Membership

Tuesday Buzz: The Guardian Doubles Down on Membership

By / Jan 26, 2016 (Richard Dawson/Flickr)

The well-known British newspaper has ambitious plans to improve its profitability, starting with an increased focus on membership. Also: Use email marketing to stand out to potential members.

When you’re an organization as large as Guardian News & Media, how do you ensure the financial future of your media outlet when you’re forced to cut costs by 20 percent? (That’s more than $70 million U.S. dollars, by the way.)

You double down on membership, that’s how. The publisher of the Guardian, best known in recent years for working with WikiLeaks and breaking the Edward Snowden story, has announced a plan to double its membership revenues from $43 million to $86 million within the next three years by making membership a central element of its media offerings.

“Over the next three years, a growing and far deeper set of relationships with our audience will result in a reimagining of our journalism, a sustainable business model and a newly-focused digital organization that reflects our independence and our mission,” Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner said on Monday.

It might be a good idea to keep an eye on those efforts in the coming years. (By the way, if you wanna see transparency in action, check out how the newspaper handled a member complaint recently.)

Don’t Get Buried

People receive tons of emails daily. How are you supposed to get a prospective member or two out of that mess?

The latest piece from HubSpot offers a ton of smart thinking on how to best use email marketing as a way to attract new members. The main thing, when it comes down to it, is that your email messages should remain focused on the personal touch that your organization offers at events or elsewhere. A key example of this is simply saying thank you.

“Always thank your members—this small gesture can go a long way,” writer Nick Cholakis explains. “When someone new joins, thank him or her, and drop a reminder of the benefits of the memberships upfront. Find subtle ways to make your audience feel appreciated.”

Other Links of Note

Incorporate an editorial calendar into your life! Nonprofit marketer Kivi LeRoux Miller breaks down how to use the workflow app Asana, along with Google Calendar and Microsoft Excel.

Speaking of organization, Lifehacker says that the new Gmail-based email-sorting tool Sortd is worth a look or three.

Reddit has “ask me anything” sessions. Why shouldn’t your conference? Event Manager Blog highlights a new question-heavy trend.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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