How Aftenpostens Digital Wine Club became a digital bridge for print subscribers, reduced churn and increased ARPU.
Media associated with this campaign
Overview of this campaign
Over time there was a growing interest in Aftenposten’s loyalty programs wine tastings. In addition Aftenposten has a very popular wine journalist named Ingvild Tennfjord. Her editorial wine recommendations were so popular that the wines were often sold out the same day.
Creating a niche product
ADWC started in 2017. The concept was simple: We would reuse the editorial print content Aftenposten already had by offering the core audience the wine recommendations earlier, and digitally every week, to give them something worth paying extra for. In addition, we created a monthly newsletter with longer professional articles by Aftenposten’s food critic, Erik Gulbrandsen. The product would cost NOK249 (US$25) a year.
A unique target group
We attracted an audience that was more affluent and mature (58 y.old, on avg.), than other adjacent products Schibsted sells. They were mostly print subscribers, and very loyal as they had subscribed to Aftenposten for years.
Therefore the strategy in 2019 was to increase the membership base by creating an even better newsletter with the intent of giving the members a soft transition into a new digital product. To increase the membership base we would give the whole product a new visual profile and create a straightforward Web site that was easy to manage for this mature target group.
But a concern we had with this target group was the fear of “poking sleeping bears”. By offering them too many digital products, we would at the same time remind them of the part of their subscription they didn't use that much, and they would churn on Aftenposten instead of adapting.
In addition to that advertising alcohol it is not allowed in Norway. So to market the ADWC in paid digital channels or print was impossible. But we discovered that e-mail marketing worked, which is completely free. And even though they weren't savvy in other digital channels, they were active trough e-mail as all their communication from Aftenposten had been trough mail the last years.
Results for this campaign
Since the target goal for 2019 was to increase volume, we tried an introductory offer where members could try the service for NOK1 (US$0.10) for three months before automatically continuing on at full price. With a majority of the target group not being familiar with paying for a digital newsletter, they were unsure of what they could expect for NOK249 (US$25). But we saw that earlier members loved the product as soon as they tried it, so with a very low churn rate we trusted the offer would convince them to stay.
The Aftenposten Wine Club has launched several campaigns throughout the year. After several eDM campaigns we accomplished a 167% increase of new members in 2019 with a total churn in the member base of only 3.1%.
The most successful aspect of this club is that it does not cost us money to market and we still manage to increase the ARPU on subscribers who were already loyal print subscribers.
Also, members of the Aftenposten Digital Wine Club read more Aftenposten articles than non-members in the control group of subscribers. Increasing the number of digital articles any subscriber read each month is something we know decreases churn. Note that we cannot say this is solely because of the ADWC, since Aftenposten is doing multiple anti churn activities at the same time, but we know they read more digital articles after they bought a digital subscription to ADWC.
And in addition to very low churn in the wine club member base, they also have a lower churn score then the control group of subscribers of Aftenposten.
With activities that both increase average revenue per subscriber, decrease churn and get mature print subscribers more digital, we are very optimistic about 2020 and to create similar niche editorial products. Due to the success of ADWC we are actually developing several more paid newsletters.