In an industry where there’s no sign of peak subscription, digital publishers are looking for trusted partners to support them in successfully converting readers into registered members and engaging subscribers. But with so many players on the market and the complications of managing and connecting multiple partners, there’s a strength in working numbers.
The expertise: Mather Economics helps develop and implement fact-based strategies with clients, implementing these strategies with analytics-as-a-service leveraging years of experience working directly with publishers.
The intelligence: Sophi.io provides AI-powered automation, optimization and prediction platform that enables publishers and media companies worldwide to drive business transformation and subscriber optimization.
The tools: Poool is The Membership & Subscription Suite built for growing consumer revenue through targeted conversion strategies, rapid testing and continuous optimization.
The end of one-size-fits-all conversion models
Unlike the traditional, one-size-fits-all, spray-and-pray model, a dynamic paywall is one that adapts to the reader’s profile or context. Specifically, there isn’t just one paywall presented to all visitors to the site. Instead, the publisher segments their audience to develop and test different paywall designs, messaging and subscription offers for different audiences.
In terms of performance, this type of paywall is widely recognized as the optimal model for not only increasing conversion rates but maximizing ARPU of each individual reader based on their propensity to subscribe, a key challenge for publishers in 2024 given the decline in print.
The intelligent conversion model
By putting Sophi’s intelligent AI-powered automation to work, publishers can push Poool’s conversion actions to the right users at the right moment and in the right way to boost conversion rates and ROI.
Arguably one of the most valuable dynamic strategies is segmenting articles and audiences based on conversion potential, a key signal as to whether a reader is likely to subscribe or not. Thanks to this partnership, the guess work is left behind in favor of AI intelligence.
#1 - Dynamically open or close access to an article depending on its conversion potential.
In a freemium strategy, content is divided into free (open to all readers) and premium (blocked by a paywall). But the decision on which articles to leave open is often left to the editors’ best guesses about which articles will drive subscriptions, and which will generate page views for advertising revenue and audience engagement.
But thanks to Sophi’s natural language processing technology, every article can be analyzed as it’s published to predict whether it will generate more ad or subscription revenue, putting this information to use in the Poool Dashboard to recommend to editors which articles should be locked or unlocked.
Above, leaving an article open (left) VS putting an article behind a wall with Poool (right) based on Sophi.io propensity to convert scoring (based on article)
#2 - Dynamically adapt the type of wall and messaging presented to users based on their propensity to subscribe
A one-size-fits-all model assumes that all readers are the same, but of course this isn’t the case. Most users visit only once a month, they remain anonymous and often decline cookies.
And whilst we can find plenty of examples of each paywall model being employed successfully by a digital publisher, the optimal model involves putting audiences first. By focusing more on who the visitor to your site is and how engaged they are in your content, you can provide them with a user experience that is most likely to convert this individual user into a subscriber.
Thanks to this technology partnership, Sophi can measure a reader’s propensity score, feeding this information into Poool’s platform to push the optimal user journey to each reader.
For example, data has proven that registered members are up to 40x more likely to subscribe than anonymous users. We can therefore consider a model where audiences with a lower propensity score are presented with a registration wall on their first visit to increase engagement and likelihood to convert, whilst those with a higher propensity score (or existing registered members) can be presented with a paywall.
A registration wall for free 24H access (left) VS showing a paywall (right) based on Sophi’s propensity to convert scoring
#3 - Dynamically exposing each user to an adapted subscription offer and price according to their propensity to pay
“Pricing is the fastest and most effective way for media businesses to increase profits,” says INMA Researcher-in-Residence, Greg Piechota.
But whilst one reader, who is highly engaged and makes use of all parts of your product (content, games, newsletters, etc) is likely to be attracted to your high priced, bundle offer, another reader might only convert with a one-month free trial.
We can therefore consider dynamic subscription offers and “price elasticity” to apply the best price point to a customer’s profile, leading to significant increases in ARPU and retention rates, positively impacting Lifetime Value (LTV).
Two variations of the same paywall, presenting the optimal subscription offer and pricing with Poool platform (right) based on Sophi.io intelligent pricing scoring
“Our partnership with Poool is an exciting step forward in supporting publishers in the digital era. Combining Mather's data-driven strategies, powered by Sophi's AI capabilities, and Poool's cutting-edge paywall tools, we're entering a new phase of intelligent conversion.
Together, we're leaving behind rigid approaches and embracing dynamic strategies tailored to each reader, enhancing conversion rates, and maximizing reader value. This partnership signifies a move from guesswork to AI-driven insights creating great revenue opportunities for publishers.”
– Liesbeth Nizet, Managing Director Mather Economics Europe
To get this partnership off to a strong start, we’re also running a webinar on November 22nd: Evaluating & optimizing the success of your paywall model
How many articles should you offer for free before the paywall? What's the optimal paywall hit rate to increase conversion rates? Does a dynamic paywall really increase CRs? What about the paywall itself - how can you increase CTR on the wall?...
Bringing together benchmark data and expertise from Mather Economics and Poool, this webinar seeks to answer these questions, providing fact-based strategies on how to evaluate and optimize your paywall to succeed in your digital subscription model.
Poool provides digital publishers with the tools, expertise and inspiration needed to succeed in their membership and subscription strategies. Thanks to our Membership & Subscription Suite, publishers have the tools built for growing consumer revenue through targeted conversion strategies, rapid testing and continuous optimization.
Mather is a global leader in providing technology, analytics and advisory services to enable publishers to monetize content and grow subscriber revenue. Our Sophi platform uses industry-leading AI technology and automation to monetize content more effectively and efficiently, driving both revenue growth and cost savings. Our value proposition enables fast, economical, and verifiable return on investment through our efficient application of predictive analytics, technology, A/B testing, and data science.