Insider campaign targets, wins back former subscribers

By Vilan Trub

Insider

New York, United States

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Maggie Anderson, the retention marketing manager for consumer subscriptions at Insider, identified an opportunity and in the process helped reconnect the brand with a churned audience. 

Historically, the brand concentrated on acquisition and lead generation, leaving a large audience unreached. With retention as a focus, Maggie wanted to test whether former subscribers are a fruitful target audience for investment. Her initiative led to the churner winback offer, a successful campaign that targeted churned subscribers still engaged with the brand in the form of a tailored paywall.

Maggie Anderson identified a new opportunity to get former subscribers to return.
Maggie Anderson identified a new opportunity to get former subscribers to return.

Maggie recently shared the inspiration behind the initiative, her kick-off process, and the positive impact of the strategy in this Q&A:

How did you identify this as an opportunity to meet your overall retention strategy goals?

Our on-site user experience was mainly tailored to acquisition, and our paywall strategy was based on acquiring new subscribers. We saw this as an opportunity to target and identify churned users who were still visiting the site. These are people who still had some connection to the brand, and we felt they could be won back with a special offer.  

Why did you feel the user would respond to the special offer? 

First, we had the data to suggest they were still frequenting the site and viewing the content. With e-mail, it’s hard to identify intent sometimes, but on-site behaviour is more clear. Second, the paywall design and the price point we put in the offer was a more compelling reason to resubscribe because we’re acknowledging that they were a former subscriber and that we wanted to welcome them back to compelling content at a reduced rate. 

What was the process in determining the best price for the offer? 

We have been using those price points in other channels, including e-mail. So when we first launched this test, for consistency, we launched with the same price points used in other winback offers. Now that we see this placement converting so well, we will dedicate resources to test different price points in the future to optimise the offer. 

How did you measure the success of the offer?

Using the Composer tool that helped us identify this segment, we knew what the segment size would be so we knew what conversion rate would signify success. We created two versions of the paywall, a single offer (annual) and our three-offer version (monthly, annual, two-year), and for a month and a half, we monitored the activity every week until we reached a significant figure.

Insider created two versions of the paywall: a single offer for an annual subscription and a three-offer version with monthly, annual, and two-year options.
Insider created two versions of the paywall: a single offer for an annual subscription and a three-offer version with monthly, annual, and two-year options.

We also looked at conversion rates across desktop and mobile as the check-out experience and path to conversion are so different. Our hypothesis was that the single-offer paywall would do well on mobile as it’s more streamlined and requires less scrolling. We were surprised to learn that the three-offer version performed better. 

What tools did you use? 

Our paywall transaction vendor is Piano, and Composer is a new segmentation tool that they launched. We leveraged that new tool to identify a segment that we weren’t able to isolate and tailor placements to before. 

What did you learn from this project?

I think this has helped us identify and understand that even once someone has churned and is no longer a paying subscriber, they haven’t left the brand completely. There’s still a connection there that we can build on.

About Vilan Trub

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