Login is restricted to DCN Publisher Members. If you are a DCN Member and don't have an account, register here.

Digital Content Next


InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

3 tips for lean teams managing multiple subscription sites

August 12, 2022 | By Matt Broad, Director of Optimization Services – Piano @piano_io

Subscription marketing teams are managing more digital media properties than ever after what seems like near-daily announcements about media acquisitions. In light of the growing necessity of digital engagement and audience targeting to grow reader revenue, media companies are looking for opportunities to consolidate their resources and encourage staff to be more efficient.

For lean teams or individual champions managing multiple sites, taking a few simple steps can help streamline workflows and apply audience lessons more broadly.

1. Manage user identity globally

Google may have delayed its deprecation of third-party cookies yet again, but publishers are still wise to set themselves up for a future based on first-party data. For most publishers, the obvious way to develop a trove of user identity data is by encouraging users to register for accounts or pay for subscriptions. 

Regardless of whether your registration offer is free or paid, the big step to make this easier on both your internal team and your users is consolidating accounts across properties—in other words, creating one set of log-in credentials for users that control access across all of your managed sites and apps. This requires some up-front configuration, but it’s a win-win. Not only will your marketing twam have a holistic view of your audience, but your users will only have one set of credentials to remember and manage their access to multiple content sources.

2. Combine data analysis across properties

Analyzing user behavior across individual sites might leave you in the dark on key audience patterns. With your combined user identity system, you’ll be set up to analyze behavior metrics across sites rather than (or in addition to) in silos.

This view of user behavior on individual sites and across all properties will help you gain a deeper understanding of your audience’s motivations. Armed with this information, you will have fuel for targeted marketing and better user experiences, as well as more audience segmentation options for multi-property ad sales. This comprehensive view may also help you identify anomalies in your data, like a drop in conversions or traffic, to fix any issues that might come up for a single site or app.

3. Templatize experiences and conversion offers

Continuous testing and optimization is the name of the game when it comes to subscription growth. But it’s incredibly tedious to duplicate every update you make across 5, 10, or even 20+ sites for major publishing groups. We’ve found that creating these elements as modular, customizable units is the best way to manage this test-and-learn approach. 

This allows you to keep the framework you know is effective, while customizing specific delivery for individual brands or properties. Then, you can ideally deploy them across multiple applications from a centralized view. Building a template library over time will also allow you to reuse seasonal promotions, like discounts around the back-to-school season or for holiday gifting. This will also create efficiencies in delegating resources, as well. Rather than having individual resources managing the promotions, user flows, marketing, and more for each brand in your publishing group, a shared services resource can be working on multiple brands at one time. This allows you to make the most of your team’s bandwidth and do more with less.

Managing a handful — or even dozens — of sites and apps is no small feat. But implementing a smart system from the onset will set you up for long-term success.

Liked this article?

Subscribe to the InContext newsletter to get insights like this delivered to your inbox every week.