What can digital publishers learn from e-commerce to win their customers back?

The evolution of the internet has brought numerous changes. From brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping and getting goods delivered at the doorstep is the preface of e-commerce industries. Similarly, the paradigm shift in readers’ choice from print media to online content is the preface of digital publishers. E-commerce is not only limited to buying and selling goods but providing better services and enhancing shopping experiences too. Similarly, Digital publishing platforms are not limited to content deliveries such as blogs and articles but to sell e-papers, magazines, e-books, creating e-libraries and subscription and micro-payment subscription-based services.

However, digitalisation has its own lapses in gaining more and more user engagement. According to search analyst Greg Sterling, the average annual churn rate in search marketing clients is at or above 50%. It means almost 50% of customer stops doing business with digital publishers once they have done purchases. Similarly, in e-commerce industries the average annual churn rate is around 70%-80%.

Why does customer churn occur?

Digital publishers face a churn rate when some conditions are satisfied such as

  • Completes the subscription duration of services or products and decides not to continue.
  • Did not re-order fixed-term services or products and decides not to go with it.
  • Continuous default of payments.
  • High pricing strategy.

With the cognizance of the high churn rate and to earn more user engagement, digital publishing platforms should adopt some strategies to win back their customers like e-commerce does.

How to win back customers?

Grab your customer’s attention – Customers are always in search of varieties and unique products. Grab your customer’s attention with your unique products and USP. Digital publishers should tune in with social media with valuable and attention-grabbing content. They should use e-mail marketing campaign and let their readers know what special they have to offer them. Digital publishers can host events and award their customers by making their premium content available for them with some exciting offers.

Encourage them by offering choices – Brand positioning is a great way to attract and retain customers. A digital publisher should offer their brand in such a way that they can directly touch their customer’s emotions. For example. If a digital publishing company has some premium content at a specific cost which fails to bring in a large customer base because of sensitive pricing. The company may offer their customer a pay-per-use model i.e. customer has to pay for only what they watch or use.

Improve customer service and win their trust – Customer service is nothing but what experience customers get once they have made a purchase with you. That experience is long-lasting and portrays a clear impression of a brand. For the digital publishing industry, customer service should not be limited to chatting or emailing but being active on social media, sharing feedback and reviews, creating brand awareness and showcasing brand stories and values involving customers in conversation with the brand or organisation. So, the best way to win customers’ trust is to provide them with better service.

Offer personalised experienced – Today, customers are beyond the one-size-fits-all solution zone. Digital publishers should use tools such as Dynamic Paywall to offer readers enjoy personalised experience. With the use of AI and Machine Learning, Dynamic Paywall improves users’ behaviour and moderates access to content accordingly.

Nurturing Customers on Social Media Channels – Social media, today, is the best way to increase user engagement. Sharing content, links, posts relevant to customers’ interests, sharing a regular update on discounts and offers with social media followers, organising contests, events and campaigns such as ‘let’s connect campaign’ can encourage more customers to engage. Retargeting and remarketing with Facebook and Instagram Ads are new age practises for retaining customer and brand positioning.


These strategies will certainly help digital publishers to win user engagement and improve their customer base. The popularity of online marketing and digital platforms is proof that the audience and revenue are going to be bigger and more diverse.

However, those doing it right are going to be winners.


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