Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Gwen Vargo

Director of Reader Revenue

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.

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 […]

Beyond email: Other tactics to drive users to subscription offers

While publishers should seize on the opportunities offered by email marketing, they should not view email — or any single approach — as the magic bullet to gaining subscribers. Wherever possible, news organizations should be using multiple touch points to connect with prospective subscribers, both on and offline. Email campaigns, while effective, rely on having […]

How to get the email addresses you need to drive new subscriptions

Nothing is more important to the brave new world of building subscriptions than the relatively old world of email. An email address gives publishers ways to target and connect with potential subscribers that are much more effective than metrics like “unique visitors,” a potentially misleading number due to the fact that the same person may […]

Welcome to the Reader Revenue Toolkit

Revenue that comes directly from readers in the form of subscriptions, memberships, donations, events and more is crucial for the long-term sustainability of news organizations — especially those serving local communities. To help create that future, the American Press Institute maintains the Reader Revenue Toolkit — practical guides and resources to help publishers get started […]

Need to Know newsletter

The smart way to start your day

Each morning we scour the web for fresh useful insights in our Need to Know newsletter. Sign up below.

The American Press Institute

Our mission

We help transform news organizations for an audience-centered future.

Our programs for publishers focus on four things:

  • 1. Understand your audience
  • 2. Get your audience to pay
  • 3. Transform your culture
  • 4. Do your best journalism
  • Find out more about API »

API solutions for publishers

What we can do for you

API offers a suite of original tools and services for solving the biggest challenges in news:

  • Decide what beats to cover and how
  • Identify and develop the skills you need
  • Assess and improve your culture
  • Drive more reader revenue
  • Drive loyalty through accountability journalism
  • Make analytics work for you
  • Contact us to find out how »