Best Practices

Web Push Helps Publishers Gain High-Impact Loyal Readers

3 min read

The need to gain new audiences is a constant for web publishers today, but failing to focus on return visitors can be a costly mistake. Audience retention leads to loyal readership, which in turn boosts subscriptions, revenue, and brand visibility.

Loyalty is a valuable commodity in the world of web publishing – yet, for the average media outlet, only 3.8 percent of their audience would be considered “loyal”, according to a 2019 study published by Content Insights.

Why should such a small subsection of an audience be an important focus for web publishers? Because that four percent of readers generate 16.2 percent of the web traffic to your site. Increase your number of loyal readers and your traffic rises exponentially.

Understand the metrics behind reader loyalty, and learn how web push notifications can convert one-time visitors into loyal readers, leading to increased publisher revenue. [Jump ahead and get the guide]

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How do you measure reader loyalty?

Most audience analysts define loyalty based on recency and frequency of user visits, but there is more to the classification. The Content Insights study defined loyal readers as ‘habitually highly engaged readers.’ This reframing focuses not only on recency and frequency, but delves into metrics on read time, articles consumed per session, and content read per month. The resulting statistics emphasize the importance of loyal readers – and should convince publishers to pursue them through channels like push notifications.

Loyal readers are invaluable to publishers. They...

  • Visit your website nearly four times as often as standard readers
  • Read five times more content per month than non-loyal readers
  • Click into nearly 29 percent more articles per session
  • Read nearly 15 percent more text (article depth measurement) within a single article

Push notifications are proven to increase return visits from engaged readers

Online publishers work hard to create content that appeals to new readers and are leaving money on the table by not reengaging first-time visitors. At Pushly, we see an average push notification opt-in rate of 6.5 percent across verticals, offering publishers an immediate and direct line of communication to engaged visitors. Not only are readers agreeing to receive pushes, they’re actively engaging with the publisher’s brand. On average, publishers see seven percent or higher CTRs with push notifications, with users visiting approximately two page views per notification click.

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Why is web push so effective in securing return readers? A 2018
report from SmarterHQ revealed 72 percent of consumers say they only engage with marketing content that is tailored to their interests. With the Pushly platform, machine learning capabilities help publishers personalize pushes to readers based on subscriber page visits, notification interactions, article interest, geographic location, and more to bring the typical “one-and-done” visitors back to the site. 

Web publishers can use push to target potentially loyal readers based on already-high engagement activity. A consumer may have visited the site several times in the past month or engaged in multiple clicks per session. Included within the Pushly platform are smart segmentation tools that allow publishers to easily and automatically group readers by recency and frequency, two important metrics for determining loyal readers. They can send customized push notifications to these target audiences, pulling them back to the site on a recurring basis with potential engagement rates of 15 percent or higher.

Once the consumer becomes a return visitor, publishers have the opportunity to gain a loyal reader by continuing to engage them with high quality, relevant content personalization through Pushly.

Benefits of using push notifications to convert loyal readers

Let’s be honest, gaining more loyal readers feels good. You know they are engaged with the content you spent valuable time curating. But this is business after all, and the more users you get back to the site, and the more time they spend there, is also great for business.

Here’s why web push is a solid solution for publishers looking to engage, retain, and monetize their audiences

1. Higher engagement and attention time. Non-loyal visitors spend an average of 54 seconds on an article, while loyal readers stick around for nearly 70 seconds. This increased attention time lets the reader consume more content per article and increases the visibility of native advertising that appeals to their interests.

2. Increased clicks. Loyal readers consume over five times more articles per month than standard audiences, with a 15-per-month average compared to a non-loyal reader’s 2.6. These enhanced metrics lead to higher search engine rankings and increased RPMs for ad revenue opportunities.

3. Brand advocates. The Content Insights report quotes loyalty as “human behavior, and it can’t – and shouldn’t – be evaluated on the level of a web browser event.” Because a loyal reader has internalized the importance of a publisher’s content, they’re more likely to share it. In fact, subscribers and loyal readers are almost three times as likely to post articles to social media.

Interested in turning your one-time visitors into loyal readers? Connect with us here to learn more about how Pushly can help drive repeat engagement and grow the overall lifetime value of visitors.

Turn bounces into bank. Get the guide to prioritizing return visitors for growth here.

James Redler

James is the director of partnerships, implementation, and growth at Pushly.

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