Challenges is a successful French-language print and digital magazine offering articles on economy, business, politics and world affairs.

For years, they’ve offered their audience almost-free access to their digital content. So, when they decided to dive into the world of paywalls and subscription strategies, the publisher was in need of a trustworthy partner and solution to support them in this transition.

The flexibility and potential of Poool’s product, as well as the knowledge that our team would be there to support them in their journey, is what convinced them to choose us!

We were very excited help them get their subscription strategy on the road and support them in its development.

Challenges Success Story

Taking the challenge with prudence and humility, the publisher chose to focus on collecting data and gaining an understanding of their audience. The goal was to become aware of the relationship between its readers and premium content in order to inform their strategy and decision-making in the future.

We got to work putting a plan in place, ensuring that they could achieve this goal without negatively influencing engagement or audience size.

Mission “free-to-premium” had begun!

Challenges first concern was designing a brand new ‘premium experience’ for their readers without losing the progress already completed by the publisher on their audience, search optimization and pageviews generated by users.

As part of the transition to premium, the emphasis was placed on pedagogy. We wanted to ensure that readers wouldn’t be frustrated by the wall but instead left to discover subscription gradually thanks to a journey of compensation choices.

The decision was made to:

👉 Collect data from their audience to truly understand what the interests and need of each user segment were

One way of achieving this was through survey walls placed within the user journey. A reader would be presented with the survey and informed that responding to it would grant them access to more content for free. This therefore has the dual benefit of collecting data about Challenge’s readers to inform their strategy as well as increasing engagement in content.

Challenges Success Story

Creating surveys is very simple thanks to the Poool Dashboard. Your marketing teams are able to design every aspect, including questions and responses, before integrating the survey within any desired user journey. This also means that you can present different surveys to users based on the segments that you’ve created in the Dashboard!

👉 Segment their audience based on engagement level and create adapted journeys for each grouping - volatile users, occasionals, regulars and fans.

The benefit of Poool’s solution is that they can configure and launch journeys with ease, altering and deactivating in minutes. This has allowed Challenges to A/B test scenarios within each user segment, run short-term campaigns (such as during Covid-19) and integrate various types of walls into user journeys.

For example, the publisher created a journey for volatile users that aims to engage them gradually through offering value exchanges in the form of walls. A reader can access content in exchange for watching an ad, registering to the newsletter and, at the end of the journey, paying to subscribe.

Challenges Success Story
Challenges Success Story

Conversely, fans, who represent their most loyal readers who hadn’t yet subscribed, were presented with a shorter journey that allowed for fewer articles to be accessed for free. This meant that these readers with a higher propensity to subscribe were more strongly encouraged to do so.

Challenges Success Story

Segmenting their audience has therefore proved hugely valuable for Challenges. Finding the balance between engagement and frustration is tough (we know!) but it’s a lot easier when users can be presented with an experience that is adapted to their engagement level.

Thanks to Poool’s solution and Challenges' team’s hard work, the publisher now understands their audience with a lot greater depth and has been able to build a growing subscriber base from these insights.

Facing the big challenge of transitioning from free to premium, results were quickly positive.

👉 Thousands of leads generated in just 3 months

👉 Tens of thousands of answers to business questions in 6 months

👉 A greater understanding of their audience

👉 Hundreds of digital subscribers in a very short space of time

👉 Improved experience for their users thanks to adapted journeys

We’ve been working with Poool for quite a few years now and they’ve truly become close partners of ours in our quest to turn readers into subscribers.

The team at Poool has always been very reactive to any queries that we’ve had as well as helping our new employees to get to grips with the dashboard.

Clémence Baudouin, Head of digital projects, @Challenges

Our collaboration with Challenges has been such a pleasure for the teams at both companies, developing into a strong relationship that’s lasted a long time.

At Poool, we’ve loved seeing and supporting Challenges in their transition from a free to thriving premium strategy!

Interested in doing something similar and taking control of your subscription and registration strategies to increase revenue? Book a demo with the team!