The Curling News (https://thecurlingnews.com/) was founded in 1957 and currently operates as the only independent curling newspaper in the world. As you would assume, The Curling News is a leading publication which covers one of the fastest growing sports internationally – curling. The skip (that’s a curling term – look it up) of the TCN brand is George Karrys. George is a silver medallist as a member of the Mike Harris curling team which competed at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.
The Curling News began as a monthly print publication which over time has adapted and added digital properties such as a website and social media channels. The digital edition was released to subscribers and non-subscribers in 2012. The launch of the digital edition was a single issue intended to introduce a potential new product to existing subscribers as well as promote the print edition to an unfound audience.
"Flip Page was introduced to me by an industry contact, and now I don't hesitate to recommend them to others. The working relationship is solid and adaptable, and they even keep me updated on the latest technology changes. Top marks all around." - George Karrys | The Curling News
With the growth of mobile technologies (trends show mobile dominating web access compared to desktop) the digital edition made it easy to reach existing readers while on-the-go. The digital edition also amplified the reach to new or prospective readers since it could essentially be delivered ‘anywhere’. Upon a favourable review with readers The Curling News decided to expand its digital offering to include all monthly issues for the 2013 curling season. For promotional purposes the season finale digital issue is openly available to all readers whereas the rest of the issues require subscribers to authenticate with a login/password combination.
The digital edition
The digital counterpart to The Curling News paper edition takes advantage of many of the interactive components that are available. On desktop, laptop or mobile pages can be accessed easily by swiping or clicking. Intuitively, email addresses and website references are linked to the corresponding location while page references direct readers to the intended page. Additional digital pages are added to the original press run in order to provide more content to subscribers while limiting printing cost overages. The Curling News also offers numerous interactive elements which range from embedded videos and external links which support the textual content to image galleries which did not survive the editing process.
The Curling News digital edition includes enhanced article content which makes reading long-form articles a breeze regardless of the size of the display. The text-based enhanced articles remove the necessity to pinch, zoom or pan while also offering the ability to magnify font size.
"Sometimes I ask for crazy stuff and they're willing to 'go there' with me (laughs)... I can't imagine a better partner alongside as we carve a path into the digital future." - George Karrys | The Curling News
For the 2018-2019 season The Curling News has added a ‘digital only’ subscription to complement the existing ‘print & digital’ option. The ‘digital only’ subscription provides readers with the same content as the print edition, plus expanded digital only content and a bonus end-of-season digital only issue.
The initial results have been excellent. Total subscriber numbers have increased nearly 20% since the adoption of the digital only option. With the inception of the digital only subscription option there has been a major uptick in ‘global’ subscriptions - audiences that are no longer limited by geography. The digital only option has allowed The Curling News to reach a larger audience with literally no delivery delay.
Flip Page Publishing’s expanded role
The Curling News processes subscriptions via a third-party transaction provider on their website. Subscriber information is passed into a database on our end to be authenticated for digital edition access. The database of subscribers is managed by us to ensure email validity as well as typographical errors.
Each month we produce an outbound email, with multiple resends, to all subscribers and qualified partners of The Curling News. A follow-up email is also produced for recently expired subscribers. The email offers a quick glance of some of the top stories for each issue with links directly to the digital edition as well as navigational tips for new users.
In the winter of 2018 we created a search engine marketing campaign with the goal of generating new print subscribers. Hoping to take advantage of the general buzz that results from an Olympic cycle we placed targeted ads that were timed with curling events and featured key words related to Olympic curling. The net result was a 21% increase in subscribers from January 2018 to March 2018.
Each outbound email that is sent to a subscriber, expired subscriber, or partner to The Curling News includes a contact email address for support related questions related to the digital edition. This email address is monitored and responded to by Flip Page Publishing.
In order to acclimatize readership with some of the special features of the digital edition of The Curling News an introductory video was produced. The video offers further instruction on how to authorize a subscriber, navigate pages, locate archives, interact with multi-media, and access enhanced article content when reading on smaller displays. This video was produced by Flip Page Publishing in conjunction with The Curling News.
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