The Press Enterprise (PE) was looking to turn more of their digital audience into paying subscribers, as well as continue to keep their current subscribers engaged and loyal. To do this, PE had to provide a user experience that was as relevant and seamless as possible in order to prove the value of being a paying subscriber.
increase in leads
open rates on promotional emails
The Press Enterprise is a newspaper providing news, events, promotions and more to Inland Southern California.
In a world of “too much information,” readers are overwhelmed by news that isn’t necessarily helpful or relevant to them. The Press-Enterprise aims to change this by being a trusted and familiar news source providing relevant, local information to their readers.
As a business goal, The Press Enterprise (PE) is looking to turn more of their digital audience into paying subscribers, as well as continue to keep their current subscribers engaged and loyal. To do this, PE has to provide a user experience that is as relevant and seamless as possible. In other words, prove the value of being a paid subscriber.
PE is already a step ahead of the game in inbound marketing because they produce high quality news and promotional content for their online audience. In fact, this is both their marketing and their actual product. However, their content is unique in that there are a slew of topics. This means they need to be able to highly-target their content so that it is the most relevant to each specific reader in order for it to really be of most value.
Using the HubSpot all-in-one platform, PE was able to gather data and insights about their reader’s individual engagement and interests in order to accomplish this level of personalization. PE uses HubSpot’s Forms, Landing Pages, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation, and the corresponding Analytics behind each tool which tie into a central Contacts Database. Each HubSpot tool is powered by the central Contacts Database which gives PE the ability to revolve their marketing efforts around each individual reader. PE is able to provide people a news experience that is personalized to their interests instead of blasting everyone with same messages.
Audience Development Manager
The Press Enterprise
When a person supplies PE with their email address through any page on their website, a contact record is created in the HubSpot system. That person’s interactions with PE are then recorded across every marketing channel (website, social media, email, etc.) and are available as data for marketing personalization.
The first step for PE was getting people to willingly share their email address so that PE could begin to gather insights on their preferences and provide those people with the types of content they care most about. They did this in a number of ways, including offering people a place to submit classified or news tips, or various promotional contests and giveaways, both of which require an email address to enter.
The promotional contests, however, are quite a unique and wildly beneficial feature of the Press Enterprise model. For example, if sales has an extremely warm lead or a new advertiser, and they want to show the new or potential client exactly what Press Enterprise can do for them, sales will come to Audience Development Manager Jessica Puente, asking for the promotion of their product or a specific event. Recently, it was a company that puts on Quinceanera events for teenage girls. They ran a contest to give away a gold necklace, the entry form being a HubSpot form living on a HubSpot Landing Page. Through the contest, Press Enterprise earned new leads and gathered information about what demographic certain readers fall into. The vendors gained leads as well as awareness and promotion of their brand. Finally, readers who were interested in this kind of event received the chance to win a free prize like the necklace or tickets to one of the company’s events, as well as more helpful information about a company that they would potentially be interested in.
Through these promotional contests alone, Press Enterprise has been able to generate over 2,400 new leads (potential subscribers) for themselves in 6 months, with minimal effort. In addition, PE has been able to share these leads with their advertisers sponsoring the promotions. Jessica says, “Doing these contests make our advertisers happy, our audience happy and they're relatively painless to put together, thanks to HubSpot.”
Overall since beginning with HubSpot, Press Enterprise has seen a 41% increase in the number of email addresses and leads they’ve been able to collect from users who willingly supply them in exchange for more information and communications.
Audience Development Manager
The Press Enterprise
Once PE has leads in one central system, Jessica can then segment her database of readers by a number of different criteria. There is the obvious paying subscriber versus non-subscriber segmentation, but she goes deeper within each of those buckets to segment by both behavioral and demographic data.
Jessica can use behavior and interactions with the PE website in order to get the most out of her marketing efforts. For example, if a reader has opted-in to receive email from Press Enterprise, Jessica wants to make sure that each email is helpful and keeps the reader engaged. If a particular reader has visited their Entertainment page a number of times but not yet subscribed to the Entertainment Newsletter, Jessica can use an automated Workflow that will send the reader an email and ask them if they want to subscribe to Entertainment specific news emails.
Not only this, Jessica can use the information about the types of pages a reader has visited, contests they’ve entered, or articles they’ve been reading to send them more stories that are relevant to them. By using this tactic to promote a recent local music festival to readers who fell within that interest, Jessica saw a 50% open rate on the emails she was sending, whereas before her emails were often getting marked as spam and blocked by filters because of their lack of relevancy.
Press Enterprise uses demographic data in order to simultaneously attract new subscribers while keeping existing subscribers loyal and engaged through their use of Smart CTAs which dynamically change to adjust to the person viewing it. For example, Press Enterprise provides its subscribers with a “Perks Program,” which is essentially a constantly changing repository of coupons and special offers to restaurants, stores, events, etc. This is one of the values of being a paying subscriber.
On a particular page of PE’s website, there is a CTA that will change functions depending on which segment of PE’s audience is viewing it. Paying subscribers who are already engaged in the perks program (have opened more than two emails about the perks program) will be sent directly to the perks page. This keeps happy customers continually happy.
Paying subscribers who have not opened any emails about the perks program, or who haven’t logged into it before are sent to a page to receive their account information for the perks program. This increases engagement amongst current customers and helps retain them as such.
Lastly, non-subscribers or unknown users are sent to a page with two options: 1) to log in to the perks program in the case that they are a subscriber, or 2) to sign up for a subscription to attain a perks program login. This brings new customers in when they can see the added value that Press Enterprise brings to the table outside of great content.
The central HubSpot Contacts Database has made both Jessica and her colleagues’ lives easier by merging all the information about a lead or a subscriber into one place. Instead of using disparate systems and spreadsheets to track subscriber preferences, behaviors, and interactions with PE, Jessica says keeping this information in one place has “allowed us to easily navigate through the information that we do have, across every department. So everyone sees the same information about a person. I don’t have to worry that I’m missing anything or that a property is named one thing in my system and another thing in a system another department uses.”
Because this information lives in one place and powers every marketing tool, PE is able to take steps to keep their existing customers happier than ever. For example, if the Contacts Database has the data that knows that a user subscription is about to expire, an automated Workflow will send the reader a special offer email to renew their subscription. Because the Contacts Database is highly customizable, Jessica and others at PE can enter custom field properties (such as whether a subscriber has opted to receive digital only or both print and digital news.) This way, each department can adhere to an individual's preferences and act as a unified organization, rather than giving a subscriber a fragmented experience working with multiple departments.
If a user has filled out a delivery concern form more than once, essentially letting PE know that they haven’t been receiving their news, a Workflow will send an email to Customer Service with the user’s information so that they can give the reader a call and potentially save a subscription. Jessica says, “We weren’t able to do that kind of customer service before to make sure that our subscribers are having a good experience. This makes our subscribers happy and takes a load off of customer service as well.”
Audience Development Manager
The Press Enterprise
Jessica says, “Before HubSpot we had no way of identifying if a visitor to our website was a subscriber or not. We had several different systems for communicating with subscribers, creating campaigns for our advertisers, posting to social media, creating calls to action, and a lot of other things that HubSpot offers us in one package.” Because these tools come in one platform, they’re able to seamlessly communicate the type of data that allows for critical marketing testing and analytics such as the A/B testing of Landing Pages or Calls-to-Action to achieve the most optimal results for both PE and their advertisers. “Being able to test and then look at analytics to try and analyze what works best is always a great tool to use.”
The integration of all the HubSpot tools has allowed for the automation of many activities that Jessica would have had to manually execute on everyday. On managing that kind of workload to deliver the best user experience possible, Jessica says, “I would need to hire another 50 people to do what HubSpot does for our users.”
Not only is her workload more manageable, but Jessica is able to innovate on the ways that HubSpot can help Press Enterprise through the advanced all-in-one platform. While Jessica knows that the key to any successful marketing tactic begins with first bringing people to your site, her efforts have been successfully focused on the middle of the funnel.
“HubSpot helps you keep those people coming back by integrating the ability to provide a good user experience and the tools to track user behavior, so that you can figure out what product that person is interested in and how best to present it to them.”
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