How Newsweek converts visitors into subscribers and increases loyalty

About Newsweek

Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine providing in-depth analysis, news, and opinion about international issues, technology, business, culture, and politics. Founded in 1933, Newsweek is now primarily a digital property, but also publishes print editions in various languages across the globe.
The Challenge of Visitor Engagement

Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways to engage customers, but mass mailing will ultimately prove to be an inefficient strategy, leading many users to unsubscribe and potentially giving your business a bad reputation. Collecting email addresses from visitors poses another challenge for marketers. Many e-commerce sites target visitors with email capture lightboxes as soon as they arrive on the site, which are usually dismissed. Ulmart wanted to convert more website visitors into email subscribers and collect valuable data to create sophisticated customer segments.

The primary revenue streams for online publishers are from ad impressions and subscriptions. The key to success in both these areas is visitor engagement.

Once you get visitors to your site, how do you keep them there? This is a challenge faced by all online publishers. If a visitor lands on an article page on your site, you of course want them to stay there and finish reading the article. And when they have finished reading the article, you want them to continue interacting with your content by reading another, and another.

Newsweek was looking to increase visitor engagement, and therefore maximize their ad and subscription revenue. Tackling this issue required a multi-pronged approach.

Turning Readers into Subscribers with Urgency Messaging

Once readers start engaging with content on a subscription-based news website, they are prompted to subscribe to continue reading. This can lead to high bounce rates. Newsweek wanted to reduce this rate and encourage more people to subscribe.

An effective way to tackle this bounce rate is through the use of urgency messaging. Using Insider, Newsweek was able to welcome visitors with special subscription discounts, combined with time-limited offers, to encourage people to subscribe.

Not only does an increase in subscribers mean an increase in subscription revenue but (as long as they find the content engaging) these subscribers also become loyal, returning visitors that will drive up ad revenue. Publishers will receive payment for every ad they view. The more subscribers a site has, the more they will be able to charge advertisers for that valuable space on their pages. 

Increasing Pageviews with Content Recommendations
Newsweek wants to keep their readers engaged, and needs to offer them content that makes them click, and keep clicking. A very effective way to put relevant content in front of visitors is by providing automated recommendations, based on their on-site habits. Insider’s recommendation engine uses machine learning to identify the right content and automatically displays it to the right reader. This was an excellent solution to address Newsweek’s challenge of increasing user engagement.
Keep Visitors Coming Back

Once publishers have a healthy subscriber base and are offering those subscribers content that engages them, how can they make sure the subscribers keep coming back?

The answer is Web Push Notifications. These are notifications that alert readers to new content that may be of interest to them. Notifications are delivered directly to a user’s browser, no matter what website they are viewing. A user can access the content instantly, simply by clicking on the notification which will take them directly to the article on the site.

This is an opt-in service, which is why securing visitor engagement in these previous steps is an essential foundation for the effectiveness of this process.


Insider quickly became one of Newsweek’s top five traffic acquisition platforms. The site saw a 40% uplift in user engagement (measured by pageviews and time spent on site), and a 23% reduction in bounce rate.

“The digital publishing landscape is constantly evolving, and your audience’s attention is being pulled in more directions than ever before. To be successful in this highly competitive space, you have to stay at the forefront of digital marketing trends and technology. With Insider, that’s easy. The team is incredibly knowledgeable about industry challenges and how to tackle them, and has a wealth of ideas that are simple to implement, but have huge impact.”

Marta Ogórkiewicz

Product Manager, Newsweek

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