These are the six actions that will help grow your ePaper, based on the best practices of our customers and our six years in the industry. To help inform your 2018 planning, here is the checklist of the top six actions to grow your ePaper.
1. Metered social sharing
The dilemma is familiar to most publishers: social sharing is a great way to reach new audiences, but without a pay wall, publishers lose revenue. Having a strict paywall would discourage potential new readers from subscribing so DuMont decided to have a metered paywall for their newspapers, including Berliner Kurier, Berliner Zeitung, and Hamburger Morgenpost. With this metered social sharing, non-subscribers can read three stories that were shared on social media before seeing a paywall.
Social sharing can also help to if not monetise non-subscribers, at least convert them into known-entities. For example, non-subscribers can be asked to sign-up for a free account to read more articles after hitting the paywall. This allows publishers to know who their potential subscribers are and to better reach out to them.
2. Adapt to changing reader behaviour with new editions
A few years ago at Ouest-France, they sensed a new trend in their audience’s reading habits and created a whole new edition to meet their readers changing needs.
Quickly, we saw that there was a developing market for news at the end of the day. The usage of tablets and smartphones indicated that people were willing to read things after work. We decided to create a 100% digital newspaper, with news, magazines and games.
Edouard Reis Carona, Digital Editor
To target these readers who are looking for something to during their commute from work or while relaxing at home, Ouest-France created L’édition du Soir, published each weeknight at 6 PM. The edition is also optimised for the interests of readers during this time period, so there are more games and puzzles to help readers relax, in addition to reading to the news.
In November 2013, this 100% digital newspaper, L’édition du Soir was launched to great success. The initial target of 10,000 recurring users coming to the platform at least three times a week was met within the editions’ first year, with numbers growing rapidly ever since.
By creating a new edition that utilizes the time downtime readers have in the evening, Ouest-France has been able to attract a larger audience and engage more deeply their current audience. This goes back to one of the 7 key essentials for newsrooms: publish at the convenience of your audience, not of the newsroom. To increase the usage of your ePaper, it may be worthwhile to take a deeper look at your audience to find any needs that your current editions are not addressing.
3. Pre-publish your edition
Being first in news is the industry’s mantra, so Le Parisien took their edition one step further by launching an early access edition. Now on their website and app, readers can already read tomorrow’s news at 11:30 pm the night before. The next morning the full edition, including any new developments in the news and the latest sport results, is published in print as well.
Early Access Editions are necessary for us to keep our digital readers satisfied. Our readers will have the fastest available news and stay informed before others.
Julie Costes, Director of Marketing and Paid Content
By pre-publishing their edition, Le Parisien’s most news-hungry readers are kept engaged and loyal.
4. Add extra supplements
On top of the daily newspaper, subscribers of Het Nieuwsblad also receive a range of additional supplements and magazines. For example, every Saturday subscribers can read a lifestyle magazine, a football special, a jobs supplement, and a tips magazine. This extra content, published on a consistent basis encourages subscribers to keep coming back and also showcases the added value subscribers receive. This added value is one of the key variables in the willingness of readers to pay for online news.
5. Integrate your ePaper with your website
One simple action to increase ePaper readers is putting thumbnails of your publications on your main website. Le Télégramme does this and it helps activate ePaper readers. Ouest-France does this as well with their newsletter for readers of L’édition du Soir, which sends out thumbnails and links to the edition’s stories. This has served as a sort of table of contents for readers, who are triggered by certain stories to read that evening’s edition.
6. Send a daily push notification
Push notifications truly are the highway to readers’ attention, with the lock screen being called ‘the new inbox’. Our own research has found that engaging with readers in the morning with a push notification resulted in a 15% higher reader activation throughout the day. That’s one reason why L’Avenir sends a daily push notification with top headlines from the day’s edition.
Collaboration: the key to developing the right features
At Twipe, we’ve been lucky to always work with newspaper where we could engage in strong partnerships, which has allowed us to co-develop such features that are both enhancements for our platform and well-utilised by editorial teams. We are grateful for our six years of partnerships that have enabled us to learn the keys to growing ePapers (and we’re proud to say we have all these features available on our platform!)
This article was written by Mary-Katharine Phillips, Media Innovation Analyst at Twipe from 2017 – 2021.