USA Today Boosts Subscriptions by 106% with Promotional Offers and Call Tracking

Elite SEM Case Study: USA Today

Gannett (USA Today): Satisfied Client

Download the Paper

Case Study

USA Today is a national daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company, offering print home delivery and digital subscriptions for USA Today and Sports Weekly.


The USA Today team needed to drive cost effective subscriptions for both USA Today and Sports Weekly. To achieve this goal, Elite SEM set out to increase subscription volume and conversion rate year over year.

Conversion Rate +106% /// Subscription Volume YoY Increase /// Digital Attribution with Call Tracking


Elite first developed a new campaign structure within Google AdWords as a foundation for efficiency, then focused on expanding ad copy to provide more coverage with targeted messaging. While reviewing promotional offers, Elite recognized a gap in search ad copy and available subscription offers. To drive urgency, the team incorporated these existing offers into Paid Search campaigns, especially during holidays.

Elite SEM also identified customer behavior for USA Today by testing and recording phone calls. As phone calls were tracked, Elite introduced the strategy of tying phone calls from paid search back to subscriptions obtained.


Subscription rates doubled for both publications, resulting from a 106% increase in conversion rate. Total subscription volume also increased year over year, directly attributed to enhanced Paid Search campaigns and search-to-phone call tracking.

“The Elite SEM team always thinks of their clients’ best interests and brings new ideas for us to test while optimizing our spend.”
Samir Banerjee, Audience Development & Channel Innovation Manager

Contact Us


Posted on

March 24, 2016

Share This