Invest 6 minutes to learn the most important step in growing your paid subscriber base. We have implemented this strategy throughout our publisher base and the results are impressive. You will learn how to:
- Grow your email list
- Convert paying subscribers
- See a successful publication’s approach
Lightly edited transcript:
What I’m going to show you here is a framework that works really well for building your email list and, converting paid subscribers.
Your biggest fans will pay you right upfront, pretty quickly early on. But they are very small percentage of the actual traffic that comes to your website. The 99% of your traffic are casual visitors. These are people that find you from searching and Google, or find a share on social. They might be interested in your publication, but are not ready to pay. They are, however, your biggest revenueopportunity.
So how do you convert a casual visitor that’s coming in from a Google search into a paid subscriber? The secret is capturing the casual visitor’s email address and sending them your newsletters. The trick is to set up your paywall to give the visitor some limited access in return for their registration on your website.
Email is your #1 direct marketing tool. Building your email list up front is the most important thing you can do. If you walk away from this session with just one thing on your agenda, this is it. Make sure you set up a free registration. I’m going to show you what that looks like.
We start there since when somebody registers on your website through your paywall, as a free registered user user with limited access, you’re essentially starting the relationship with that person. And the data’s clear: the longer somebody gets your newsletter, the higher chance they have of subscribing
Your newsletter makes the reader click the article link to go back to your website. Your paywall offer this free registered user a limited number of articles each month. Over time, they get the prompt to pay multiple times because they used up their free allotment. The longer they stay on your newsletter the more prompts to subscribe they get, increasing their chances of paying for access.
So here is small boats magazine. If you go to smallboatsmonthly.com, read some articles and register for their free level. This will get you on their newsletter and pay close attention to how they promote paid subscriptions because It’s awesome. It works so well. They’ve been doing this for a while, so they’re, they’re pretty restrictive about their content. Typically when publishers launch paywalls, they tend to be generous about their content.
What small boats does now is set the meter one free article and that’s all you need to be able to index your entire site in Google search. And then once you read that free article, you have to register and then you’ll get another free article. And that’s it.
Let’s pretend I’ve used up my free article. I’m going to click this Swamp Creek article here. And it takes me to the subscription message. So here I am, I’m in the article up I get this message right in content. As a reader, I want to read this article. I’m getting this message and I want to read the article and that’s another benefit of the meter is the you’re not choosing which articles to restrict.
The meter lets the incoming visitor choose what article they want to read and that’s how you get their attention. And that’s how you start that relationship. So this is the subscription message. And the pitch is very, very simple: Read the article now for free.
This works well. And so I sign up here, no credit card required, to finish reading the article. Pretty simple proposition. And even though small boats is only giving away this one article the mix of free and paid subscriptions is strong.
So now I click this and I get a simple registration form. They fill out the form and can read the article. Their email is captured and it’s sent off to MailChimp or whatever email service provider you’re using, which means that now you have someone who is, who is subscribed to your newsletter and has started the relationship with your publication.