Ad Sales Life

Approaching click-to-cancel in three steps


The silo of retention revenue for news media organizations involves a high level of pragmatism and strategy to mitigate the loss of subscriptions. You’re constantly balancing consumerism and revenue sustainability.

Adversity is expected in the realm of retention strategy and therefore demands pensive transformation with some frequency. That said, with so much conversation and prompting centered on onsite click-to-cancel practices within news media as of late, gearing up early for the latest round of transformation may be of benefit as it pertains to your retention strategy.

Getting onsite click-to-cancel right is imperative for the coming generation of news media and will require techniques built on highly valuable content, efficient user experiences and transparency. Any applicable future adaptations needed in your onsite cancellation and retention experiences should not be viewed as obstacles but as opportunities to reassess and refine your product strategy and communication flows. If you’re wondering how to approach your current online cancellation and renewal practices, these next steps may help you prepare your organization for upcoming rulings or changes.

Adjust your outlook

Like owning a home, you should regularly check for leaks in your roof or cracks within your foundation, so your audience has a safe environment to enjoy your content. If your furnace is inoperable or a draft is coming from your windows, your audience will become uncomfortable, and you may have fewer guests in the future.

Consider safety measures and security protocols leveraged to protect your organization and subscribers, as online consumers should be protected. With these things in mind, it’s only natural that the result of any ruling or policy change will ultimately end with a need to enhance every aspect of your organization to best suit modern society. Like any business transaction, all parties should be informed and feel comfortable with any outlined agreement of the information, services, process or product provided. No one is perfect at this yet, and much like any home repair, it will take time. However, creating a comfortable and safe space for your audience, built on transparent communication, is positive and should promote healthier, longer-lasting relationships with your subscribers.

Seek licensed professional legal counsel

For some organizations, this may represent an unexpected investment, but legal professionals may help navigate the communication and structure of your onsite cancellation and renewal strategy decorum. Any updates or policy changes will require in-depth research, education and counsel better fitted and delegated to licensed legal professionals. The goal is to ensure that all verbiage in each aspect of your cancellation, renewal and retention approach meets all compliance standards to provide your organization and subscribers the commodity of peace of mind.

Reevaluate your product, and go on the offense

Now may be an excellent time to consider adjusting if you need a redesign or strategy realignment. A robust content product with highly valuable and resourceful information for targeted and general audiences has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of the news media industry. In many cases worldwide, news media organizations have subscribers who enjoy and support the content, provided it’s affordable. Irrespective of future policy shifts, your organization should champion efficient, contemporary onsite experiences designed with your audience in mind.

Put simply — develop a news media product so good that complete transparency in pricing structures and renewal communications is viewed as a comforting benefit, not a wincing mandate.

As a revenue leader, deploying product-driven and sales-driven growth tactics simultaneously becomes a way of life. Retention plays a significant role in growth overall because it has to leverage value in subsequent communication with transparency and objectivity. Again, getting click-to-cancel right and approaching it with audiences in mind may be a monumental transformation for news media. It won’t be easy, but it will be well worth the effort for future generations.

Richard E. Brown is a News Media Alliance Rising Star recipient, the former director of renewals and digital sales strategy at LPi, and the former director of digital operations and sales of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He recently served as the head of digital subscriber churn for Gannett | USA TODAY NETWORK and is now the senior director of retention for The Daily Beast. He is a member of the board of directors for the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation and is the owner of RE Media Holdings, LLC. Richard is available for consulting and can be reached at


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here