Inside the Wall Street Journal’s Push for New Subscribers

From a post on by Sara Guaglione headlined “Inside the Wall Street Journal’s latest push for new subscribers”:

The Wall Street Journal is going on a subscriber acquisition spree…having debuted a new brand marketing campaign this week, and next month temporarily dropping its paywall for the first time this year.

Called “Trust Your Decisions,” the campaign launched this week and focuses on the role the WSJ plays in readers’ decision-making processes in business, finance and in their personal lives. That’s a shift in messaging from the publication’s previous campaign, “Read Yourself Better,” which launched in 2019 to tackle the issue of widespread misinformation.

As part of its brand push, the WSJ is planning to hold an “open house” on May 20 in which it will drop the paywall on its site to let all content be accessible for free for the day, said Suzi Watford at the WSJ’s parent company Dow Jones.

The tactic serves as an “extremely good way to market and sample content, which is the best way to grow that [brand] consideration,” and also “should help to turn ‘colder’ audiences into future subscribers,” she said. However, readers will need to register with their email, which allows the WSJ to continue to market subscriptions to them after the open house. The WSJ last dropped its paywall on Election Day in 2020….

The WSJ has 3.2 million subscribers. Dow Jones, which also owns brands like Barron’s and MarketWatch, has about 4 million total subscribers. The parent company set a goal in the fall of 2020 to double its paying membership….

For its latest campaign, the WSJ is running ads in print publications, online, on social platforms and in physical locations, such as ads in New York City’s Times Square. The campaign is global, but the out-of-home ads are starting in New York City before rolling out to other markets….

The WSJ will also send merchandise with the word “Decision Maker” emblazoned on mugs and T-shirts to media and marketing influencers and Journal members, before making it available to others as the campaign continues to roll out. The phrase will also be integrated into the Journal’s events and across its business, such as at the “WSJ CEO Council” event taking place on May 4, and its largest consumer-facing event, “The Future of Everything Festival,” on May 11-13.

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