Following on from our “success story” column, we focused on the experience of French weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD), user of our dynamic paywall solution Poool Access since February 2020. Through the interview of Product Owner Jimmy Temporao and CRM manager Lamine Tazibt at Lagardère, we wanted to know how the use of our paywall enabled them to make better business decisions and to increase their number of subscribers.

A major issue:

At the start of 2020, le Journal du Dimanche launched its digital subscription offer. Before this launch, the business model of the publication was largely based on advertising. But not only! The options of buying individual premium articles without the need to subscribe, as well as unlocking premium articles for print subscribers, were also generating revenue for le Journal du Dimanche.

The concern of Le Journal du Dimanche was twofold: How is it possible to make readers aware of the digital subscription offer and turn them into subscribers without impacting engagement and advertising-based revenue?

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A solution designed step by step:

Not knowing exactly what would work better to reach their aim, the team of Le Journal du Dimanche opted for our solution Poool Access which grants flexibility in managing the digital paywall and premium strategy.

Poool Access was a means for them to maximise chances of success of their “premium” project while minimising its risks. This, because the product and marketing team have direct control over the solution and can therefore perform changes quickly and easily if needed.

The team adjusted their strategy easily over time:

1 - The first step was to start with simple paywall scenarios (via a required subscription) in order to get a first feedback on readers’ behaviours.

2 - Then, the team wanted to A/B test different offers and subscription prices including a free offer. The aim was to measure whether the price of the offer had a real impact on conversion;


3 - Finally, they headed for a dynamic journey according to the reader’s profile and behaviour. Their aim was to increase the number of digital subscriptions while reaching short-term objectives such as engagement, lead generation and transformation.

One of the tests involved email collection in exchange for access to an article. This test occured when the audience was not yet ready to subscribe.

Rather encouraging results!

  • The paywall is now the first channel generating digital subscription for Le Journal du Dimanche;
  • The team of Le Journal du Dimanche has better knowledge of its readers thanks to different segments and tests implemented in the last months;
  • The paywall also enabled them to go over 100 000 subscribers to the newsletter.

Though the paywall strategy played a major role for this success, other elements also came into play:

  • The offers and the simplicity of the subscription journey;
  • The quality of content and the match between value proposition and readers’ expectations;
  • But also external elements such as lockdown which weighed in: readers were more likely to read articles and subscribe, because they had more time.

NB: Throughout the different tests, le JDD noticed that readers who gave their email addresses were more likely to eventually subscribe than anonymous readers. The aim of the team was therefore to collect as many email addresses as possible in order to maximize their number of subscribers.

And what do you think of Poool Access?

As in each of our Success Stories, it is primordial for us to know both the positive and improvement aspects of our dynamic paywall solution Poool Access.

Lamine and Jimmy were won over by several aspects:

  • Increase of engagement;
  • Simplicity;
  • Intuitive aspect of the product;
  • The ability of the product to run several journey types.

What about improvement?

The simplicity of implementation of A/B tests is a real plus. But, according to le JDD team, the analysis of A/B test results could be made easier by directly displaying the winning version of the test.

We are thanking Lamine and Jimmy for their feedback which was taken into account by our team and which enables us to better ourselves a little more each day.