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A Publisher’s Guide to Choosing the Right Content Subscription Software

The increasing trend toward paid subscription services means one thing for publishers: there are a lot of options to consider. We’ve seen a host of innovation in this area, especially in regards to paywall technology, and a plethora of solutions that have emerged to fill the increasing need for reliable tools. So how do you evaluate which option is best for you? Here are some things to consider.

How Much Control Do You Want?

When evaluating a solution one of the first key points to consider is how much control you and your team will have over your paywall campaign. The first step is to decide how important making quick, key decisions about your paywall campaign is to you and your business. Some content subscription software providers are happy to give you full control. The benefit of this is that you can make fast changes that can be instantly implemented and adapted to your model. Other providers allow you to make requests that then need to be implemented through their own team. While this means that you may not have the option to implement quick changes, it does offer the advantage of having a team of experts at your back to run your campaign, leaving you free to focus on your other responsibilities.

Consider your business needs. If you are making frequent changes, it may be better to hold the reins. On the other hand, if you are unlikely to make frequent changes and prioritize expert work over quick adaptations, you may feel that the second option is better for you.

Give Yourself Options

There are several types of paywall models you can choose from and while you could spend time trying to preemptively decide on what works for you, the best way to actually determine this is just to A/B test and be ready to adapt. You’re going to be faced with a host of decisions such as what messaging and subscription packages to offer, how many free articles to provide, and whether a hard or soft paywall works better with your audience. Instead of pigeonholing yourself into one option which you think will work, choose a solution that allows you to adjust according to the data.

Dynamic paywalls with machine learning technology allow you to learn about your audience and provide offers tailored to them based on a variety of indicators. You can run extensive A/B testing that tailors the messaging depending on the individual, and really hone what works for different segments of your audience.

API Considerations

Another important consideration is API development and where it will be implemented for your website and its needs. Think about how this will affect the timeline of your rollout and the overall implementation on your site. Here are three key areas identified by Rob Keenan at Publishing Executive that are important for anyone considering a paywall solution.

  1. Marketing and Customer Data. If you use tools like marketing automation or customer data platforms to target your audience, you’ll want to integrate with any paywall solution you choose to maximally target your subscription offers.

  2. Financial Systems. If you go with a vendor who is going to be managing your paid subscriber revenue and all financial transactions it’s essential to make sure there is an API link between the paywall and your organization’s financial system.

  3. Subscriber Database. If you don’t go with a solution that has some kind of subscriber database built in, you will need to look at developing an integration with your existing database vendor.

Some content subscription software platforms offer built-in analytics and CRM systems so that you can view subscriber information from one location and use the tools to decrease churn. Many also offer a host of integrations, so make sure to do your research and see which will work best for your needs.

At Pelcro we’ve developed a platform to help publishers effortlessly maximize their reader revenue. Are you looking to implement a paywall on your site and increase your subscriber revenue? Contact us and we’ll get you started!

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