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Stripes.com Subscriptions increase by 203% with Pelcro’s Subscription Management Software

Updated: Jan 17

Stars and Stripes decided to change their subscription management software to Pelcro in August 2019. Since making the change, Stars and Stripes has seen a 203% increase in subscriptions with an average monthly increase of 17%, while churn decreased from 10% to 3% within the first ten months.


What is Stars and Stripes?

A uniquely American newspaper, S&S (Stars and Stripes Publications) operates as a first amendment news media publication under the U.S. D.O.D. (Department of Defense). It has been sending reporters to cover every major US military conflict since 1942.

With a storied history deeply rooted in the U.S. military, the first paper called Stars and Stripes published in 1861 during the American civil war. After the war, the publication went quiet, until it was revived in WW1 when the first edition appeared in Paris on February 8th, 1918.


The newspaper went silent again after the war for almost two decades before Europe was again embroiled in the Second World War. On April 18th, 1942, Stars and Stripes had its second renaissance when a small group of servicemen started up a four-page weekly paper from a print shop in London. Working in tight quarters, the enterprising group quickly established an audience.


The first edition of Stars and Stripes published during World War II featured an interview with Gen. George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff. Marshall quoted Gen. John J. Pershing, World War I American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.) commander; he believed that Stripes had been a significant factor in sustaining A.E.F. morale.


What are they doing now?

The newspaper has been publishing continuously ever since. Today, Stars and Stripes maintain news bureaus worldwide, including Europe, the Pacific, and the Middle East, to provide first hand reporting on events.


The newspapers are provided free of charge to members serving in harm’s way. However, they can be found at military exchanges and coinboxes on-base in Europe and the Pacific. Additionally, home delivery is available to subscribers in Belgium, German, Italy, Japan, and South Korea.


Their Challenge:

Stars and Stripes found that they delivered over 500,000 digital editions in 2019. This meant that they were growing a robust digital following that was willing to pay for online subscriptions.

To achieve that goal, S&S signed up with Piano, a subscription management software to launch its paid digital subscription. After generating a few subscribers, S&S realized that they still hadn’t realized their full potential.


Limited by the lack of flexibility from their then-current provider, the S&S team started their search. They wanted to find an alternative paywall and subscription management platform that would not only meet but exceed their needs.


After a long and exhaustive search, they decided to go with Pelcro.

The Solution:

As S&S Director of Engagement, Chris Verigan put it, “The Pelcro system created more tools for us to communicate with our customers and to evaluate the best service methods and pricing options.”

Chris Verigan’s Director of Engagement at Stars and Stripes Reviews Pelcro on Capterra

We started by understanding the needs of the team and the shortcomings that they had previously experienced. We quickly realized that we would need to introduce a metered paywall to increase conversions. One that would allow users to add their credit card information and complete the entire subscription process; without ever leaving the article they were reading.

To decrease churn, the S&S team used Pelcro to enable auto-renewals on all of their plans and introduced a new 2-year plan that provided a discounted price in exchange for a longer commitment.


S&S also utilized Pelcro’s webhooks and events to integrate with their Mailchimp account to automatically trigger emails that would be sent out at key points along their customers’ journeys. Emails would be triggered to do things like welcome users when they first subscribe and notify customers whose credit card details were about to expire.


After reviewing the impact of Pelcro, Chris expressed, “Since our adoption of the Pelcro system, we have seen a significant increase in our subscription rates.”

By using Pelcro’s services, Stars and Stripes saw:

  • 203% increase in new subscriptions within the first year.

  • An average of 17% increase in new monthly subscriptions since launch.

  • The average monthly churn decreased from 10% to 3% in 10 months.


When asked about what he attributes this success to, Pelcro’s Director of Client Relations Andrew Morris said, “Stars and Stripes is a renowned brand with a fantastic editorial and operational team. We provided them with the tools and guidance to do everything they knew they had to, but couldn’t do with their previous vendor.”


Pelcro is proud to be partnered with Stars and Stripes publications in their endeavor to deliver independent, unbiased journalism to the honorable members serving in the U.S. military.


Why Choose Pelcro?

At Pelcro, our mission is to provide our clients with all the tools and expertise they need to drive recurring revenue effectively, built with developers in mind for ultimate flexibility.

We provide our clients’ users with the best experience by ensuring that their subscription process is always seamless, fast, and self-served; while our clients get a comprehensive and flexible solution that integrates with their favorite tools.


Want to find out if Pelcro is the right subscription management software for you? Try us for free or set up a demo call with one of our experts.

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