Case Study July 30, 2018 |

Privately Owned Media Company Achieves 100% Subscription Growth

Industry Media & Publishing
Initiative Digital Products & Experience


growth in digital subscriptions


This privately owned media company operates daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, and cable television companies in six states.


Like many newspapers, this publisher is focused on growing digital subscriptions to drive reader revenue. The company was using a basic paywall model that limited all non-subscribers to five free articles per month. However, this was resulting in low digital subscription conversion rates.

Rather than giving all non-subscribers the same paywall experience, the publisher wanted to move to a data-driven metering model that leveraged behavioral data to effectively incentivize non-subscribers to convert to paying subscribers. To do this, they needed a way to unify all of their known and anonymous reader data; then personalize subscription offers and messages based on individual reader attributes, interests, and behaviors. Furthermore, they wanted to activate those personalized messages across marketing channels, such as website and email.


The publisher uses the BlueConic customer data platform to collect first-party data for all its known and anonymous readers and create profiles that persistently store all of their descriptive and behavioral attributes at the individual level, such as name, email address, subscription status, content interests, and anonymous browsing behaviors. As readers’ interests and behaviors change, their profiles and associated segments update in real time.

By creating unified profiles, the publisher could enhance its paywall with a more sophisticated content metering program that personalized subscription offers and calls-to-action based on individual reader interests and behaviors. The publisher used BlueConic’s content meter to offer limited article access before serving a personalized subscription call-to-action. Readers could also gain access to more free content in exchange for providing an email address, thus increasing the publisher’s recognition ratio of known vs. anonymous readers.

The publisher passes also data to its ESP, Campaign Monitor, via a BlueConic connection. This empowers the publisher to personalize content and subscription offers in newsletters based on each recipient’s attributes. For example, if a reader is highly engaged with content, but has never been a subscriber, she will receive a subscription offer as an incentive to convert, along with content that aligns with her specific interests.

I have absolutely fallen in love with the BlueConic platform. It has become the highlight of my job and is the one thing I look forward to working with each day."

Digital Audience & Technology Director, Privately Owned Media Company


100% growth in digital subscriptions since implementing a personalized content metering strategy powered by unified first-party data in BlueConic.