Paywall designs are a key element in the success of a subscription strategy for any content producer. It should fit with the content, audience and branding of your business, as well as help turn your audience into revenue. To highlight this, let’s analyze and compare 10 paywall designs, to give you an idea of all the different things you could do with your paywall, and how you can tailor yours to your needs.


Quartz

The editors of “Quartz” have designed a paywall to fit the media’s image, with their color codes, wording and values. It features a paragraph detailing how membership would benefit them as well as the reader, and several drop-down menus that point out everything that’s included in subscription offers. The aim here is to create a close relationship with the readers by being as transparent as possible about their aims, forefronting the benefits that come with subscription and utilizing a friendly, informal design. Interested in finding out more about Quartz's paywall and subscription journey? Check out our other article from the blog here!

L’Express

Similarly to Quartz, L’Express has employed a sleek, elegant wall, but this time with a different color coding than the brand’s usual red and black. The text fades out and the paywall appears, asking for a subscription (as well as specifying how much of the article is left to read), and then, like Quartz, there are three bullet points outlining what a subscription will get you. This includes actual perks (reading articles offline on the app, audio versions of articles) as well as qualitative information about their journalistic style (we select subjects that matter and analyze world trends).

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal has a completely different approach here. When the reader clicks on the article, they are redirected to this very straightforward page: the backdrop, featuring bank notes from different currencies, is reminiscent of the newspapers’ identity (economic and financial news), and the only option the reader has is to view the different membership options. The cheapest one (1€ for 3 months) is highlighted before you even get to the offer page. The bright colors are an efficient way of inviting the reader to pass onto the next step, as well as the fact that they can read any of the article.

The Africa Report

The Africa Report has used a number of smart ways to get the reader to subscribe here. First off a catchy phrase at the top, which is also a play on words. Then, a paragraph advertising what the newspaper has to offer, i.e. quality writing from an award-winning team of journalists all over Africa. Finally, the subscription comes with a 30% discount, and again the subscription button comes in a bright color (yellow, as is very often the case). The backdrop is white, which really highlights the short, impactful text.

Mediacités

The editors of Médiacités also use bright colors and short, to the point sentences to get the reader to subscribe. It manages to convey its ideals (an independent, local media), its alluring offer (only 1€ for the first month), and what type of content you’ll get with the subscription (weekly investigations, to which the reader can participate), all within five short and clear bullet points.

Télérama

The Télérama paywall is another example, and probably the most striking one, of the use of a bright color (yellow, as usual) to entice the reader. The whole backdrop is yellow, the font is the one that’s used throughout their website, and there are three lines describing the perks that come with a subscription (all the premium content: articles, movie reviews, newsletters, a digital version of the newspaper / 300 VOD films per year / reduced prices for cultural events). At the bottom, the backdrop and font colors are switched, to keep the color coding but catch the reader’s eye.

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe uses a totally different style here. The paywall appears over the article, and has a striking, very personal message on it (special offer, just for you), informing the reader that they’ve been selected for a special offer costing only $1 for 6 months. There is nothing about what type of content you’ll get, or about the newspapers values or journalistic style. This, at the same time, aims to create a friendly relationship with the reader, while also remaining straight to the point.

The Financial Times

The Financial Times paywall is all about reminding you of their identity. The whole backdrop is in beige, their famous color, there are symbols such as the Wall Street bull and stock indexes to highlight the newspaper’s economic and financial identity, the font used throughout the website and paper version, and even the paragraph describing the premium content features financial lingo (leverage our market expertise / spot trends, risks and opportunities). Directly after that, the reader can see all the different subscription offers and select one. This paywall definitely embodies the FT culture : professional, to the point and reliable. Interested in finding out more about the Financial Times' paywall and subscription journey? Check out our other article from the blog here!

L’Équipe

The sports newspaper L’Équipe’s paywall appears after the text fades out, and is probably the plainest among this list. It uses the famous L’Équipe font, and it only informs the reader that the article is only available to subscribers, and that subscription offers start from 7,99€ per month. The user has to click on ‘’subscribe now’’ in order to see the different subscription offers, detailing what type of content each one will get you.

The New Yorker

10 Paywall Designs from Successful Publishers

The New Yorker paywall is completely different to all the previous ones. It is one very long page on which you can scroll down to see all the different steps you’ll need to take in order to subscribe. Above that there is an offer, again in yellow to catch the reader’s eye, featuring a discount and a free tote bag. Then all five steps: location, subscription offers, preferred payment method, address and final review. This way the reader will know straight away what information he’ll have to disclose, how long the process will take, etc.


As you can see, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” paywall, and each wall comes with its unique features, whether this be more or less text, images, payment in the wall, etc. This variety in design allows content producers to create a paywall that is the most suited to their target audience and convert their users into revenue by maximizing conversion rates.

Poool’s dynamic paywall solution allows you to personalize every element in the paywall in order to build a design that fits your strategies, audience, brand identity, etc. With our Dashboard, you’ll have complete control over your wall design (with CSS functionality as well as ready-made, but personalizable, models) and the facility to modify your wall design without the need for tech intervention.

Interested in trying our solution and Dashboard out for yourself? Book a free demo and meeting with our team!

To see more of our client case studies to see what's possible with Poool's wall solution, have a look at the 'Success Stories' section of our blog and the 'References' page of our website!