Originally sent on Wednesday, September 7th. Sign up to our Ex-Newsletter here.

The bell’s ringing, uniforms are ironed, shoes polished, it’s back to school time!

“La rentrée” in French - literally, The Return. Sounds a bit ominous doesn’t it. But not on our watch! September’s ex-newsletter will make sure you ‘rentrée’ back on the right foot!

On the menu:

  • Visibility rate - the forgotten metric to increase conversion rates
  • Onboarding inspiration to avoid churn
  • Subscription offers in the paywall - worth doing? (hint: yes!)
  • Content recommendations for the month
  • Where in the world are Poool? Upcoming events that we’re attending

Visibility of premium content, the first step to increasing conversions

As presented in our white paper, increasing conversions involves a lot more than the paywall alone - in fact, incremental improvements throughout the engagement funnel prior to the wall will significantly improve your overall user-to-subscriber conversion rates.

The first step to optimize is the percentage of users exposed to the paywall. I.e. the % of overall traffic that visits your premium content.


How do you increase this metric?

Despite assumptions, this isn’t necessarily about increasing the amount of premium content produced, but more about increasing premium content visibility.

  • Forefronting paid content on your homepage
  • Recommending it to users on the side of articles
  • Featuring this content in your newsletter and on social
  • Making sure premium content is given a unique label

Why is this important?

Increasing premium content visibility helps users visualize what subscription means and why they should convert, ultimately increase the perceived value of your content

And this has a real impact on your revenue - Poool research found a direct correlation between the % of traffic on paid content and the user-to-subscriber conversion rate. However, the limit of this correlation rests at 40%. We’d therefore recommend aiming for between 10-40% visibility of premium content, with the benchmark average resting at around 35%.


Onboarding inspiration to avoid churn


“You only get one chance to make a good first impression.”

  • Start with a welcome (and thank you)
  • Educate (what does your brand stand for, what’s on offer to subscribers, how can they navigate your site?)
  • Make it fun and personalized (interaction, from an actual person to another person, making use of any data points that you’ve already collected)
  • Don’t overwhelm (too many messages can disengage a subscriber, so don’t go overboard, keep messages valuable and spread them out over a few weeks)
  • Ask for preferences (let subscribers shape their account space from day 1)
  • Increase engagement (encourage newsletter sign up, app download, etc.)
  • Test and test again

Finally, don’t forget to onboard newly registered free users just as you would paying subscribers this will prove hugely beneficial for subscription conversions.


Where in the world is Poool?


With "back to work" being in full swing, events are back and Poool aren't planning on missing out!

🇩🇪 DMEXCO Digital Marketing Conference, Cologne (Sept. 21-22nd) - I'll be manning the Poool stand with my colleague Guillaume! Come say hi if you're attending already, or drop me a message if you're interested in joining us.

🇪🇸 World News Media Congress by WAN-IFRA, Zaragoza (Sept. 28-30th) - Marion, Poool's CMO and I are to Spain to hear from a variety of expert speakers on the future of news media, and we'd love to see you there!

🇫🇷 La Presse au Futur, Paris (Dec. 6 + 7th) - home turf for Poool where Marion will take to the stage to share reader revenue insights! This is a brilliant content-focussed event that we attend yearly, so please get in touch if you'd like to hear more or arrange to meet up:)


Subscription offers in the paywall - a good idea?



What? Reduce a step in the conversion funnel by integrating subscription offers, payment or form fields into the paywall.

Why? Fewer clicks + fewer steps = easier for users to convert, plus (in the case of including offers on the paywall) it increases the visibility of your premium model and the value that this brings to subscribers.

Beneficial? Yes! After testing this wall on one of their brands, the results were clear:  click-through rates increased by 97% and conversion rates by 37%, leading to the French regional news group deploying this offer wall across all 9 of their brands.

Best practice: Don’t forget about designing a mobile-friendly version of your wall to ensure an engaging user experience on smaller devices. EBRA, for instance, only includes their “Premium” offer on mobile devices.


Content recommendations for this month


How the NYT uses machine learning to make its paywall smarter, Data scientist at The Times goes into detail on Medium.

Bundling ideas for news publishers from The Fix.

Does headline testing lose value over time? Chartbeat data behind its lasting impact on engagement

The checklist on how to reduce the risks of a paywall on SEO


A final note

I genuinely love putting this newsletter together for you, and I hope the new format (sharing insights over news) is proving valuable to your work!

What I’d love even more is to hear back from you - tell me your thoughts on topics covered, share your own insights, tell me about a challenge you’re facing (let’s see if I can find the solution!) or simply let me know whether you enjoy reading this email each month. Any message would be highly appreciated :)

Just send me an email at madeleine@poool.tech

I look forward to hearing from you,
Best, Madeleine