Last year 46 million Web users visited New York magazine's pop culture site, Vulture, for the first time. Of those, 7.6 million came back at least once. To use a term and concept that free news sites haven't widely adopted, that's a 17 percent conversion rate.
Because few media organizations without hard paywalls are focusing on what they can do to retain first-time visitors, it's hard to put that number into context, said Michael Silberman, NYMag.com's general manager. But he sees that 17 percent as a baseline from which Vulture can grow.
“I see tremendous value in that gap and in figuring out how to identify those among the 46 million who with the right nudge would be most likely to want to come back again,” Silberman told Poynter via phone. “And once you get them coming back one more time, they’re that much more likely to come back two more times, three more times.”