Growing paid subscriptions with a compelling subscription page

Your paywall needs to convert

Your subscription page is the final turning point your readers reach before they become subscribers. Such a crucial touchpoint should be carefully designed to ease them across the border. 

But with most of your energy focused on producing the amazing content that got them to the subscription page, the thought of one last hurdle for you to leap can be daunting. 

Fortunately, there are always good examples out there to follow. 

Take, for example, The Texan

A well-designed path to subscriptions

The Texan is an independent political news organization serving, you guessed it, the state of Texas. They pride themselves on being entirely subscription-funded — no advertisers or heavyweight donors to potentially influence their reporting. 

Which, of course, means that they are paying a lot of attention to their subscription funnel. They have a clever way of using ad techniques to promote their subscriptions in the newsfeed itself. And they’ve really paid attention every step of the way.

The result is a brilliant example of a subscription page

Here are a few things to notice:

Simple, clean, narrow focus

When you land on the subscription page, the first look you get tells you the basics. Above the fold, you have the Texan’s mission, the subscription options, and the prices. 

Rule of three

It’s a weird bit of science, but the human brain likes the number three. Three feels complete, well-rounded to us. Less than three and we feel cheated. More than three and we get overwhelmed. The Texan has created three subscription levels and that puts the human brain at ease. 

Bullet points

Another truth: bullet points sell. By creating a handful of bullet points for each card, the Texan is laying out all the benefits of each subscription level without drowning readers in text. 

Pricing

The differences are clear and clearly spelled out, with the options of billing monthly versus annually. The button for the monthly access offers the first month free. So, even without creating another subscription level to disrupt their triune balance, they’ve managed to offer a free month trial. 

Member level

Their third level is, essentially, a donation level. The card is well-laid out, with the additional benefits and multiple buttons on one card for suggested donations, simplifying the decision-making process. They also offer the ‘Name Your Price’ option. 

More options

Scrolling past the subscription cards offers the curious reader a few more options: a bold banner ad for a free hat with the annual subscription and the offer of bundle subscriptions for organizations and gift subscriptions for those who want to share the wealth. 

More information

Scrolling even further down — provided anyone keeps looking — answers any remaining questions. The Texan reminds readers of how their contributions will support the Texan’s missions. And it offers a few FAQs on subscriptions generally and on the ethics of becoming a Patriot-level donor to an organization that eschews donations. 

Put it all together and it’s an exemplar of how a subscription page, and especially subscription cards, should be. 

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