How publishers are leveraging ePaper reader insights with EngageReaders

25 November 2020
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At Twipe all of our best product innovations are driven by a desire to solve specific challenges our publisher partners are facing. One such innovation is EngageReaders, our ePaper analytics tool, which came out of a question from an editor who wanted to know precisely what drives engagement on digital editions. We launched a yearlong ‘Digital Reader Engagement‘ research project, in partnership with Mediahuis and KU Leuven, to answer this question. Since then, newsrooms across Europe have incorporated the resulting technology, EngageReaders, into their daily routines. This week, in a customer-only seminar, we heard how three such publishers are leveraging these ePaper reader insights.

Exploring correlation between ePaper and print analytics

In most newsrooms today, there are a plethora of dashboards giving real time insights on how digital products are performing. However it is more difficult to get a view on the print newspaper. While there may be reader focus groups throughout the year, this doesn’t compare to the daily insights the digital team is able to explore.

That’s why we were challenged by one of our customers to correlate the performance between the ePaper (the digital replica of the print newspaper) and the actual print newspaper. To test the correlation, we partnered with Lesewert, a German company that uses specially equipped reading pens to track how readers are engaging with print newspapers. We have a common customer, so this meant that we had data on engagement with the print newspaper from Lesewert, plus data on the engagement for that same date on the digital edition thanks to EngageReaders.

While it is important to note this test is for one single day, with a small group of readers, early analysis is promising. We see a 76% correlation between the ePaper and the print newspaper for the most engaging articles, as measured by average reading time and number of readers. We have already seen publishers make decisions on their print newspaper thanks to EngageReaders analytics, such as changing section orders or expanding sections, however we look forward to further exploring this correlation as it will open up even more possibilities for our partners.

Le Monde experiments with push notification frequency

Through analysis on EngageReaders data, we found that after just the first hour, we could already predict with a high level of confidence which articles in the digital edition would be the most popular. With the Automatic Push Notification Module on our platform, we are able to pull out the top three articles to trigger subscribers to read the new edition.

In France, Le Monde had set a goal of activating low/medium engaged subscribers on their ePaper in order to develop stronger reading habits, while automating their workflow to not require additional resources from the newsroom. To achieve these objectives, our customer success team set up an experiment with automatic push notifications.

We then set up an experiment with the team at Le Monde to test the frequency of sending push notifications. Three cohorts were defined: a test group with no push notifications, a group with notifications three times per week, and a group with daily notifications, in the case of Le Monde this means six times per week as they publish a combined weekend edition.

After three months of exposure, we did not see any significant increase in opt-out rates for people receiving notifications. In other words, there was no annoyance factor. We were also able to see that receiving push notifications has a positive impact on engagement. Finally, we found that the more frequent sending of push notifications had the highest impact on core reader engagement, defined as subscribers with at least 10 reading days in a month. In the cohort with daily notifications, we observed an additional 426 subscribers had developed a reading habit.

DuMont proactively reaches out to “Readers@Risk”

We all know that churn is a big concern for publishers, with limited tools on the market today for proactively identifying potential churners on the most engaging product, the digital edition. To fight this, we partnered with DuMont in Germany to see if, based on data from EngageReaders, we could identify subscribers who would likely churn, before they were actually lost. The goal was to give a weekly report with an overview of the churn likelihood of all subscribers, segmented into high, medium, small, and very low risk.

From our analysis of EngageReaders data, we were able to see that reading behaviour could be used as a predictor for churn. Knowing is only half the battle though, so we needed to find a way to win these subscribers back. In a collaborative project between DuMont and our customer success team, we created a test group and a control group made up of subscribers with medium to high likelihood of churning. For two months, we experimented with push notifications to re-engage these subscribers. In the test group we were able to see a decline in medium and high risk subscribers, as they moved into the audience segments with a lower likelihood of churning. While it is too early to have a concrete conclusion, first indications show that targeted exposure to these push notifications reduced churn by 5%.

Today the teams at various DuMont titles continue to receive insights about the loyalty of their subscribers with the new Readers@Risk Module and plan to further automate the use of this data to prevent churn.

We are happy to see how useful our EngageReaders technology has been for our partners and we look forward to seeing new uses and implementations. To learn how you can get these data insights for your own ePaper readers, contact our team today.

Next week we will have the CEO of DuMont Regional Media, Thomas Schultz-Homberg, joining our CEO Roundtable with other leading CEOs. Make sure to register before spots fill up.

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