Even though one of the most important things for running a successful media company is monetising the audience engagement, relying only on social media advertising is just not enough these days. With their algorithms constantly changing, the issues with blocked content and the eventual loss of the audience became common. This is the main reason why many publishers shifted their focus to paywalls.
The Inherent Value of a Paywall
Paywalls are now considered as one of the crucial elements in every successful publishing formula. The reason is paywalls perform several valuable tasks all by themselves. Firstly, they will provide the necessary quality to the content. The second, paywalls will perform all the tasks related to collecting the payments and managing subscribers.
The content is what matters the most to readers. It is the reason they are coming back to the website. When they spend their money on subscribing to a certain industry publication, this is an investment that should remind the publishers to continue providing quality content.
Some publishers point out that paywalls have a serious setback by keeping away the readers who are not ready to pay for the content. At the same time, we can see that a majority of them still consider it a fruitful strategy. We can see that it will provide a publisher with information about readers who offer much more value compared to those who are not ready to pay for the subscription.
The functionality of this strategy can be seen in the example of HuffPost. They focused only on loyal readers since only 6% of their visitors provided roughly 60% of page views. So, if a website has a devoted following and quality content, it looks like hiring a paywall service provider is the way to go. To make it more efficient, it should be combined with an effective conversion strategy.
How to Enhance Paywall’s Effects
The readers are ready to subscribe to get the content they enjoy the most. We can see this through the examples of The Times and The New York Times. An effective subscription management system also heavily depends on the support from the engagement system and community growth.
A recent study done by the Lenfest Institute has shown that around 9% of readers read more than 5 articles every month. The researchers also claim that larger news organisations tend to prioritise their audience engagement efforts to their most loyal readers.
Surely, the best strategy for the continuing growth of the readers is focusing on engaging more of the loyal audience. The frequency of returning users will increase by applying engagement technology.
The Most Efficient Conversion Strategy
Finding an appropriate conversion strategy will provide the necessary elements needed for combining the engagement and paywall tools. The community engagement tool will keep track of the audience’s behaviour, increasing the number of loyal readers, and will send a notification to the paywall every time some user has an interest in subscribing to the website.
In a report published by the Local Media Association, we can see that the proper combination of algorithm-based and editorial selection decides on 5 to 7 articles every day, drives strong engagement and traffic, and pushes the higher number of visitors to a paywall, and ultimately, to the subscription process.
Having paywall and engagement service providers as a part of a strategy will have a pivotal role in developing and deploying an effective conversion strategy, especially when it comes to the reader’s behaviour. As a user become more involved in following the content, community engagement tools will provide necessary information to the paywall. The more readers become regular ones, the more subscriptions can be expected.
The Value of a Churn-Reducing Tool
Perhaps the biggest reason for having a ready conversion strategy between subscription and engagement systems is the option of increasing subscription and decreasing churn rates simultaneously. An engagement tool will gather, guide, and track your community, while your software provider can notify every time you get a disengaged member that’s likely to churn.
This will allow you to create a plan for keeping those members and in turn, decrease churn.