NPR One Membership Leads: Things to know and things to do

Aug 17, 2016


Each month you download lists of emails of your NPR One listeners. But, then what?

That’s a question we heard from a lot of you at PMDMC in Boston. As a network, we’re still figuring out how to best use these leads to turn NPR One listeners into donors. We’re looking forward to working and learning along with you.

But we aren’t starting from scratch. Here’s what we’ve heard and learned from stations that are already engaging with their NPR One leads.

 There’s plenty we can do starting today.

1. NPR One listeners are often new listeners you need to get to know.

What we know: 35% of NPR One users never or only occasionally listened to NPR on the radio prior to using NPR One. Because of that, they might not know what a station is, but they have good feelings about public radio thanks to their NPR One experience. Your first communication with them should be an email welcoming them and thanking them for listening to your station on NPR One. Introduce your station and let them know what you do in your community.

What to do: Add NPR One listeners to your database or email service. Send a welcome email.

2. NPR One listeners are younger listeners just beginning on their public radio journey

What to know: NPR One is reaching new listeners and giving them a platform to consume public radio content on which they are more comfortable. 40% of them are under 35 years old. 60% of them are under 45 years old. As you work to turn them into eventual donors, get them more connected with the parts of your operation that are likely to appeal to them.


Multiple stations have reported success in translating that goodwill by automatically subscribing these new leads to a content-based email newsletter that introduces them to your station over time. Send them recommendations to stories, shows, and podcasts that are likely to appeal to younger listeners. Try inviting them to station events or listening parties. Let them know about your Facebook community or what you do on Instagram.


The more ways they are interacting with you - on-air, online and in the community - the more likely it is they will value what you bring to their lives enough to give.

What to do: Automatically subscribe new NPR One leads to a relevant, non-daily email newsletter, if you have one. When you add these users to your database or email service, find a way to flag them as NPR One listeners so that you can track their engagement over time.

3. NPR One may be newer, younger listeners, but they are well primed to become your future supporters

What to know: We are hearing from stations that 70-90% of their membership leads are new to them.


When we surveyed NPR One listeners, nearly half of respondents said that they are more likely to donate to their station as a result of listening to NPR One. The heaviest NPR One users are also most likely to express desire to donate. NPR One listeners listen for an average of 30 minutes at a time and come back on average five times per week. These are listening levels that would likely make them core listeners if they were listening on terrestrial. (In your reports you can see who is listening a lot, when they last listened, and even how many local stories they heard.) The high levels of engagement lead us to believe there is a lot of potential to turn these listeners into donors.

What to do: Use the monthly “Active Listeners” report to identify which NPR One listeners are heavily engaged in the app. Consider treating this segment differently.

PS: Look for a survey we are sending out this week. We are asking a number of questions about NPR One and your station including how you are using membership leads. We will then be following up to probe more deeply into some of the experiences you are having with membership leads.