The News International title is to utilise its customer database, social media and other direct marketing channels, changing its focus from brand-led to promotional and content-led marketing.
The Murdoch-owned newspaper publisher hopes the Sun on Sunday will maintain a consistent circulation of around 3.2 million, the same share the News of the World had of the Sunday popular and mid-market sector in June, a month before its closure.
In its second and third editions, News International claims the Sun on Sunday attracted around 37% of Sunday newspaper sales in those segments, helped by its Alton Towers money-off promotion.
Rob Painter, The Sun’s marketing director, told Marketing Week: “The Mirror, People and Star on Sunday still have volumes that we hope to recruit for ourselves; their circulations have not yet gone to pre-News of the World closure levels.”
He adds that the publisher will also be utilising its customer database and employing in-store marketing to recruit lapsed News of the World readers back to a News International title on a Sunday.
While The Sun on Sunday’s marketing strategy will remain acquisition-led for the next few weeks, the newspaper brand is also exploring a retention programme further down the line, such as bringing back its Sun Perks Christmas rewards scheme.
Painter says beyond driving its strong initial circulation figures, The Sun on Sunday’s launch marketing campaign has “surpassed expectations” in raising brand awareness.
News International research claims that 64% of people are aware that The Sun on Sunday carries a 50p cover price, compared with other overt price-led marketing campaigns that usually lead to a 50% awareness figure.
Painter says: “One of our core metrics has been around raising awareness of our market-leading price point as it proves marketing is working beyond sales. I think we’ve really broken through that glass ceiling.”