7 Customer Acquisition and Retention Tips for Media and Publishing

customer acquisition

Customer acquisition and retention are essential parts of the pipeline for marketers. A high rate of these metrics shows positive sign of growth for your brand. Marketers for media and publishing companies in the 21st century have to embrace the technology around them that can help grow their customer acquisition and retention metrics.

The Right Metrics

Vanity metrics like shares and likes are out. RoX is in. RoX is ‘the new ROI’ for a reason. Providing a valuable experience for a customer, and examining whether the customer decides your experience is worth their time to return to. What is your ‘hook’ or ‘addiction quotient’? Let’s say there’s someone who is stuck at meetings all day but all he or she wants to know is what the score is at their sports game. Can you reach them on the right medium, be engaging yet not intrusive and communicate the information just when they want it the most? There’s your hook. Factors like this are what bring customers back time and again and build your RoX

Your Newsletter

Your newsletter is what you send customers that are already engaged with your service or brand. Make it phenomenal. Use quality content tailored and personalized for every customer.

improve customer acquisition and retention

Image: Boomtrain

A company like Boomtrain can work with you to provide personalized content recommendations in your daily or weekly newsletters to subscribers. Send people information about things that interest them or that are relevant to them and you will see the returns start from your most basic metrics to unimaginable engagement levels.

Comments and Forums

The commenting ground is where your audience finds a space to engage and voice their opinions. If you’ve used the internet in the past few years, you’ve surely seen the dark side of the comments section. Mud slinging, trolling and abuses appear to become the results when everyone and their second cousin wants to share their opinion and contradict the others.

comment wars boomtrain

Comment Wars: They usually get way uglier.
Image: YouTube

This has grown so much that top publishers today are removing their comment sections and rethinking the commenting strategy. Taking away people’s voices is a way to kill customer acquisition and retention. Instead, try to find a way to moderate right and present comments engagingly. Look into using a tools like IO Square’s AI powered content moderation software to do this.

Social Sharing

Encourage users not just to share, but to share quotes from articles or their analysis of a piece they read. You can create and trigger ready-to-tweet messages at the end of an article or ask questions about an article or piece of content once a user spends a particular amount of time on it. You can also use a natural language processing or social listening tool to get an idea of what your audiences say about your brand and content over social media, and make tweaks to grow customer acquisition and retention.

snapchat variety publishing

Image: Variety

Establish a presence and share unique content on the latest social channels to stay in your customer’s mind. Snapchat – especially its Live Stories feature – is a great place to branch out your content strategy and make it more accessible to younger audiences, who are increasingly looking to Snapchat to share short videos, get entertainment news and current event related news.

Push Notifications

Machine Learning algorithms can tell you what gets the most engagement. Segment.com’s studied 1.5 billion push notifications, sent from apps to users around the world. These included massive apps with millions of Monthly Active Users (MAU) and smaller apps.

personalization customer acquisition and retention

Image: Segment/LeanPlum

Their results? Personalization drove the most number of returns to the website. When Push notifications were triggered based on user behaviour, they generated a 9X increase in open rates – not a bad way for you to get better at customer acquisition and retention.

Ad Blocking

No one want to see ads anymore so you need to be extremely nice to make this happen. The Guardian does this really well with their program that encourages you to be a ‘Guardian Supporter’ at a price as low as a dollar or a euro. Their appeal to the audience’s sympathetic nerve encourages them to make the small contribution to continue viewing an ad free website, without subscribing.

customer acquisition and retentionImage: The Guardian

Apart from this strategy to combat ad blocking, try to incentivize customers who do not use ad blockers with premium content or access that goes beyond a thank you message? A good way to enhance customer acquisition and retention is by working out ways around the ad blocking problem that are creative and engaging.


Don’t let your audience forget that publishing is a service just like software is a service (SaaS) and that it is a service worth paying for. At the same time, remember that your subscribers are your most valuable, elite customers because they actually pay for your service. Treat them like you would the Dalai Lama if he chose to visit you.

Image: The New York Times

Remember, customer acquisition and retention is about offering a great experience and providing value. Offer your subscribers ad free content (obviously) and bonuses whenever you can. See how The New York Times offers their members access to film clubs, wine clubs, times talks and access to more diverse content PLUS a bonus subscription for anyone you like. Who can say no to that? 


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