No big surprise, but metered paywalls work and have been working for a number of years now. It makes sense, give away a few free articles (that also happen to show up and rank well in Google search) and then ask the reader to pay to subscribe.
The New York Times has been a pioneer of the metered paywall and this year captured over 2 million paying subscribers (updated for 2018).
But the Boston Globe found out something else…
Don’t nag your readers
In fact serve up your free articles with no other sales pitch or warning. When the reader has read all their free articles and clicks on the next article, then let them know they need to pay to read more.
It turns out that warning readers of your impending paywall is interruptive and actually causes readers to leave.
Bottom line: Keep it simple… offer 1,2,3 or more articles for free and once the meter is used up, deliver them a single well crafted sales pitch.
If you are looking for ways to spice up your subscription offering check out this article.