As more newspapers add a digital platform to distribute news and other content, they’ve discovered they need a comprehensive and flexible subscription management system. Such a system generates more revenues, creates a more positive reader experience, supports the editorial team, and helps reps sell more ads and improve their rapport with advertisers.
Legacy newspapers in small markets with decades of serving those populations particularly want a subscription management system that doesn’t disrupt those relationships of trust.
This was the challenge for Capital Region Independent Media (CRIM). It publishes four newspapers in the border region of New York State and Vermont and another three paid publications in Albany and surrounding counties. Many of these newspapers have been published for 50, 100 or more years.
NYVTMedia.com is the digital home for the four newspapers in Washington County and Vermont. Julie Fedler is the advertising director, and Chelsea Smith is the marketing director.
CRIM had a basic website but needed a subscription management solution that was easy to implement and use. CRIM chose Walllit to be its subscription management partner to deliver a better digital experience for everyone.
“Implementing Wallit as a paywall strategy was quite easy. First, it designed some landing pages for us, saving our small staff time. Second, the dashboard is very intuitive, so we can quickly create a two-week subscription offer, a dollar digital pass for the quarter, change a subscription rate or any other special offers without asking Wallit to do that work and spending days making those changes,” Smith said.
“Wallit has quickly increased our digital subscription revenues, from zero to $100 to $200 monthly to a steady flow for several months and then spiked to more than $1,000 during April 2023,” Fedler said.
Smith added they can easily help subscribers with access or payment difficulties, provide those subscribers with a free extension and quickly resolve the problem. Another benefit of using Wallit is addressing any advertisers’ concerns about their ads now appearing behind a paywall when they were previously on a free page.
“Honestly, I can count on one hand the number of complaints we’ve received from advertisers. If they want to see their ads without paying for a subscription, the Wallit dashboard allows us to give them open access. The Wallit analytics are also extremely useful. It shows us the articles readers are accessing behind the paywall and how many are subscribers and non-subscribers,” Fedler said.
Wallit also supports the editorial team. Jared Stamm, the editor, uses the dashboard to move any news stories or other content from behind the paywall to be available for free for a specified period.
Both Smith and Fedler said another advantage of Wallit is managing legacy subscribers. Often, they come to the office or mail a check to renew, making collecting their data more difficult.
“Having those legacy subscribers’ email addresses and presenting them with a subscription offer via Wallit before their subscriptions expire is a much quicker and easier method to communicate with them. They feel like they’re more than just a subscriber sending us a check every month. They feel like they’ve made the right choice to subscribe with us,” Fedler said.
“Give people the content they want, and they will pay for it. Wallit is a very easy platform to generate and compound revenue because you can monitor print and digital subscriptions and minimize lapses of those subscriptions,” Smith said.
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CEO & President
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