The Daily Beast: Beast Inside
2021 Winner

The Daily Beast: Beast Inside

The Daily Beast

New York, United States

Category Data and Research

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

In 2019, The Daily Beast defined loyalty by the number of times a user visited The Daily Beast site. Digging into user behavior more deeply, we realized that this was an overly simplistic way of identifying likelihood to convert. When monthly visits were factored as a single note in a chorus of other information about what content was being consumed, how long users were spending on it, where users were coming from, and where sessions originated, we were able to be smarter about how we marketed to them on their journey and, in parallel, partner with Piano to score users on their likelihood of conversion, from a 1 (incredibly unlikely to convert) to a 10 (the closest thing to a sure bet) and customize marketing tactics to these scores.

Our goal in analyzing users was to create customized user flows based on loyalty score to drive up volume of subscriptions, CVR, and AOV.


Results for this campaign

By developing unique marketing strategies tailored to the cohorts grouped by conversion rating, we were able to grow CVR by 110% year over year.

Based on our data, we stopped serving point-of-sale tactics to users scored below three. Instead, these users were offered access to locked content in exchange for their emails – an offer not extended to higher scored users. By capturing their emails and serving Daily Beast content to their inboxes, we pushed these readers to develop consumption behaviors displayed by our highest-rated users, like consistent homepage usage. This has become a successful funnel for membership, with 7% of all users that joined the trial later converting.

At a level of four and up, users began to receive a dynamic paywall. By only targeting users with higher scores, we were able to maximize overall revenue by minimizing the number of people who hit the paywall without converting. The dynamic paywall launched in June 2020, and accounts for an average 16% of new subscribers per month.

As we drove more readers to convert, we also increased the volume of users purchasing annual plans. In 2019, we had a monthly, annual, and 2-year subscription. In early 2020, we swapped the 2-year subscription with an option to give more. The benefits and length of the subscription were identical to our annual subscription, but at a higher price point. The messaging was simple: this is for those that want to give us more support. While this drove more conversions than our 2-year subscription, the real success was in pushing more readers to convert on an annual membership, rather than monthly subscription. By adjusting the third plan option from a 2-year subscription ($65) to the Give More plan ($100), we increased the overall membership page CVR by 5%, improved first month AOV by 9%, and saw a 4% rise in the percentage of annual membership purchases.

These changes drove users to convert on higher-value plans at an 11% higher rate.


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