“The difference?” He explained: “It’s a relationship, not a transaction,” suggesting magazines should make more than one point of contact with their subscribers a year when they ask for money.
To engage new subscribers Barnwell said he would aim for ten points of contact in the first month. “Don’t force it, but deliver your message persistently.”
The membership should be “a point of pride,” he said. “Think about it like a club where everyone feels comfortable. Where they all share a common attitude and values.”
Twenty years ago, he said, you could look at somebody reading a newspaper and know a little bit right away about what kind of person they were. With digital, you lose that brand presence – so you have to fight harder to spread your brand.
It’s a challenge to engage audiences today. “We’re all competing for the attention of people who don’t want to give us their attention,” he said.
In particular, it’s Millennials. “We don’t understand them,” he said. “Or how we’re supposed to get them to pay for things.”
But monetising the relationship is key in turning the subscription into a membership. “The product has to be valuable to customers and the value should outweigh the cost,” he said.
Regarding premium content, Barnwell says you have to release some free content to make the paid content seem more worth it.
To combat the challenges, Barnwell focuses on putting the customer first. He said, “they are the only constant we have.”
You have to show you value them, he said. “You can bring in volumes easily, charge US$1 for a month, but you won’t bring in the right people that way. You want to bring in the right people.”
The right people are the ones who are going to stay around.
On average, people check their smart phones 100 times a day, he said. We have about an eight-second attention span.
“If you don’t build the relationship from subscriber to membership, some one else will.”
More like this
FIPP and VDZ’s Digital Innovators’ Summit 2018 takes place Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 in Berlin. If you were unable to make it to Berlin, here are some ways you can follow news from there.18th Mar 2018 FIPP News
FIPP Insider is an opportunity to learn, share intelligence and network with media colleagues. It is an investment of only a few hours out of the office for what could make a world of difference in your business tomorrow.7th Mar 2018 FIPP News
The 6th FIPP Asia international conference and exhibition will take place from 14 to 16 September 2018 in Wuhan, China, co-hosted by FIPP, the China Periodicals Association and the Hubei Administration.25th Feb 2018 FIPP News
It’s been another year of rapid change and innovative publishers continue to assemble a quiver full of new solutions to drive their businesses forward – something that becomes apparent when you page through the new 2018/19 edition of Innovation in Magazine Media 2018-2019 World Report, launched today at Digital Innovators’ Summit (DIS) in Berlin.19th Mar 2018 Features
While digital titles specialising in health and well-being are showing strong growth in developed markets such as Finland, the next step is to lead consumers from inspiration to transaction, and to go global, says new FIPP board member Kaisa Ala-Laurila, CEO of A-lehdet in Finland.12th Mar 2018 Features
Maureen Hoch, editor of Harvard Business Review’s HBR.org on Monday provided insight into the experimental work HBR has been doing with new media formats in the past year to reach and engage audiences, including subscribers, in new ways.19th Mar 2018 Features
From being described as an “internet midget” losing hundreds of millions a mere 17 years ago, Axel Springer managed to rebuild itself into a digital publishing powerhouse. Dr. Andreas Wiele, President Classifieds and Marketing Media at Axel Springer, Germany, explains how the German media giant faced off a near death experience.20th Mar 2018 Features
In a world where content distribution has gone digital, we are witnessing the death of industrial marketing - paving the way for the Amazonification of media: a digital environment were the gap between inspiration and transaction will be closed down almost completely, says Troy Young, Global President, Hearst Digital Media, USA.19th Mar 2018 Features
Visit our Youtube channelFIND OUT MORE
FIPP newsletters allow you to keep up with industry trends, research, training and events across the worldFIND OUT MORE
Get global coverage of your launches, company news and innovationsFIND OUT MORE
What’s happening now, what’s coming next