Gwen Vargo

Gwen Vargo is Director of Reader Revenue for American Press Institute, where she works to support and accelerate the growth of subscriptions and user revenue at U.S. news organizations.

She works directly with API’s partner news organizations to understand the path audiences take to subscription; gathers and spreads best practices; leads research efforts; and helps API’s partners develop innovative approaches to generating subscriptions through understanding audience data, marketing, communication, and content.

Gwen specializes in helping media companies develop new models for user revenue, drawing on lessons she has learned over more than 20 years in audience development and marketing.

Most recently at The Chronicle of Higher Education, she led cross functional team that included marketing, sales, circulation and market research and worked to develop sustainable revenue models for an array of digital products, including webinars, customized data, and events. While at Atlantic Media Company, Gwen oversaw marketing, sales, and client services for National Journal Group, and played a key leadership role in the strategic relaunch of the National Journal Group’s products and website. Previously, she managed marketing and operations efforts at organizations such as Euromoney Institutional Investor, PRIMEDIA, and American Lawyer Media. Gwen holds an MBA in Marketing from Baruch College and lives with her son in Silver Spring, MD.

What news publishers do to retain subscribers

As the future of the news focuses more on reader revenue as its economic model, retention of subscribers and members is becoming more critical. It is one thing to get users to subscribe, particularly with discounted introductory offers. It becomes essential to keep those consumers. To continue growing net revenue, publishers need help to evaluate […]

31 effective subscriber-retention ideas to steal

We asked news publishers to answer, in their own words, these two questions: Is there anything you have changed or implemented recently that made a measurable improvement in subscriber retention? What is the single most effective thing you are doing to help with retention? The responses were varied of course, but on the whole they […]

What publishers do, and don’t do, about retention

We asked publishers whether or not they currently follow 38 different tactics that each may help with customer/subscriber retention in different ways. We found some of the best practices are employed more widely than others. Almost all publishers said they encourage their newest subscribers to sign up for email newsletters. They also use analytics to […]

9 subscriber retention strategies

We asked news publishers to tell us how much potential value they thought different retention strategies could have. This was independent of whether the publisher was doing these things or doing them well. The results show what aspects of subscriber retention are considered most important. This allowed us to identify gaps — or areas that […]

How news organizations are asking for audience support in the time of coronavirus

Many news organizations with paid subscriptions are removing barriers to their coronavirus coverage as a public service, and putting that content in front of their meter or paywall. Pairing messaging about the free coverage with a subscription offer is a great way to remind readers the value of journalism while prompting them to support their […]

How to win the loyalty of new subscribers through great onboarding

A reader has paid for a subscription. Now what needs to happen? This is a critical moment to shape the experience of subscribers and influence their sense of attachment to your organization. You want them to embrace you as a valued part of their daily lives, not stop the subscription as soon as the initial […]

How to retain subscribers by keeping their engagement levels high over time

Say you’ve implemented a well-designed program to onboard new customers. It’s getting them to look back favorably on their decision to subscribe, and to learn how they like to interact with your content. What’s your next priority? At this point, the goal should be to deepen the relationship — to build loyalty and make them […]

What are the keys to an effective subscription offer page?

Well-constructed offer pages are vital to the goal of increasing reader revenue. They can influence a user’s entire perception of your publication and service — for better or worse. Each detail deserves careful thought and planning. Yet just like registration pages, their importance is often overlooked. When readers land on a subscription offer page, they […]

How to understand different reader types and drive each type to subscribe

The path from a casual reader to a paying subscriber isn’t a short one, but by understanding how audiences get from one place to another, publishers can begin to devise strategies to get more readers to complete that journey. A recent study published by the American Press Institute as part of The Media Insight Project […]

How to improve subscription registration and payment forms

Ensuring the best possible user experience is crucial to moving potential subscribers through your digital checkout line. Every step matters. Yet publishers often overlook — and undervalue — the registration and subscription pages they rely on to sign up these readers. That is a costly mistake. The importance of user-friendly registration and subscription pages should […]