GWADS Promotional Award

2019 Award Winners
Digital Engagement & Retention

The Seattle Times
1st Place

Newsletters and News Alerts

City: Seattle, WA
Daily audited circulation size: 185,000
Sunday audited circulation size: 235,000


Grow digital engagement through use of Newsletters and News Alerts.


Newsletters, email alerts and push notifications provide a daily prompt to bring consumers to the site. Our newsletters are typically a curated experience, in an easy-to-use format. They have proven to be powerful retention tools for existing subscribers. We invest significant resources in the curation of Morning Brief (weekday morning email), experimentation with Evening Brief (weekday evening email, based on data insights on consumption preferences and time of day, use of Morning brief), refinements to Fan Fix (sports newsletter) and the frequency, content and type of news alerts.


Newsletters drive email registration, which allows us to better understand users, drive their engagement by increasing the content they are consuming and market to them with subscription offers. Those that use newsletters are 7X more likely to become subscribers. They’ve also proven to be powerful retention tools for existing subscribers as it encourages frequent engagement and visits to our site.

Bay Area News Group
2nd Place

Rewards Program

City: San Jose, CA
Daily audited circulation size: 310,217
Sunday audited circulation size: 471,130


To provide an incentive for new & existing print & digital subscribers to subscribe and renew their subscriptions


As part of our retention strategy for both print and digital subscribers, we created and currently manage the Membership Rewards program. This includes sweepstakes, coupons, and e-cookbooks that are available to any Mercury News and East Bay Times subscriber.

Response Method

For the sweepstakes portion of the program, people respond by entering via the customer care site associated with their subscription or by mailing in a letter to our Membership Rewards team. If a subscriber would like to view and download a coupon, they start the process at the customer care site and then move to our vendor's site to view and download. For the download of our free e-cookbooks, the subscriber starts at the customer care site and them moves to our Bay Area News Group site.

Target Goal

Our goal for each contest varies depending on what we are giving away. As a rule of thumb, we always want to see a few hundred entries. The same goes for the coupons and e-cookbook downloads.


We run our Membership Rewards program all year round with an average of 3 contests per month, hundreds of coupon offers per month and one e-cookbook per month. The past month's and year's cookbooks are available all year long.

Other Metrics Contributing to Success

We run print ads and email blasts promoting each contest and e-cookbook in both participating publications. These help to push our subscribers to the customer care site to participate in the Membership Rewards program. In addition to the ongoing contests, coupons, and e-cookbooks, we published a Membership Rewards physical coupon book. This was given as an incentive for EZ pay which will help our retention in the long run.


CY 2018
Total contests: 40
Total entries: 18,334
Largest single contest entry: 3,511 (Win a trip to Maui)
Total e-cookbooks: 12 (in 2018) 25 in total
Total downloaded e-cookbooks: 20,928 (activity in 2018)
E-cookbooks from previous years are available to download
Most popular downloaded e-cookbook: Quick & Easy Chicken (3,900)
Total subscriber coupon access: 20,424
Total coupons downloaded: 911
Top coupon downloads: Jiffy Lube, Wendy’s, Arby’s and El Pollo Loco

The Press Democrat
3rd Place

Delivering targeted messages to the right audience at the right time

City: Santa Rosa, CA
Daily audited circulation size: 46,992
Sunday audited circulation size: 53,389


Turn anonymous traffic into newsletter subscribers by delivering targeted messages to the right audience at the right time.


Connect our newsletter subscriber data to BlueConic, to identify which of our users were and were not currently newsletter subscribers. The following three dialogues were presented to users who were not subscribed to the Press Democrat’s Daily Newsletter.


Pink Man Ad

Target is user who is at their last free view before reaching their content meter limit. Ad pops at article pages on
10.9K clicks
3.16K conversions
3.12% clicks/views ratio
0.91% conv./views ratio
29.05% conv./clicks ratio

Yellow Lady Ad

Target is user who has not been shown a dialogue today, upon their Exit Intent action. Ad pops at article pages on
51.2K clicks
9.77K conversions
2.28% clicks/views ratio
0.44% conv./views ratio
19.09% conv./clicks ratio

Sad Puppy Ad

Target is user who has not been shown a dialogue today, Preferred Category is News and has a minimum of 2 page views during their session. Ad pops at article pages on
1.03K clicks
950 conversions
0.22% clicks/views ratio
0.21% conv./views ratio
92.23% conv./clicks ratio


Your membership goes to support this nonprofit organization committed to continuing education and sharing of ideas. Members get preferred rates at events, the opportunity to network, learn revenue-generating strategies, and stay in the forefront of ongoing digital engagement. The Board of Directors look forward to your participation and support in advancing our audience development program.

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