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💌 Poool’s May 22 Newsletter 💌

Are subscription models doomed, insights into conversion rate benchmarks, the value of newsletters and a lot more from our May newsletter.

Originally sent on May 5th, 2022. Receive our next B2B newsletter by subscribing here.

Another month, another Poool newsletter, and boy do we have some valuable content lined up for you today!

In this month’s newsletter: Benchmarking conversion rates, a look into whether subscription models are doomed after the news from Netflix, Quartz & CNN+, insights on consent rates for digital publishers, Poool’s (free!) Subscription Masterclass and a top tip from our Consultancy Lead, Anthony 😍

🤓 Tip of the month: Don’t underestimate the power of newsletters 🤓

Newsletters have made a comeback in recent years, and their value in your reader revenue strategy really shouldn’t be underestimated!

Form habits in your readers’ lives, increase engagement and ultimately lead them towards subscribing in the future…

How do you make the most of newsletters in your strategy?

One of the simplest and most effective techniques is to employ a Data or Registration Wall as a soft conversion step prior to the paywall, something that many clients do to increase propensity to subscribe before even launching a premium strategy.

How can you make this Newsletter Wall strategy a success?

  • Consider consolidating account creation with newsletter subscription — this deepens a user’s engagement level and helps to form a content consumption habit in their life to ensure they come back to your site on a frequent, regular basis. One of the best ways bays to do this is during your onboarding process for new members
  • It’s crucial to have a strong value proposition for both account creation and newsletter sign up — think of it exactly as you would for subscription. What are the benefits for the user? What pain points are you solving?
  • Give your readers a choice — let them choose which newsletter they sign up to, how often they receive it, etc. The more adapted and refined the newsletter editorial offer, the better! It’ll help show the value of your content
  • Work on increasing the visibility of your newsletter (such as on the homepage, inside content, etc) and create a dedicated hub for the different newsletters and their individual, more comprehensive value proposition

And don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team (support@poool.tech) for more personalized advice!

All the best,

Anthony, Consulting Lead at Poool

🤿 Deep dive: Benchmarking conversion rates 🤿

It’s clear that industry benchmarks are hugely valuable for comparing other publisher’s strategy and results to your own.

However, you have to take them with a pinch of salt…

(Salt Bae demonstrating my point perfectly)

Let’s take an example — below we have data of user-to-subscriber conversion rates from two digital publishers, comparing audiences based on their engagement level:

Whilst Publisher A’s conversion rates for anonymous users (i.e. non-members) are between 1.4% and 1.8%, Publisher B’s lie between 0.0006% and 0.0345%. Although this data is only taken from 2 publishers, it demonstrates the huge variation amongst publishers when it comes to statistics such as conversion rates. Benchmarking in this area is therefore fairly pointless.

Side note: this variation is due to a whole host of reasons, including differing target market, audience size, when they launched their subscription strategy, etc.

However, what these benchmarks DO tell us is that both publishers’ conversion rates were higher amongst registered members (those who had created a free account on the website) compared to anonymous users (Volatiles, Occasionals, Regulars & Fans). This provides you with some understanding of what makes a user have a higher propensity to subscribe, something that can be put to use in improving your own conversion rates.

Takeaway: Benchmarking is incredibly useful, but you have to look at it from the right angle in order for it to be truly insightful for informing your strategy

🗞️ Industry news and insights 🗞️

😱 “Subscriptions are doomed” 😱

Netflix lost subscribers for the first time in over 10 years…

CNN+ streaming service is shutting down just weeks after launching…

Quartz is moving away from paywalls to newsletter-only subscription…

At first glance, it’s not been a great month for subscription businesses! But why should these news stories be seen as lessons rather than a sign of doom for digital publishers employing (or wanting to employ) subscription models?

Although it’s certainly a difficult model to launch (and an increasingly competitive market), the main challenge actually lies in the quality and nature of subscription products rather than the model more generally.

In reality, paywall and subscription strategies continue to work well and provide sustainable business growth for publishers who have worked hard on their value propositions, developed audience engagement, taken time to understand their readers and adapt their strategy based on audience segments.

To discover more about what’s needed for a successful subscription strategy, sign up to our free masterclass — 6 weeks of emails full of top tips, benchmarks, best practices and more to ensure you set yourself up for success!

💡 Insight of the month: Consent rates are falling 💡

If you tuned in to our webinar with Opti digital last week (summary in French here), you’ll have seen the fairly shocking data shared about falling content rates online over the last year. This is particularly the case in France, where the CNIL tightened data privacy restrictions in April last year, but much of Europe and the US are set to follow suit, presenting a huge challenge for digital publishers.

What does this data mean?

  • Fewer analytic capabilities
  • Significantly decreased advertising revenue
  • And then add Google’s end to third-party cookies by 2023…

What can be done to overcome this challenge?

  • Firstly, understand the structure of your audience (i.e. consenting vs non-consenting, as well as anonymous vs logged)
  • Define adapted monetization strategies for your various types of audiences
  • Complement your CMP with a Cookie Wall with Alternative to inform your audience and increase consent rates
  • Collect first-party data through registration to prepare for the cookieless future and increase ad revenue
  • Diversify your revenue stream (no more dependency on advertising!)

👀 Worth checking out 👀

Bypassing paywalls: The need-to-know for digital publishers… is bypassing really as bad as it seems? What other important factors do you need to consider?

📈 Chartbeat shares data trends on traffic, engagement and loyalty from 2019–2021

📱 An interesting data study looking at engagement on mobile vs desktop including best practices to improve engagement on both devices

🧑‍💻 Twipe on why de-anonymization can give publishers an advantage in a first-party data world

🧑‍🎓 The Return of The Subscription Masterclass 🧑‍🎓

It’s back and better than ever before!

6 weeks of emails filled with benchmarks, best practices, industry insights and consultancy top tips to get your ARPU soaring 🚀

What’s included?

Week 1: Benchmarking paywall strategies, plus insight into how AlterEco’s paywall increased their conversion rates by 40%

Week 2: Qualify your audience by increasing engagement, with Anthony’s top tip on maximizing the value of newsletters

Week 3: The need-to-know before you launch, including how to balance frustration and engagement, plus the low-down on paywall blocking methods with Maxime

Week 4: Launch! The 14 steps to launch, try out our platform and how to continuously optimize conversion rates with Marion’s strategy

Week 5: Tracking the right KPIs is now super simple with our KPI playbook and Ludivine’s recommendation of the most essential KPI to track

Week 6: Optimizing conversion rates through testing with a top tip from Flore on what you need to know before launching a test

Caught your attention?

Sign up here for FREE and you’ll receive your first email next week!

Enjoy the warmer days of May and we’ll see you next month!

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