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How Good News Magazine sold gift memberships like hotcakes

Forget luck and the magic of Christmas. What you need is strategy.

Good News Magazine (Opens in a new window), Germany’s first news outlet for positive journalism, ran the most successful gift memberships campaign at Steady. They achieved a whopping 30% conversion rate of people who bought a gift membership once landing on their Steady page, and their membership base keeps on growing.

We spoke to David Gaedt, the founder of Good News, to find out how they did it. It turns out, it’s not enough to mention your membership programme once in passing, cross your fingers and hope for the best. Their strategy consisted of

  • Market research

  • Reviewing their membership plan before the campaign launch

  • Setting tangible goals

  • Repetition

Here are the key steps in their strategy.

1. They reviewed their membership plans before launching the gift campaign

Crucially, they used data and market research to determine what the new prices should be.

🏆 First, they looked at how fellow Steady publication Krautreporter successfully went about changing their membership plans. They then ran a conjoint analysis, sending a survey to their members asking their opinion on pricing and benefits. You can easily do the same with a Typeform Survey (Opens in a new window).

🤔 They also learned from the mistakes of others. DAZN, the German streaming service, suffered a lot of backlash when it doubled its subscription prices. For this reason, Good News Magazine decided not to raise prices for existing members. Instead, the team developed new membership plans, which included additional benefits that justified a higher price for new members.

2. They plugged gift memberships at every opportunity

In every newsletter that goes out weekly to 500 subscribers and 700 paying members, they asked their readers to share Good News Magazine with their friends and suggest gifting a membership.

In their social media posts. For example, in the Best of 2022 Instagram (Opens in a new window) posts they mentioned gift memberships in both images and captions.

Instagram post and accompanying description 

3. They set tangible goals

Again, Good New Magazine used market research to determine their potential membership figures. Krautreporter, which has the same reach on social media as them, has 18,000 paying members. Good News Magazine aims to match that, working towards it with steady, tangible goals. Their next goal is 1,000 members.

4. Informed experimenting

Good News Magazine also experimented with a few different campaigns to generate new membership signups.

These included

  • Freebie incentives for members referring other members – stickers and postcards

  • Challenges to send a picture of yourself with the magazine to win something

  • Incentives for new members, e.g. “if you purchase by day X, you’ll receive Y”

Good News Magazine is a great example of how to use data and market research to inform your campaign planning.

Pulling figures out of the air and making ad-hoc decisions may harm your membership campaign. Instead, look to your fellow creators to

1. see how they run their campaigns, and

2. as a basepoint to help inform your membership numbers goal setting.

Once you have the inspiration and data, start running different campaigns and allow for a bit of informed experimenting!

Like dogs, gift memberships are not just for Christmas. You can set them up on your Steady page in just a few minutes, launch them with a strategy, and then plug them regularly.

🐇 For example, you could set up gift memberships now and run a campaign just in time for Easter. ;)

Topic Success Stories