A market leading puzzle solution for one of the UK's biggest newspapers
The Telegraph has a long and respected history with puzzles. They were the first UK newspaper to publish a daily crossword, and also the first to publish a regular cryptic crossword, popularising the puzzle format in the UK. During the Second World War, their cryptic crosswords were even used by staff at Bletchley Park to recruit code-breakers to assist the war effort.
In 2008, The Telegraph launched a dedicated puzzles website and in 2022, they decided it was time for an upgrade. Which is where Digital Marmalade came in.
- Prize Puzzles
- Performance statistics
- Identity integrations
Website: Establishing solid puzzle foundations
The new Telegraph Puzzles website was designed to embody the rich history and heritage of The Telegraph, while at the same time offer a vastly improved UI and UX which would appeal to both new and existing subscribers. The website and the puzzles themselves were designed with great care and attention to detail, with a mix of classic and modern elements and a focus on user interface and user experience. The user journeys, onboarding and completion screens were all designed and developed with engagement and habit-forming behaviour in mind.
The website features a clean and modern design with a focus on readability and usability. There are a range of puzzles suitable for all abilities. From the Mini Crossword and Panagram to Killer Sudoku and the Cryptic Crossword, there is something for everyone. The website also includes a variety of engagement features including streaks and achievements designed to encourage users to explore the depth and breadth of their subscription.
Some of the features of the new Telegraph Puzzles website:
- Clean and modern design
- Range of puzzles for all abilities
- Variety of different types of puzzles with deep archives
- Achievements and streaks designed to build habits
- User experience designed to drive engagement
App: Connected Puzzles on the move
In early 2023, following the success of the website launch, The Telegraph launched a standalone puzzles app, Telegraph Puzzles. The app was developed using Google's Flutter application framework.
With the ability to pick up where you left off on a different device, the app offers a bespoke free trial mechanic which allows potential subscribers to sample the full app for a defined period of time before being asked to subscribe. It also allows for seamless syncing between web and app, allowing users to pick up from where they left off, whatever platform they are using.
Puzzles: The product core - intuitive, beautiful and diverse
The platform features a wide range of puzzles, including classics such as the famous Telegraph Cryptic Crossword, Quick Crossword, and three different types of Sudoku, as well as newer digital additions like Codewords, Kakuro and PlusWord - a unique fusion of a crossword and word-logic puzzle created by The Telegraph's Puzzles Editor Chris Lancaster and brought to life in development with Digital Marmalade.
The introduction of prize puzzles to the digital platform marked another notable milestone for The Telegraph. Prize crosswords such as the much-loved Giant General Knowledge Crossword were available digitally for the first time, with users able to submit completed puzzles online.
Soon after the launch of the Telegraph Puzzles app, The Telegraph published a brand new puzzle, Panagram, to both their website and app.
- Can be played digitally across mobile, tablet and desktop
- Can be printed out for customers who continue to prefer to solve puzzles on paper
- Has been designed to enhance the puzzle-solving experience, using modern UI/UX design principles to engage a diverse audience
Hint: focus on User Experience
The Telegraph have successfully developed a multi-faceted solution that includes a Sticky Puzzles Delivery Platform with a puzzle CMS for added control, a fully responsive website and a dedicated puzzle app.
The key to our success was our focus on user experience (UX), which led us to introduce features like streaks, achievements, cross-device play and offline play. These features have helped to increase user engagement and encourage repeat visits.
In addition, we have created brand new puzzles, such as Cross Atlantic, Panagram and PlusWord. These puzzles demonstrate our collective ability to innovate, be original and most importantly, develop and digitise The Telegraph's ideas and ambitions into reality.
Another success story
The Telegraph Media Group has scooped first place at the Best Subscription Niche Product category, INMA Global Media Awards, in 2023. The International News Media Association competition has been rewarding media excellence since 1937.>
In the Telegraph’s own words: the launch of the new Puzzles website of the new Puzzles website in 2022 had as objective to make puzzles an integral part of The Telegraph’s digital offering. That had to be done without alienating the current Puzzles players and risking revenue to the business. These players had grown accustomed to completing our crosswords, codewords and sudoku in the newspaper, or on our decidedly outmoded puzzles website.
The new refreshed, reinvigorated Puzzles website was also used to retain current, high value subscribers on the Digital Plus and Print products.
Digital Marmalade helped The Telegraph to introduce new games to broaden puzzles’ offering and make it more accessible to different types of puzzle fans. These included PlusWord, an innovative new word game with a twist, which has been played over 3m times since launching in May 2022.
As a result Telegraph Puzzles has had an outstanding first year, and has reaffirmed itself as an integral part of Telegraph’s business. Not only as a subscriptions product in its own right, but also as a tool to improve the engagement and retention of our news subscribers.
Since launch, the Puzzles subscriber base has grown by 58% in just 5 months
High volumes of sticky acquisitions, with an impressive 18% average week-on-week growth since launch
Dramatic reduction in churn, with the survival curve of Puzzles Subscribers 10% higher than that of subscribers to news products
61% of Puzzles subscribers had no existing Telegraph Subscription
Our partnership with The Telegraph demonstrates Digital Marmalade's ability to deliver digital solutions. With our expertise, approach, and commitment, we ensure that our partners are well-equipped for success in their digital journey.
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