15 Innovative Tactics To Grow Your Subscription Revenues

Once you have a good paid subscription flow it’s time to consider adding new revenue products. The following 15 16 strategies are easy, low hanging fruit, tactics that you can implement now to create and grow new revenues.

Grow your subscriptions

If you would like to listen to the episode that inspired this list, head over to our Paywall Podcast. Let’s dive in:

1. Hide ads from your subscribers and charge more

Roughly 10% of your readers will pay you 40% more just to hide ads. We know, publishers don’t want to lose ad revenue. We hear this all the time but only a very small percentage of your website traffic is from your logged-in paid subscribers. Hiding ads is easy to set up with our Ad Dropper extension and it’s almost free additional revenue and your biggest fans will love it. Read the case study.

2. Sell subscriptions AND promote donations

Speaking of biggest fans, let them pay you more than your asking subscription price and give them full access to your content. Some will. Add our Name-your-Price extension to create a donation level that allows content access and is fully integrated with your website.

3. Add a subscriber benefit: posting classifieds/events on your website

Do what Small Boats Magazine does: let subscribers post unlimited classifieds. It grew their classified listings and boosted subscribers. Just restrict the classified submission page with Leaky Paywall or let WordPress users with the Subscriber role post using your favorite classifieds plugin.

4. Sell one off access to content

If you are a B2B publisher, consider giving your readers the option of purchasing a high value piece of content or subscribing for full access. We are starting to see this gain some steam as single article buyers are coming back for more.

5. Gift Subscriptions should be 20% of your subscriptions… promote them

If you are a B2C publisher, talk to Greg Wolfe. Greg has long-time marketed in the print magazine space, and he will tell you that 20% of your revenues should be gifts. That’s likely a big opportunity for your publication.

6. Slim your subscription offerings to one to reduce indecision

Give your visitors less options to eliminate choice overload. Make it easy to subscribe. Netflix is king of this (recurring monthly), the New York Times now promotes only one subscription type, and even veteran print publishers are looking at focusing on a single annual print+digital offer (with a print opt-out).

7. Sell group subscriptions to a business, school, library, or organizations

Start talking up access to organizations. Once they say yes you can handle the payment offline and provide a coupon code for individual access. If you need a more sophisticated approach have a look here.

8. Local sports section: Sell sponsorships on the images in your photo galleries

Publish a local news site with lots of photos? Sell a photo gallery sponsorship like Spotlight News has been doing for years. Simply add a watermark of the sponsor to the photo using Photoshop or a WordPress plugin.

9. Get realtors to sponsor your local news site with a coupon code

Real estate agents want to get their name out. Help them by having them give out branded discount codes for an annual subscription to their clients and prospects. It’s easy to do: Create a discount code in their name (Ex code: janesmithrealty) that is good for 100 subscriptions. Sell it to them at a bulk discount.

10. Find a sponsor for your free registration

Do you offer a free registration on your website (you should)? Promote the name of a sponsor on the subscribe card, free registration form, in your welcome email, and on your website. It’s a big exposure for your sponsor and easy sponsorship revenue for you. Here’s a simple example (note the free registration card).

11. Block incognito browsing

Some of our financial publishers tell us that blocking incognito browsing and browser switching bumps their subscription revenue over 10%. Yes, we all do it, but you can tighten up your paywall and boost your paid subscriptions. Here’s how.

12. Sell access to private podcasts

We see publishers starting to monetize premium podcasts via Apple Podcasts. Why not control the experience and (revenue) by restricting your premium podcasts on your own site. Easy to do… just restrict your media to a specific subscription level.

13. Sell premium archive access with a Timewall

Do you have a deep archive of evergreen content (I’m looking at you magazine publishers)? Are you amassing a database of valuable content for a niche? Lock down your articles after a specific amount of time and require a more expensive plan to access it as Track and Field News has been doing.

14. Upsell a product on your check-out page

Add a checkbox to purchase a print edition, calendar, DVD, or other physical good during registration. Small Boats Magazine publishes an annual print book that you can easily add on checkout.

15. Local news publisher? Sell a family plan

You don’t even have to lift a finger for this one. Simply create a higher priced “Family Plan” that lets more than one subscriber log in, which is typically the default setup. You can get fancy with this with group subscriptions or concurrent access restrictions later. Keep it simple and test your new Family Plan level before investing in it. Hey, families password share anyway :)

16. Easily turn your existing newsletter in a premium newsletter

Turn your existing newsletter into a value-add premium newsletter. It’s easy and empowers you to target and better message your readers.

Want to talk about your publication’s revenue potential? Get in touch.


Peter Ericson
Founder and CEO
Leaky Paywall

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