It turns out hit podcasts can help drive newsletter sign-ups. The Los Angeles Times used interest in “Dirty John,” a podcast and editorial series that the Tronc-owned title produced in partnership with Wondery, to get an additional 21,000 email subscribers to Essential California, a newsletter that had grown slowly since it launched at the beginning of 2017.
While the podcast hasn’t yet accounted for a noticeable surge in paid subscriptions to the Times, its marketing and audience-acquisition operation used a simple offer — subscribe to the newsletter to find out when new episodes of the show are posted — to grow sign-ups.
“It was kind of marketing 101,” said Mark Campbell, Tronc svp of digital acquisition. “I’ll take opportunities like these all day.”
While many people think of “Dirty John,” a story of a grifter who meets a victim in Southern California, as a podcast principally, it had a written component, too, with a series of pieces that ran in the print and digital editions of the Times.