GWADS Best of the Best

2021 Award Submissions
Digital Subscriber Growth

The Spokesman-Review

City: Spokane, WA
Daily audited circulation size: 42,833
Sunday audited circulation size: 61,750


The objective of this campaign was to use a multi-send email campaign to solicit for new digital subscribers through the end of 2020.


We developed a 4-part email campaign with the focal point of providing 5 reasons to subscribe in each email. These emails were sent around Labor Day, in early September 2020. The main value proposition was “5 reasons to subscribe for $5 for the rest of 2020.” Each email had a thematic connection between all 5 reasons. For example, one email highlighted 5 reporters and another highlighted 5 content segments. When sending the email, we segmented our audience into three lists. One for former subscribers, one of current newsletter readers who were not subscribers and a third list of users who had been identified via Mather Listener on our website. We combined these email efforts with paid social media ads.


This campaign was our most successful email campaign of at least the last 3 years, accounting for more than half of all digital subscriptions acquired via email and more than 6% of our total digital acquisition for 2020. This group’s rate was increased to $9.99 per month beginning in January 2021. After two billing cycles 74% of the group remained subscribers and after 5 billing cycles 62.5% of these subscribers remained active.

Press Democrat

City: Santa Rosa, CA
Daily audited circulation size: 45,000
Sunday audited circulation size: 45,000


Leverage technology to increase digital subscriptions.


Implemented an Intelligent Paywall with Mather engagement segments.


At the peak of growth (October 2020), we had grown digital subscriptions by 101%. As of May 2021, we have grown digital subscriptions by 32%.


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