Alright, so you’ve heard about paywall strategies and wariness is your first reaction.
If you’ve just barely skimmed the surface and have no idea how to actually implement a paywall for your business or even if you should be getting one in the first place, no worries. We’ve got you covered.
Keep on reading to learn all about why you should be getting a paywall and the top three paywall strategies that will kickstart your business reader revenue.
Why Get a Paywall in the First Place?
Because why wouldn’t you? There are so many benefits to having a paywall, and little to no negatives (despite what you may think).
First, paywalls are great for full-time or supplementary income. Considering that business should always be on the lookout for additional sources of income, having a paywall in place can be great for that extra money you never knew you could get.
Second, paywalls add the element of exclusivity to your business. This —in turn— can create a sense of brand loyalty among your hardcore readers.
Sounds too good to be true? Here’s why it works so well.
The core advantage of dynamic paywalls is its flexibility and the fact that it is custom-made. Every single paywall should be unique to the business it serves. Think of it like clay. You can shape it however you want, depending on your business’ objectives.
Basically, as Pelcro’s Director of Client Relations, Andrew Morris puts it: “you’ll have a lot more to lose by not trying one.”
This brings us to these clay molds that you can use, otherwise known as paywall strategies.
1. Paywall Strategies for Beginners: The Metered Paywalls
This paywall strategy is perfect for novice businesses that want to start small and work their way to more aggressive strategies.
A metered paywall (also knows as a soft paywall) is a fantastic way to start monetizing your website. By putting a gentle barrier between your readers and your premium content, you’ll nudge your readers to sign up for a subscription for your website.
What’s great about soft paywalls is its ability to hook your readers to your content before asking them to hitch their wagon to your business. It works by offering ‘free’ content that is of high quality and sets the standard for your content to your readers.
You can choose your number of free articles per month according to your monthly average page views. For example, if your average number is five pages (or articles) per visitor, you can set your metered paywall to six articles.
By setting your limit to a higher number than your monthly average, you can start seeing where the word ‘soft paywall’ came from.
It won’t prevent new readers from getting to your content, but it will set the tone for your new visitors and get some monetary benefits from your longtime readers.
In addition, your new readers will —literally— know what they’re signing up for in advance. It’ll take away any sort of ambiguity or worries about them wasting money on content that they don’t know well.
2. The Newsletter Paywall
If you want to tune up the intensity of the paywall but still keeping a light touch, then the newsletter paywall is your new best friend.
It works as a great in-between, as it asks your readers for their email in exchange for free articles or additional premium content.
Following the previous example, if your monthly page views average is six articles, you’ll put your paywall at four articles. Then, you’ll offer the additional two articles for free in exchange for your readers’ email addresses.
What’s unique about this strategy is the amazing benefit of getting your reader’s email addresses and putting them at the very top of a marketing drip campaign. Marketing drip campaigns and customer journeys have been proven to be rather effective at converting your readers into loyal paying readers.
3. The Premium Paywall
At that point, you should be familiar with the way your readers interact with your paywalls. By following best practices for A/B testing, you’ll get an accurate understanding of which articles are more popular than others.
Afterward, you can easily select which ones should go behind your paywall, and which ones should be free.
This strategy is definitely more aggressive than the previous two, which is why you should have a bit of paywall experience and good analytics before implementing this one.
However, if you’ve done your research, this strategy can be the actual booster of subscription numbers in a way the other two can’t quite reach.
4. The Bonus Strategy: Creativity Is Key
You shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with different types of paywall strategies. As no two business are quite the same, there are no two identical paywalls.
The trick about a paywall that acts as a competitive advantage is one that is creatively crafted for your business values.
For example, if your business is environmentally friendly, creating a donation-based model for mini-recycling projects can truly make your values shine through.
Furthermore, you can create a membership for a unique project that has nothing to do with your regular content. This can easily open the door for new readers to see your content, and for your regular readers to be exposed to something new. The sky is truly the limit here.
Ready to Set Up Your Paywall?
It can look a bit intimidating at first for the uninitiated. Nevertheless, placing a well-researched (and well-configured) paywall can boost your readership revenue to heights you’ve never actually seen before.
After getting to know all about the top three paywall strategies that you can implement for your business as well as why you should get a paywall, there is so much more to learn.
From choosing the right revenue model to taking a look at what a successful newspaper subscription model looks like, make sure to check out our blog for all things content subscription!
Mohanad is the head of content at Pelcro and the unicorn of the marketing department. Most of the time he is learning a new language or indulging in his geeky tendencies, and other times he is figuring out new recipes to cook in his spare time.