There are several paywall services that offer different options like a paywall plugin so that a person can turn a site that was free into something that is pay to view. Basically, a paywall, whether a hard paywall or soft paywall monetizes online information so that visitors to the site cannot see either some or all of the content. Instead, they pay a fee and become a subscriber. Newspapers online commonly use paywalls but it is something other businesses can take it on too. For example, it makes sense for software providers, content creators, and app creators.
Hard paywalls have a complete restriction on the site so you cannot access anything. Soft paywalls like a metered paywall allow some access, limited, and when you reach the limit you then chose whether to subscribe for full access, or they might offer a trial option. A paywall plugin can be used on existing websites to turn them into paid for sites, website owners do not have to come up with a completely new site if they decide to use a paywall.
Companies that use paywall services make an income from the subscriptions they generate rather than from ads or sales. But not all are successful at it so here are some tips on creating an effective soft paywall.
- Allow users some flexibility, allow them to have some premium features for free so that when the request comes for them to sign on for a subscription they see the value in your site and are more willing to do so. You could also offer the opportunity for users to earn further free access to additional services for a time. Users tend to like it when they get full access but in a limited time period.
- Avoid being really pushy, find a way for the message to subscribe to be friendly, engaging and perhaps even funny. Do not chase after subscribers and act like a debt collector. Keep it light to ease tensions. Build a relationship with them and they are more likely to be happy to stay subscribed. Know there is someone behind all the numbers and letters on the screen is good for a connection and for brand loyalty.
- Find the best balance between offering value and giving the customer incentive to become a paying subscriber.
- Offer users that pay more freedom than those that do not. If they have subscribed but still have to use credits to access parts of the site they may reach a point where they wonder whether the subscription fee is worth paying since they do not have the full access they want.
- Work hard to ensure the paywall is not viewed as an obstacle as frustrated users are less likely to subscribe. For example rather than having a hard stop when someone reaches the limit and gets to the paywall let them finish the action they are trying to do still, even if they chose not to subscribe. They will see you are as committed as you can be to offering them excellent service and may decide to subscribe after all, or may think about it for the future.