Best Practices & Case Studies

BlueLena provides its clients with access to a variety of articles, learning resources, and proven best practice approaches for growing and monetizing audiences, based on our rigorous test-and-learn methodology.
15 articles

FTI Consulting: Digital Subscriptions Playbook

FTI Consulting has developed the Digital Subscriptions Playbook in conjunction with the Google News Initiative and Local Media Association to build a framework for accelerating publishers’ digital subscription transformations. In this playbook, we will try to answer five key questions that we believ...

Case Study: How the American Prospect Grew Its Revenue and Site Traffic Without Losing Site of Its Mission

Original article from MetroPublisher.com viewable here. “We are creating a journal about what America is becoming and what it can be,” wrote The American Prospect’s founders in 1989. Read how the current publisher of the storied Washington D.C.-based magazine used a digital overhaul to continue that ...

Case Study: How BlueLena Helped INDY Week Launch a Robust Membership Program on Pico and Metro Publisher

Original article from MetroPublisher.com viewable here A streamlined approach to tech helped INDY Week’s reader membership program bring in over $150,000 in one year. Here’s how your online publication can replicate it. Steph ZimmermanThis spring, many publishers were financially reeling from the effe...

Case Study: How the Shawnee Mission Post tripled its paid subscriber growth rate by switching to Pico

Original article can be viewed hereBy Alex Wagner | The Byline (presented by Pico) Roughly a decade ago, when Jay Senter and Julia Westhoff moved back to their hometown in Kansas, they noticed the metro area news sources were providing no consistent coverage of local government and schools where the...

Best Practice: Respectful and useful membership & donation appeals during Covid-19 from six publishers

Original article can be viewed hereBy Cory Brown | The Byline (presented by Pico) The City: Big Apple Swagger It’s hard out there for publishers right now.Coronavirus stories are driving new readers and clicks, but ad revenue has dried up. As you know, transitioning to a reader revenue model is not as...

Best Practice: Investing in paid lead acquisition to grow membership, Part II

Original article can be viewed hereBy Philip Smith | The Byline (presented by Pico) Investing in paid lead acquisition to grow membership, Part II “Working in a marketing role in the publishing industry is so interesting because in any other industry there would be a playbook for what works. In publis...

Best Practice: Investing in paid lead acquisition to grow membership, Part I

Original article can be viewed hereBy Philip Smith | The Byline (presented by Pico) Investing in paid lead acquisition to grow membership Check out Part II of this article when you're done here!‍Back in 2004, I helped one of the early online environmental “blogs” undertake a big technical upgrade. At ...

Best Practice: Great email subject lines (what 9,673 tests have taught me)

Original article can be viewed hereBy Ryan Sager | The Byline (presented by Pico) Great email subject lines: This is what 9,673 tests have taught me Great email subject lines are like big red boxes on Christmas morning with giant white ribbons tied around them in bows — they beg to be opened. Of cours...

Article: News publishers dial up the marketing heat on their subscription products (Digiday)

Original article can be viewed hereBy Max Willens | Digiday | November 12, 2020With many of their ad businesses still shaky, particularly in local news, and with many now smarter about what kinds of offers convert the most users, publishers have been promoting their subscriptions more aggressively a...

Article: Publishers are making a hard sell for subscriptions (Digiday)

Original article can be viewed hereBy Kayleigh Barber | Digiday | May 19, 2020News publishers aren’t mincing words in their messages to push subscriptions, directly appealing to readers to support journalism and even make up for lost advertising revenue. The New York Times has run display ads readin...

Article: Local news outlets have boosted digital subscriptions (Northwestern | Medill)

Original article can be viewed here Newsroom Challenge for 2021: Keep New Customers in the Fold and Find More by Mark Jacob | LocalNewsIniThe pandemic and other major news events have helped boost digital subscriptions dramatically at local news outlets in 2020, with a new industry analysis putting th...

Article: How Heather Cox Richardson became a breakout star on Substack (NY Times)

View the original article here Heather Cox Richardson Offers a Break From the Media Maelstrom. It’s Working. She is the breakout star of the newsletter platform Substack, doing the opposite of most media as she calmly situates the news of the day in the long sweep of American history. By Ben Smith | Ne...

Article: Publishers expect to pick up the pace of innovation and rely on readers more than advertisers in 2021 (Nieman Lab)

Original article can be viewed hereBy Sarah Scire | NiemanLab Publishers expect to pick up the pace of innovation and rely on readers more than advertisers in 2021 Nieman Lab isn’t the only one in the predictions business. (If you missed it, here’s what some of the best and brightest in journalism tol...

Article: How NorthJersey.com used subscriber-exclusive stories to drive digital subscriptions

Original article can be viewed hereBy Candace Mitchell and Elyse Toribio | BetterNews.org How NorthJersey.com used subscriber-exclusive stories to drive digital subscriptions Candace Mitchell and Elyse ToribioJanuary 2021 This is a series on Better News to a) showcase innovative/experimental ideas that...

Case Study: Journalism has impact. So do business models.

In November 2020, Lookout Santa Cruz was launched with a singular mission: to "make Santa Cruz County a better place for all who live here." Six months later, the pure digital brand startup boasts more than 11,500 newsletter subscribers and a paid membership program that has thus far exceeded its i...