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Australian Geographic

Overview / Challenge:

Each year a large portion of Australian Geographic’s budget was spent on acquiring new customers, but at the end of each year approximately 80% of these new customers chose not to renew their subscription. This meant that they were not recouping their acquisition costs or growing the overall subscription base – resulting in a severe leaky bucket.

Solutions Provided:

  • Conducted an audit of their existing program and communication elements to determine what was working and where improvements could be made.
  • Identified key areas of improvement such as increasing the focus on the subscription product offered and less on the free gift to try and get a better quality customer upfront.
  • Reduced costs by focusing on the most cost-effective opportunities within their internal environment and across their partner network.
  • Continually constructed intensive testing scenarios to gain up-to-date insights into the best offers, communication channels and messages to various audience segments.
  • Used insights gained to evolve the communication program so that they could acquire better quality subscribers and retain them for longer.
  • Increased the focus on gift-giving from active subscribers who were already happy with the product.
  • Introduced an anniversary mailing into the program (before the first and second annual renewal mailing). This enabled them to present customers with a timely and relevant ‘positive’ communication before inviting them to renew their subscription


  • After 2 years of this new approach, we no longer had to discount the upfront subscription price to achieve our target response rates.
  • Achieved record response rates and overall positive ROI.
  • The acquisition costs were reduced by 30%.
  • The anniversary mailing consistently generated renewal response rates of around 34%, helping to increase the overall renewal rate. This initiative became an integral part of their annual customer communication program.

“Mel has completely embraced our brand enabling us to attract new customers that are better tuned in to our product offer, meanwhile beating all targets and reducing the acquisition costs by 30%.”

Rory Scott
(Former) Managing Director – Australian Geographic

See the full case study presented at the ADMA Conference.