevant, and immeasurably important industry.