Welcome to episode 22 of the paywall podcast. I’m Pete I’m here with Jeremy and Tyler, and we are going to talk today about one very powerful idea: How to monetize your free registration level with a paid sponsorship.
If you have a free registration or you’re considering setting up a free registration level to build your paid subscriptions, we’re going to give you one more, very compelling thought and approach to generating more ad revenue.
So the idea here. And if you’re looking at the screen and through the video that we’re producing, you’ll see rugby news and rugby news is monetizing their free registration level by creating a sponsorship for it. So if you think about it, and if you look here, it says student pass on their free registration subscription card.
And the idea here. You’re giving away something for free. So you’re giving away your valuable content. So there’s a good match here between an advertiser to sponsor the free registration level and what you can tell anybody that’s new. That’s coming into register and I call these people’s super casuals.
In other words, They’re not one and done, they hit your website, they read an article, they go away. These are people that are coming back. Maybe it’s the first time, but they really connect with you and they decide that it’s worth the effort to register and get on your newsletter.
These super casuals they will convert percentage of them to paid subscribers. Why not just tell them that, Hey, this free registration, this valuable content that I’m giving away is sponsored by this company, right? This is the sponsor. So when you’re talking to advertisers, we’re going to give you five touch points minimum that you’re going to tell an advertisers.
Look, if you sponsor the freer registration level, for registered user that comes through the door we’re going to put your advertiser’s brand in front of them, five separate times, just like that. Which is what you need to do in advertising today. You need to repeat your message over and over again.
Now you can do it more than five, but this is the minimum that your sponsor gains right off the bat. Okay. Let’s go back to rugby news here. So you can see here, the student pass, it says a free with a valid high school email address, courtesy of U O w crusaders global rugby program.
So this is the sponsor for the free registration level and This is what we’re going to, we’re gonna pivot into now is the tactics of how you set this up. Number one, I’m going to hop over to T journey here. When somebody comes to your site, they’ve consumed there, let’s say two or so free articles and they get the subscription nag.
They get something like what we’re looking at with T journey now, which says, Hey, read this article at no charge or read this article now for free. And it takes them through the free registration product. Now this is a great spot to deliver a sponsored by a message. And you can design it any way you want.
Maybe this big image in the middle here can have the branding for your sponsor right there. So every time someone has stopped on your web. They’re presented with the option to register for free and Hey, this registration is brought to you by this advertiser. Okay. So that’s one.
All right. The second spot is let’s say somebody says, yeah, that sounds like a good deal. I like free. So I’m going to go register. Cause I like this publication and I go to the free registration page. Here’s a second spot. Where you can deliver the brand for the advertiser. Hey, this free registration, which is going to give you these extra article benefits is sponsored by this company or this.
Organization, pretty simple so far. And the idea here is you can set this up real quick and and start selling it while you can sell it first, before you even set it up. But I’d recommend, and we’ll talk about this a little bit, that we get something set up so you can show your potential sponsors, what it looks like.
All right. So that’s the second step. All right. What’s the third spot. As soon as somebody fills out your form here and hit submit they get a welcome email, right? Saying, Hey, thanks for registering. And this welcome email is specific to the free registration level with your messaging. And your sponsor branding to that email.
So in the email box comes the message. Hey you’re your free articles are sponsored by this advertiser, this company, this organization. So that’s the third spot. Again, super easy to do. All right. What’s the fourth spot. I’m going to jump here to small boats.
The fourth spot is is back to website targeting. So we’re looking at small boats magazine here, small boats, mostly.com. And I am actually logged in. As a free registered user. I’ve gone to the site. I’ve logged in to get my free article. And if you look at the bottom here, you’ll see a little message that says, Hey, we’re glad you’re enjoying the free content, upgrade your account for full access.
So that’s cool. And that’s a great message because you want to sell subscriptions, but again, wouldn’t it be easy to simply add, Hey, this. Your this article is sponsored by this organization. And you can get that brand into the website when that free registered user lands back on an article.
So that’s number four. In Tana with number four. And if you’re a leaky paywall customer, you can use the it’s called the conditional display notice, which I call the header bar. And to add this, you can also use our ad dropper ad-on, which lets you Display notices to folks that are logged in for free and then hide the notices from paid subscribers.
The ad dropper ad-on lets you display a banner or a message, right in content in the article after paragraph, let’s say number three or four saying that this article is sponsored. That’s on site targeting.
All right. That’s for now I promise five. The fifth one is the big one, the fifth one is promise your advertiser that you will send out a specific. Campaign for their brand. What do they want to do? What are they selling? What are they promoting? Help them build a campaign and then set it up and you can automate this completely.
So that let’s say if you’re sending everything to MailChimp and the free registration level sends the new registered users. That person is tagged free. Let’s say they use the MailChimp tag called free. You can then target everybody that’s tagged free. And you can automate that if you like.
So after a certain number of days this campaign goes out with the message for your sponsor. So that’s a direct marketing tactic, email gets sent and the big message from the advertiser is delivered to. To that free registered user. So that’s five touch points. There’s nothing custom here.
This is all out of the box functionality. And you can really deliver a super sponsorship product to to your advertisers.
Time-wise, they happen organically as the free registered user, discovers the content and then signs up.
I’m going to answer the question. How do you do this? Not the technical part, but how do you actually sell it? Which I get excited about this kind of thing. What I would recommend you do is since sponsorship. Are still a little bit I don’t have to call them new, but they can vary in the way things are implemented.
When you’re selling a sponsorships to an advertiser, what I would do is I would pick an advertiser that you want to give some free advertising to, and somebody worked with closely , and then set this up for them so that they, so that you have a model.
So what I would say to them and say, look, we’re putting together a new sponsorship option. It could, it’s gonna, it’s gonna give you visibility with five different touch points. It includes, a big, email direct email that goes out to anybody who registers for free and they’ll say great.
But they have no idea what you’re talking about because they haven’t seen it. And then you say, okay how about we do. Let’s say, I want to set this up. We’re going to test it. We’re going to give you 30 days for free. And they say, yes, of course free is great. Why would I not want 30 days of free advertising?
And so then you set up the touch points that we just went through put together a put together a an email or we’re not, number five can be optional. But what you want to have is the ability to talk to the next sponsor and say, Hey, look, we have this sponsorship.
Program, it’s going to give you five touch points as you gain experience and you’re of course, installing UTM tracking codes and all the links you’ll have more data in terms of page views, which deliver the sponsor and the UTM tracking. So you’ll feel you’ll it. Data over time.
So when you approached the next advertiser, you’ll be smarter about it. But you’ll have something to show. So you can say, Hey look what we’re doing here. You’re going to be the good guy or you’re going to be a sponsor. You’re going to be giving away the free registration level.
You’re going to have a lot of onsite website targeting and email direct email marketing built into this campaign these campaigns and that’s how I would approach your advertisers build show it to them. It’s easier to show it, then talk about it.
Okay. So that’s it. That’s a quickie for for this episode. Bottom line, get your free registration going. If you don’t have it. Too, if you do have it going you’re wielding a very powerful tool. Review it. If you want help, please get in touch. We love questions and if you have a question on anything else, as far as digital subscriptions, go, please shoot it into email@example.com and till next time happy.