The Times - retention challenge

A look back in time increased retention.

The Times faced a retention challenge. 89% of new subscribers unsubscribed once the initial three-month promotional offer ended. To help solve it, the marketing team identified a core segment, aged 50+, who over‐indexed by interest in history and culture. They produced an antique‐looking mailpack stating: Your Times membership has been backdated to 1 January 1875. Churn dropped by 19% and £750,000+ was raised from customers who went on to pay for a full-priced subscription.

Background

89% of new Times subscribers dropped their subscriptions after the initial three-month (over generous) promotional offer ended.

The goal: to increase retention by 10%

Solution

Mining their archives - which contain eyewitness accounts of some of the most memorable moments of the last 200 years – The Times showed its subscriber audience of committed broadsheet readers (50+, rarely looked at the papers online) how it was a great daily newspaper and so much more.

The antique looking mail pack with the intriguing line: ‘Your Times Membership has been backdated to 1 January 1785’ showed the full value of a Times subscription.

Results

Churn dropped from 89% to 68% - meaning an extra 2108 people went on to pay the full subscription price (£7 a week for 12 months) leading to £767,312 incremental annual revenue.  

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