Ways to build a successful digital membership business

As reader habits have changed in Asia and elsewhere, the importance of print media as a source of news has declined in recent years. There is a need for news publishers to adapt to a new business model to sustain the business and continue to grow.

by WAN-IFRA External Contributor | November 14, 2019

By Steven Wong

Joe Martin, the Vice President of Dow Jones Commercial Partnerships, APAC, (left) presented the ways has created a successful digital membership business to the audience at WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media Asia 2019 conference in Hong Kong. Here are five key takeaways from his presentation.

Structure your organisation around the customer created the bowtie membership model. This model focuses not just on getting a customer to the end of the marketing funnel, but also on building a customer retention strategy to ensure they have a smooth onboarding experience and sufficient brand engagement to become a long-term customer.

Identify the opportunities at each purchasing funnel and use data modelling to allocate marketing resources and to develop creative strategy

Getting the marketing objective right at each purchasing funnel is vital to the success of a business success. The marketing strategy should be aligned with that objective. It can be done by understanding customer needs and behaviours at each stage. has also developed its own propensity model to determine when customers are ready to buy. It classifies them into three levels – cold, warm, and hot – which lets them choose the optimal messages to reach the right prospects.

Optimise your paywall messages to drive subscriptions

Through utilising the propensity model mentioned above, tailors the creative messages shown to customers and applies best practice guidelines to amplify their advertising’s effectiveness.

The creative guidelines including limiting copy to essential information, aligning key messaging to the centre to make it easier to read, and making sure to include a clear call-to-action button to encourage users to click through.

Utilise social media to influence the different stages of the purchasing funnel

Social media is an important source for in driving subscriptions. Selecting the right social media platforms for each purchasing funnel will help the publisher to achieve their marketing objectives, such as building brand awareness and website traffic, which ultimately help boost subscriptions. For current customers, social media channels can help to build customer loyalty by providing on-going engagement and feedback opportunities.

Partner with other media groups to build membership strategies and drive subscriptions has also developed a media partnership network in Asia, which created a win-win relationship to drive digital subscriptions. They share ideas and resources, such as hosting regional conferences, localising content, and developing digital strategies to meet changing consumer habits across the region.

Steven Wong is the Digital Director (Global Market) of Wavemaker.


WAN-IFRA External Contributor

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