Newsletter helps paper keep in touch with readers

This past November, The Herald’s circulation department launched its “Subscriber for Life” program.

While that may sound like an expensive subscription option, it’s not — it’s a way of doing business.

“It’s about establishing relationships,” circulation director Jorge Rivera said.

Newspaper circulation has been in decline throughout the country in recent years. One of the reasons, Rivera said, may be that newspapers have failed to create and maintain a rapport with their subscribers. While the news faithfully shows up on the front porch each morning, the only contact most readers have with their local paper is when the bill comes due.

The “Subscriber for Life” program is designed to change that.

“If we talk to them more often — but not annoyingly often — we should be able to maintain a relationship,” Rivera said.

The key component of The Herald’s program is a newsletter sent to subscribers via email. The newsletter calls attention to upcoming news stories, to coupons in the paper and to special deals offered by The Herald’s advertisers. The newsletter is sent out once a month — often enough to keep in touch, but not frequent enough to become bothersome.

“We don’t want to be spammers,” Rivera said.

While not all Herald subscribers receive the newsletter — some have not provided or do not have email addresses — the results have been “very positive,” Rivera said. Roughly 25 percent of the readers who receive the newsletter are opening it and 40 percent of those are reading through the information.

“In email marketing, that is a very good rate,” he said.

The hope is that the 40 percent find the information useful, thereby strengthening their bond with The Herald and increasing the likelihood they will choose to continue the relationship.

“At the end of a typical subscription cycle,” Rivera said, “they will say ‘The Herald gave me more than just the news and ads.’”

The payoff for the newspaper, of course, is a satisfied subscriber who sticks around for years.

Perhaps even for a lifetime.

Each week, Here at The Herald provides an inside peek at the newspaper — its people and the work they do. Is there something you would like to know? Send your idea to Executive Editor Neal Pattison,

You can sign up for the newsletter at

More in Local News

Shock from WSU suicide ripples through Snohomish County

Roughly 1 in 10 seniors, sophomores and 8th-graders said they had attempted to take their own lives.

New leaders coming to county, state political parties

Hillary Moralez of Bothell takes over as chair for the Snohomish County Democratic Party.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

$1,000 reward for info on who killed an eagle near Snohomish

After being shot, the raptor was treated at the Sarvey Wildlife Center but died overnight.

Possible bobcat sighting keeps Snohomish students inside

The creature was spotted on the campus of Valley View Middle School around noon.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Stabbing in Everett follows dispute between brothers-in-law

The victim, 54, was hospitalized. The suspect, 29, had not been apprehended Thursday.

Camano Island man gets 18 years for role in drug ring

He was convicted of helping lead a drug distribution network in four Washington counties.

Lake Stevens man missing since beginning of January

Jason Michael Knox White hasn’t used his credit card or withdrawn money from his bank since then.

Most Read