Telegraph looks to grow subscriber base with Privilege card

The Daily Telegraph is introducing new “clubs” to its existing loyalty programme in an effort to encourage and increase subscriber retention.

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Subscribers will be able to use their Telegraph loyalty card to redeem offers from its new dining, beauty, home and gardens, and film clubs.

Marketing director Graham Horner, who previously held senior loyalty roles at Coca-Cola and Nectar, says the aim is to provide added value to subscribers beyond the newspaper.

He adds: “We are creating a new currency for our subscribers: privilege. We are investing in adding value to our subscription – this isn’t about making money, but at that key point of customer renewal, we will have one more piece in our armoury.”

The Telegraph already leads as the UK newspaper with the most subscriptions, with 340,000 signed up. But like all newspapers, The Telegraph’s print circulation is in long-term decline. Average net circulation increased 3.15% month on month to 651,184 in January but the title is down 13.51% year on year.

Horner says: “The subscription model is the future of newspapers and we have a head start as we have been building our subscriber base since the Nineties. Other newspapers are only now starting to see subscription as the way forward.”

Horner introduced the Telegraph Privilege card in April last year and the launch of a range of clubs aims to provide readers easier access to deals.

Horner says: “The card reduces the embarrassment of presenting tokens and coupons and replaces it with a feeling of privilege.”

Subscribers can already use their card to receive discounts with the Dining Club at over 1,000 restaurants nationwide. The Beauty Club will offer 15% off at 1,000 beauty venues and launches on 20 February. The Film Club, which will promote free preview screenings throughout the UK, launches on 26 February, and the Homes and Gardens Club, where subscribers can receive two-for-one entry at UK venues and gardens, will launch in March.

Club launches will be promoted in the newspaper, through a special supplement at the time of their launch and through e-mail and a quarterly mailings to subscribers.

Other newspapers have launched subscriber loyalty initiatives. The Times launched Times+ in 2009 which offers a range of exclusive events and discounts to subscribers.

The Guardian’s “Extra” free membership scheme has been open to all, even those who do not subscribe to the newspaper, since May 2010. It also provides an array of events and offers.

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