Streamlined data collection enables Reach to gain high reader signups during the biggest sports story of the year
As a leading U.K. publisher, Reach is responsible for a vast collection of digital and print brands that create engaging content, including The Mirror, Express, and Daily Star. Almost 50 million people per month look to Reach for news and information.
At the heart of its considerable market share is a customer strategy that’s intimate in philosophy: using data to better understand each customer. By doing so, readers get more of the content they want while the brands (and advertisers) can engage in a more relevant way, creating a 360-degree value circle.
The news cycle happens quickly, and it’s 24-7. With each in-depth story or piece of breaking news, Reach needed to engage one on one with its customers. This would create more valuable touchpoints and relevant news for readers. What Reach was missing was a data solution that could effectively collect the opinions of readers as news broke in real time.
“The speed of the news cycle means reacting to this as quickly as possible has been imperative…which Jotform has allowed us to do,” says Kristian Walsh, senior sports editor.
With Jotform Enterprise, Reach discovered the tech features and flexibility it needed to quickly collect reader-generated data. Consequently, Reach has ramped up its customer interactions to meet audience demand, while giving easy survey access to internal administrators across the organization.
The challenge: How to use reader opinions to drive customer engagement
Like many publishing companies, Reach’s revenues from individual print publications continue to face headwinds. So increasing customer engagement — and diversifying revenue streams — through digital platforms became a key part of Reach’s larger growth strategy.
Reach understands that there’s no better way to engage with readers than through their beloved sports (as this is the U.K., that means football in particular). According to Comscore, Reach is the largest digital publisher for multi-platform users and holds first place in the sports category via reporting in The Mirror, Express, Daily Star, and many more publications.
With such a dedicated following, Reach attempted to raise digital engagement with readers through polls and surveys on breaking sports news. But there were two obstacles:
- The company didn’t have a streamlined workflow to organize the data collected from its surveys.
- The company’s previous survey software was difficult to manage, hard to operate quickly, and too complicated to share administrative controls internally.
Walsh sums it up best: “Sport fans are very opinionated, and care deeply about their favorite teams and players — this means they are likely to want to sign up for our daily newsletters for the latest updates from our brands. But we didn’t have a system that allowed us to effectively capture data for our polls and surveys.”
Another hurdle for Reach was that its internal solutions didn’t offer an easy way to get readers to sign up for newsletters after completing an interactive poll. This meant that no matter how many sports polls were created across every publication, Reach was missing out on getting new users — and their preferences — into its database.
For sports content to be a growth contributor for the business, Reach needed a full-featured data-collection tool that complemented its digital growth strategy. The company also needed a high-capacity solution that could scale relative to the audience size of a marketplace leader.
The solution: Reach uses Jotform to mobilize its digital growth strategy
For enterprise organizations, scaling one data-collection solution across a variety of departmental goals, needs, and stakeholders is a handful. The process is further complicated because different users have different skill levels, especially for print publications integrating digital approaches.
As Reach began using Jotform Enterprise, the team learned that they could leverage hundreds of ready-made templates or a powerfully simple form builder to get polls in front of their digital customers swiftly.
“Sport now has a number of employees who can create, edit, and close surveys to react to breaking news at speed,” says Walsh. “The ability to share folders provides an opportunity for a more streamlined operation. Being able to grab results quickly is also a strong benefit — we want our audiences to know the results of the survey they took part in, so this helps editorially.”
Moreover, Jotform features — such as multiple users and Report Builder — gave Reach’s administrators an integrated platform they could use to organize, report on, and share poll results with readers and internal stakeholders quickly and at scale.
As readers indicate an interest in relevant or additional news, their associated details flow seamlessly from Jotform into Google Sheets, and are then channeled into Reach’s editorial and marketing platforms. This workflow achieves lightning speed and scale for newsletter signups across a variety of properties. This fact isn’t lost on digital advertisers either.
The results: Unprecedented speed and scale help Reach attract new customers
Since implementing Jotform Enterprise, the results for Reach have been eye-opening. The company’s year-on-year monthly online submissions are up 325 percent. And the implementation of Jotform played a key role in helping Reach share reader sentiment on one of the biggest sports stories of the year.
“During the European Super League saga, our access to Jotform allowed us to create rapid-fire surveys for the six clubs involved in the breakaway, and a general one for the clubs that were not. This was up and running within an hour of the news breaking. Reach collected over 120,000 responses to a very relevant topic to our audience, with a high conversion rate of readers leaving their data to receive more news on the ESL,” explains Walsh.
“The results were then published both online and in print as part of our company’s campaign against the ESL. This is a perfect example of how our growth strategy can gauge the viewpoint of the audience and continue to build a solid audience in the process.”
By introducing Jotform Enterprise, Reach has been able to onboard more customers by leveraging breaking news and big issue stories to inquire about reader sentiment. Jotform has also enabled Reach to expand access throughout the business, creating more flexibility around breaking news and helping the company operate as one collaborative network.
As a side benefit, Reach employees are becoming proficient in new software and developing core capabilities that will support the organization’s growth while harnessing the team’s talent.
“Now we can ask our readers the questions they care about most,” Walsh says, “and ensure they become part of our daily readership in the process.”
Jotform helps leading organizations like Reach achieve desired business outcomes each year. If you’re an enterprise, educational institution, or government organization that would like to learn more about how Jotform Enterprise can help you, feel free to contact us.