Membership & subscription suite provider, Poool, has proposed a new conversion funnel framework that takes into account the user journey prior to the paywall, allowing publishers to pinpoint where they need to dedicate resources to increase user-to-subscriber conversion rates. The report, released on March 9th, shared benchmark figures for each of these steps, and included insights into how to optimize performance along with case studies from publishers.
Poool say they have been able to collect key engagement and conversion data points from 150 publisher Poool dashboards in 12 countries around the world, aggregating and anonymizing the data to reveal benchmarks and best practices, presenting findings in a way that will feed directly into supporting clients’ reader revenue strategies.
As more publishers make use of the Poool Dashboard, the database will grow to encompass more benchmarks from brands of all sizes across the world, with data being shared on a quarterly basis in 3 forms: a report, an interactive webinar and integrated into the Poool Dashboard.
The goal of this report is to support digital publishing professionals in better understanding their conversion funnel performance, comparing it to others in the market and learning from case study examples to optimize each metric.
Poool says their report recommends an alternative framework of 4 distinct metrics with the goal of breaking the conversion funnel down into more manageable steps, supporting publishers in pinpointing exactly where they need to target optimization efforts.
The company says benchmarks have been collected for each of these 4 metrics:
- The percentage of users exposed to the paywall
- The percentage of users who actually see the paywall
- The percentage who then click on it
- The percentage of those who convert
“By using this reader-focused methodology, many publishers have been able to better understand their audiences, pinpoint exactly where they’re seeing the biggest loss in traffic, and then take very targeted corrective action,” Poool’s consulting lead Anthony Ribeiro.
Poool outline 5 key takeaways:
- Increasing paywall conversion rates starts from the moment a user arrives on a site - the report reveals the importance of moving users through towards premium content where they’ll have the potential of being exposed to a paywall.
- Specialist media have the highest premium content and paywall visibility rate - given that these publishers have a very niche content focus, they often have more engaged audiences who are less frustrated by ‘harder’ paywall strategies where more content is blocked and where the paywall blocks high up on the article.
- Publishers are employing increasingly tighter paywall strategies (2019 - 2023) - data reveals that more articles are being blocked by a paywall.
- The visibility of a paywall on a premium article impacts conversion rates, but there’s a balance to find - whilst some publishers such as Financial Times use a full-page paywall to block 100% of their content, the report recommends launching with 60-80% visibility and testing from there.
- Regularly modifying the paywall design will have a significant impact on paywall conversion rates - an ELLE Magazine case study reveals how conversion rates reignited every time the publisher altered their paywall design to match holiday seasons (Christmas or summer) and sales (Black Friday or Mother’s day sale).
To find out more, download your free copy of the report here.You can find out more about Poool in our Publishing Services Directory.
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