The Independent's CRM Strategy
Publishing Excellence Awards
Best Use of Data
The Independent has overhauled its onboarding and 'in-life' customer journeys to combat subscriber churn. Today, a fully automated and segmented CRM programme, built around the end-to-end customer lifecycle and with behavioural data at its core, is live and delivering results.
Prior to the launch of the new CRM programme, The Independent’s average monthly churn rate was 7.7%. A particular area of concern was the trial completion rate - the % of subscribers who move from trialists to the tenured base in month 4 – which was 57%. Subscribers weren’t sufficiently onboarded – the process of highlighting subscription benefits to drive early habit-forming behaviour.
Communication was also sporadic throughout the subscriber’s lifetime and focused more on win-back after cancellation.
Limited capacity within the CRM team led to prioritising short-term, ad-hoc campaigns, and restricted exploration of the email tools data and segmentation capabilities.
The CRM programme now includes seven lifecycle stages:
Harnessing email opens and frequency and recency of website visit data has enabled The Independent to spot the early signs of churn and deliver relevant messaging to increase engagement. This approach has had a profound effect on churn.
There has been a 22% decrease in the average monthly churn rate – 7.7% in 2020 vs. 6.0% in 2021. 22% of the subscriber base equates to £465k in revenue that would have otherwise been lost over the course of a year. Outside of the primary objective of churn, improvements have been seen in NPS. The insights gathered have helped drive improvements to the subscription proposition. This virtuous circle has produced an improvement in NPS – -33 in January 2021 to -8 in December 2021.
Improving the relevancy and timing of communications has also led to 7% pts improvement in the size of our ‘engaged’ subscriber base between March 2021 and December 2021.