There's a lot at play when it comes to converting a user into a subscriber - engagement, enough added value, reassurance, a good UX, customer support... and this shouldn't be forgotten when it comes to the most important part of the funnel. Payment...

So, how can you build a successful subscription payment page?

  • Ease and simplicity
  • Reassurance & transparency
  • Minimal distractions
  • Increase retention
  • Make sure the reader converts
  • Offer options

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Ease and simplicity

  • Only ask for the most essential information (why do you need someone's postal address if their subscribing to a digital-only offer?)
  • A single subscription page for all payment info
  • Don't forget about a mobile-friendly version of this page (and all conversion steps for that matter)
  • Clicks over typing (i.e. how can you collect this data point without requiring much effort from the reader?)

Consider 'fold-away' sections of the page, such as only showing the form for one payment method at a time, just like The Telegraph:

successful subscription payment page
The Telegraph payment page

Reassurance & transparency

Building a trusting relationship is vital for high conversion and retention rates, and payment is a touchy step in the user's journey. The key is to not keep anything hidden - be very clear about what you'll take from their account, what this payment will give them access to and how often they'll have to pay.

  • If a user's subscription will renew automatically, make sure to tell them on this subscription page
  • If it's a free trial, explain why you're collecting payment
successful subscription payment page
The Times & Sunday Times payment page

Use bold text and icons to highlight key features that will reassure users:

  • Verified secure payment (include certification badges or logos)
  • "Cancel anytime" or "No commitment"
  • "Money-back guarantee" (a unique strategy employed by Babbel as an alternative to a free trial, filtering out the bargain hunters whilst reassuring users that they can change their mind within 20 days)
  • Links to contact customer support or discuss options on a live chat
successful subscription payment page
The Times & Sunday Times payment page

Add an 'Order summary' for full transparency, including the billing date, amount and recurrence:

successful subscription payment page
Babbel payment page

Minimal distractions

Keep things simple - no advertising, images or unnecessary text on your subscription page, the priority is to provide a smooth, engaging user experience that causes zero friction.

successful subscription payment page
El Mundo subscription payment page

Increase retention

Work on increasing retention rates before the user has even subscribed:

  • Test monthly vs annual payment to discover which proves the most valuable for high CLTV and retention, fore-fronting the winning option
  • Clear communication and transparency will naturally support retention rates as you start to develop a closer relationship with the user before they've even finished subscribing
  • Promote recurring payment options rather than relying on the subscriber to transfer the payment

Le Figaro offers a 10% discount to those who subscribe with the automatic payment method:

successful subscription payment page
Le Figaro subscription payment page

Make sure the reader converts

The ultimate goal of payment in the conversion funnel is, of course, that a user actually finalizes the process to become a subscriber.

  • Integrate a pop up if the user takes too long to check everything's ok
  • Make sure support options are within reach - e.g. with a chat bubble in the corner
  • Consider collecting email address as the first step in the conversion funnel to target an email campaign if the user abandons the process, a technique employed by Netflix
successful subscription payment page
Netflix conversion funnel: first step

Offer options on your subscription page

  • Multiple and reliable payment methods to choose from
  • Monthly or annual payment
  • Print + digital vs digital-only
successful subscription payment page
The Atlantic subscription payment page

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