In the era of fragmented, filtered, and free news (not to mention “fake news”), an ongoing question for the newspaper industry is: How do you sell top-quality journalism?

Of course, top-quality credibility is a must. But the icing on the cake for tronc, Inc. — parent company of the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Baltimore Sun, and several other notable media brands — is adding an attractive, low-risk offer.

Tronc has run several tests proving readers are still interested in appealing offers like these.
Tronc has run several tests proving readers are still interested in appealing offers like these.

When it comes to news today, sometimes it’s hard to know what to believe. So, why not give your local newspaper with more than 100 years of trusted reporting a shot?

And, are you sitting down? For a limited time, you can try eight weeks of unlimited digital access for only US99¢ — talk about stretching your dollar!

To prove this strategy works, we tested it (as you can see from these examples). The first comparison promoted the same offer: 75% off for a year. While one e-mail prioritised the benefits of journalism, the other placed the offer first.

The result? The offer crushed it with 50% more conversions.

Again, when positioning the “You’ll read about it here” e-mail against the “flash sale” e-mail, the results favoured our offer-driven promotion by nearly 50%.

The “flash sale” e-mail test showed readers preferred the splashy offer.
The “flash sale” e-mail test showed readers preferred the splashy offer.

While those stats sound like the winning formula for tronc, our testing didn’t end there. We then ran a campaign featuring another promotional offer (US$2.99 for three months) that also prioritised a bold message about our journalism: “Tenacity. The truth depends on it.” The response rate was even higher; it appears the combination of a strong offer along with meaningful messaging is the way to go.

A strong offer with a meaningful message also did well in tests.
A strong offer with a meaningful message also did well in tests.

The bottom line? While people say they want real, reliable news, they are also asking for the great introductory deal that comes with it.