For News UK’s The Times of London and Sunday Times, subscriptions are the end goal. One key part of the Times’ arsenal to convert subscribers and retain them: email newsletters.
“Different newsletters do different jobs,” said Ben Whitelaw, head of audience development at the Times and Sunday Times, adding that the title has evolved its newsletters strategy since launching its first newsletter five years ago.
Its flagship newsletter is the Best of Times daily email which Whitelaw says has around 2 million registered subscribers, covering the day’s top stories across the news, international, sports, business and opinion sections.
The Times also has four other newsletters around topics like football, driving, style, and food and drink, which are available for nonpaying, registered users. These are designed to expose nonpaying users to a variety of articles, so they hit their weekly limit and convert into subscribers.
Newsletter subscribers are typically a publisher’s most engaged readers. Once readers have subscribed to a newsletter, they are much less likely to let their subscription lapse. So, they’re a critical tool to remind people of what the Times can offer, making sure readers come back each week.
“[Newsletters are] a useful lever to pull to engage and remind people who don’t come back as frequently,” said Whitelaw. “You’re delivering a bundle of information that’s finite and consumable. People are up to speed in a familiar-to-use format.”
What’s New in Publishing: Lessons from three publishers in effective use of newsletters
What’s New in Publishing: Newsletters – What publishers can learn from Vox Media and The Telegraph