How Lifecycle Marketing Boosted The Washington Post’s Resubscribe Rate by 38%

How Lifecycle Marketing Boosted The Washington Post's Resubscribe Rate by 38%

Readers hold millions of bits and bytes of news in just five inches on a digital screen, with worlds of information under their thumbs. The Washington Post knew that the print world needed to adapt to continue delivering the news — just curated much differently for digital readers who would rather scroll than leaf. Enter lifecycle marketing.

To get the breaking news, the latest headlines, live coverage, lifestyle, politics and more directly into their readers’ hands (specifically, right under their thumbs), The Post would need to get really personal to meet them where they’re spending time online with the news and pieces they care about.

Discover how The Washington Post created new lifecycle marketing initiatives to meet each modern reader on their turf, terms and timeline with a powerful customer 360 coupled with a customer data platform (CDP) unlocking the core capabilities to get it done.

How Lifecycle Marketing Boosted The Washington Post’s Resubscribe Rate by 38%

One Big First-Party, Personalization, and Process Problem

The team at The Post wanted to take their first-party data to deliver personalized customer experiences to readers throughout all customer journey stages — but they lacked the speed and scale to execute and deliver the right story, to the right reader, at the right time, at any inflection in their lifecycle.

Rather than being able to tap directly into customer data to activate insights, they had to wait for piles of data requests to be delivered by their analyst team — and by the time they got them, it was too late to deliver the right message. This lag translated into a shorter customer lifetime value (CLV) and missed revenue opportunities.

For that reason, The Post started looking for a CDP to harness all of the rich insights and information available in their first-party data to better understand their readers and deliver dynamic, meaningful experiences, to take readers from trialists to loyal subscribers.

The Post is able to enable personalized customer experiences leveraging ActionIQ to harness AWS S3’s scalable storage capabilities to understand their growing customer base.

4 Success Criteria for a CDP Partner

To meet the opportunity and discover the best partner to help deliver customer experiences across the different stages of their lifecycle marketing strategy, the team at The Post from ads and subscriptions to marketing, engineering and analytics, got together to develop four key success criteria.

  • Democratized access to data insight activation: Faster analytics through self-service tools.
  • The right message at the right time: Improved audience segmentation and targeting to deliver the right news at the right time.
  • Deeper relationships with customers: Enhanced reader demographic and interest data.
  • Better insights than ever: Content insights with a new taxonomy system with more granularity to get even more personalized.

With different marketing functions managing subscriptions, retention and brand, they needed to be sure that their CDP partner provided capabilities for each.

“When you’re evaluating CDPs, don’t look for a vendor, look for a partner. The individual ActionIQ team that supports us — the engagement managers, the customer success managers, the engineering team — they are extensions of my team.”

Jason Langsner, Product Management Lead | The Washington Post

Taking Customers from New Subscribers to Loyal Readers with Sharp Lifecycle Marketing

The core mission of The Post when they launched with a CDP was to uplevel their lifecycle marketing by curating the customer experience across the different stages of the user journey, from new subscriber to loyal reader — creating meaningful touchpoints designed to catch and keep reader interest before they even subscribe.

“With ActionIQ, we were able to unlock personalization capabilities at the subscriber level. We can execute multiple email messages to not only educate and engage subscribers in their first few weeks, but also inspire them to act and build habits. Our goal is to ensure that the right combination of actions work together at the right time.”

Anjali Iyer, Head of Lifecycle Marketing | The Washington Post

The Post focuses on building trust with new readers by sharing hyper-relevant content to keep The Post top of mind with readers, while offering a consistent experience across channels for subscribers.

Get the Full Scoop on Lifecycle Marketing for Your Organization

To see more results, and get all the juicy details on how The Washington Post harnessed their first-party data to activate readers across lifecycle stages (to the tune of 131% more acquired customers and 38% resubscribe rate), download the case study here.

ActionIQ is an Amazon ISV Accelerate Partner and is available within the AWS Marketplace.

Julia Michaelis
Julia Michaelis
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
Julia is a product and brand storyteller, focusing on all of the different strategies that enable amazing customer outcomes. She lives in Brooklyn with her terrier Lee.
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