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Beyond the Paywall: Your May membership and audience to-dos

We’re now accepting scholarship applications for this fall’s Independent News Sustainability Summit in Austin to help offset the cost of travel and hotels.

Scholarships will range between $250 – $1,000 per individual, and the first round of recipients will be chosen shortly after the early-bird ticket period ends on Aug. 19.

Learn more and apply for a travel scholarship to attend the Summit.

And now on to your August to-dos!

Stacy Fernández
Marketing & Communications Manager

May Audience and Membership To-Dos

🍁 It’s not too early to start planning coverage (and maybe a campaign) for the fall elections.  Summer hasn’t even started and we’re already talking about fall, but hear us out. In many places the candidates for the upcoming fall elections have already been decided. Most of us have worked in newsrooms and can recall vivid flashbacks to election season. Our advice: Start planning now so things don’t fall into chaos later. This also gives new readers time to discover you as they start looking for election information. We particularly love seeing newsrooms put out voter guides in the months before the election, like this one from The City  and this one from Montana Free Press.

🤖 ICYMI – Automated emails are a thing of beauty. Here’s why you should start using them. In our latest case study we dive into how #ThisIsTucson’s evergreen newsletter series for new Tusconans, created in partnership with the Hub, became a powerful tool for attracting loyal readers and members. In a recent blog post, we also make the case for the two automated emails every newsroom should have that can generate reader revenue in the background.

🌷 Did your Spring campaign meet goal? Now that your newsroom’s Spring campaign has wrapped, take some time to analyze your data and check how you’re tracking toward your annual revenue goal. If you’re on target to meet your goal, congratulations! *throws confetti* If your revenue is not quite where you expected it to be, that’s OK – there are other tools at your disposal to get your newsroom where it needs to be. Our suggestions:

  • Plan a short summer campaign (4-5 emails) around a specific need or goal, like hiring a new reporter or expanding your newsletter offerings.
  • Send monthly emails highlighting something timely going on in your newsroom or community. These emails should be a mix of campaigning to boost your revenue and thanking readers for their support so you retain the members you already have.
  • Look at how each email performed individually to figure out what resonates (and what doesn’t) for future campaigns. In our newsrooms we’ve found some audiences are more willing to give on a specific day of the week; others are moved by behind-the-scenes emails from reporters, while some want a donation ask that’s short and sweet.

If you’re a current Hub org, ask your project manager about our campaign debriefs. If you want to explore how the News Revenue Hub’s services and campaign support may be a good fit for your organization, learn more about our work here.