We tried it out… The Atlantic – “New Subscriber” onboarding

Par Guillaume Lecuyer, le 29 July 2020

What does it mean to welcome a customer? Imagine welcoming a guest at a party. You wouldn’t say to them: ‘Here is the entry code to the building. Now sort it out for yourself.’ You’d probably say: ‘Great that you came! So pleased to see you again. I’m going to introduce you to Lucy who works in the same sector as you. Marc’s son will attend the same secondary school as your son from next year onwards. By the way, do you still like Margarita cocktails? Nice, come inside the kitchen, on the right, I’ll make you one!” 

So, welcoming subscribers means making them feel welcomed and remind them of the content they have paid for. This is done factually, of course, (access to this and that) but also in a witty way and while reasserting your mission and your values.

We tried out onboarding scenarios of 11 important newspapers worldwide focusing on the first 15 days after subscription as well as on the email channel.

 Please be aware that:

  • We subscribed between the end of April and the beginning of May 2020 to the media we are analysing. So in the time lapse between our subscription and your reading, publishers might have changed elements of their onboarding.
  • Some publishers can offer personalised scenarios according to the location of users and other criteria of segmentation. The experience we’re sharing is the one of our consultant based in Geneva and therefore isn’t necessarily representative of the “overall” strategy of a media.
  • Lastly, we aim at writing these articles in the most neutral fashion possible. Thus, we will neither voice our opinion nor make recommendations on marketing practices.

Each week, we will publish another onboarding experience. Ninth of our series after Libération, the Financial Times, The Athletic, The New York Times, The Sydney Morning Herald,, The Economist or else The Atlantic.

Day 0 – Confirmation on the website

Once subscribed, the website gives us a first confirmation.

Day 0 – Confirmation email

We immediately receive a payment confirmation per email.

Day 1 – Welcome email

The next day we receive a first email detailing all the benefits included in the subscription.

Day 1 – First newsletter

The same day, we receive our first newsletter, The Atlantic Daily.

Day 3 – The history of The Atlantic

Two days later the editor in chief tells us per email about the origins of The Atlantic, its first ever publication of 1857 and its founding values.



Day 7 – Presentation of thematic newsletters

After having been subscribed for a week, we got a message inviting us to subscribe to thematic newsletters, “each of which is curated by a team of Atlantic editors”.

That’s all for the onboarding scenario of The Atlantic as a new subscriber!