A newspaper's circulation and marketing departments are constantly working together to come up with promotional ideas to increase subscription sales. In the newspaper industry, a large subscription base means increased revenue. The revenue are generated from subscribers and from advertising sales, which are directly related. Newspapers can justify the price of an advertisement based on the circulation figures.

Buy One, Get One Free

When a new customer purchases a subscription, you can give them another subscription for free. You can give them the option to donate the free subscription to a classroom, family member or friend. The customer can also cash in the free subscription when their existing subscription expires. You should allow one buy one, get one free offer per household.


With each new subscription or renewed subscription purchase, you can enter the subscriber’s name in a raffle to win free prizes. The prizes can include:

  • new cars
  • new boats
  • vacation packages
  • jewelry
  • concert tickets
  • other items

You should set up rules that will bar people from entering their names in the raffle more than once, so that no one subscriber has an advantage over another one.

Free Gifts

Let customers pick from a list of free gifts when they purchase a new subscription, or renew an existing one, to the newspaper. The gifts can include gift cards and certificates to restaurants, retail stores, gas stations and other businesses. You can also offer customers free admission to amusement parks, museums and other local and national attractions with each new or renewed subscription purchase.

Charitable Donations

Tap into people’s charitable instincts by offering to donate to a charitable organization or charitable cause when they purchase a subscription, or renew an existing one. Although this type of newspaper promotion can be run throughout the year, it would probably prove to be the most successful during the holiday season because this is the time of year when donations to charities increase. You can offer to donate a set amount of money to the charity of the subscriber’s choice, or choose one yourself. You can also donate a percentage of the total revenue that are raised from subscription sales to a particular charity, or match the total that was raised.