Whether a site has a paywall or not, every page created on a website should have value. It should make users want to remain on the page and engage with it.
However, when it comes to designing a website that will be behind a paywall, you need to think even harder about your content and how you can encourage people to sign up and put their hands in their pockets to pay for your content.
That means a careful design in which even the most minor details have a major impact. For those who aren’t design experts, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. There are dozens of great website builder tools around these days that can help you integrate everything into your website you need to ensure you get users buying into your site and unlocking your paywall.
So, how do you do it?
Think of the sites with paywalls these days and the common denominator is they will all contain strong, descriptive imagery. Users that aren’t subscribed can only see so much of your site so what they can see needs to be valuable and effective.
It’s a glimpse in what is on offer behind the paywall so it needs to really wow. Show something that truly reflects what is behind the paywall and make sure that what you use is simple enough to understand and the message gets across clearly.
Users aren’t going to buy into your site blind. They need to know what is going to be on offer to them if they do invest. A free trial is always a good option, but you need to entice users even into that.
Subscription plans should be clearly offered and within them, the entire lowdown should be given on what subscribers will receive.
What’s more, you should be transparent with your pricing. That means avoiding any hidden fees and clearly labelling how pricing and renewals work.
When it comes to selling anything online, you’re going to improve your chances of converting if your product has been recommended. Testimonials and social proof are vital to boosting your authority and proving that you do in fact carry value.
If people can see that other users have benefitted from your website and content, then they will be more inclined to subscribe themselves.
Including testimonials and even just short, bitesize quotes from users or prominent figures on your homepage will really stand out and add worth to your site.
Like in eCommerce where a huge percentage of items are left in carts, the same applies to behind-paywall sites. If you make the process of subscription longer than it needs to be then you’ll start to lose people.
The process needs to be as easy as can be. It needs to have big, bold CTAs to encourage people to sign-up and once they’re in the form, make life as easy as possible. For example, add sign-in with Facebook or Google options and offer a range of easy payment methods to get the sales over the line.
And then they’re in. All you’ve then got to do is prove your worth with the content behind the paywall that they’re consuming. And that’s a whole different ball game…