Acquisition, events and ticketing in TownNews' releases

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After powering paywalls for its customers for two decades, editorial systems developer TownNews has introduced a new audience acquisition and retention platform.

The company says iQ Audience+ addresses the challenge of effectively converting casual visitors of websites and mobile apps into highly engaged, and preferably paying members or subscribers.

iQ Audience+ features customisable rulesets which allow segmentation of users and content, and targeting of those segments with distinct registration/subscription packages, notifications, offers and email newsletters. Targeting is based on factors including a proprietary propensity score.

Chief executive Brad Ward says the release promises to supercharge TownNews' success in audience engagement. "We believe that iQ Audience+ will be a game-changer for our clients, and for the industry," he says. "It's incredibly flexible, giving you a ton of ways to target audiences and tailor your conversion funnel to meet goals."

Ward says visitors who are more likely to subscribe can be presented with a discount sooner, while 'drive-by' users are shown more programmatic advertising, allowing the site to maximise both subscription and ad revenue.

Certain users may be asked to sign up for a newsletter, which triggers a drip marketing campaign that ultimately leads to a digital subscription offer.

Increased worldwide legislative focus on digital privacy and security puts a premium on encouraging visitors to register or subscribe: "With the rise of consumer privacy laws like the GDPR and CCPA, it's more critical than ever that it be frictionless for visitors to sign up for memberships and subscriptions," he says.

"Audience and advertising are the revenue engines of the media industry, and we believe that iQ Audience+ will spark both for our customers."

The company started launching beta customers last month, with full availability later in Q1.

• TownNews has announced a strategic technology partnership with event marketing automation platform Evvnt Inc, which it says will "enhance the events calendar experience" and bring much-needed revenue opportunities to publishers.

Chief revenue officer Rick Rogers says Evvnt integration will reinvigorate calendar offerings with powerful SEO, social media promotion, and ticketing.

"This partnership gives our local media clients an exciting new package to offer local event promoters."

Evvnt includes five premium products including online calendar placement, distribution of their listing to more than 4,500 sites, and easy social media reposting tracked back to ticketing. Customers will be able to migrate from third party tech solutions and upgrade from their current calendar services.

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