The Guardian’s membership scheme, developed in 2015 by M&C Saatchi’s direct marketing agency Lida, has reached 200,000 members, with 186,000 people subscribing to the newspaper brand.
While Oliver Group picked up the brand’s CRM and direct marketing account from MRM Meteorite last September, Lida was hired by The Guardian in 2015 on a consultancy basis to develop the original membership programme.
Guardian News & Media editor-in-chief Katharine Viner claimed the business has reached “an important milestone” as it strives to rebalance its business model to offset what she described as a “dramatic decline in advertising”.
In a statement Viner added: “After responding to lots of feedback from readers suggesting they would be happy to give money to support the Guardian’s journalism, we have also now received more than 160,000 one-off contributions from around the world.”
The Guardian hopes to hit the million member mark by April 2019. Viner added: “Advertising conditions remain highly treacherous, with advertising in The Guardian — which helps pay for our journalism — down £11m this year. For every new advertising dollar spent in the US, 99 cents is now taken up by Facebook and Google.”
Lida chairman Matthew Heath wrote on LinkedIn: “Proud to have helped The Guardian get membership off the ground…200,000 members is a great milestone.”
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