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The Engagement and Conversion KPIs to Follow for a Successful Reader Revenue Strategy.

Historically, most digital publishers were surviving off advertising revenue to monetize the production of their content. However, this model no longer provides a sustainable, reliable revenue stream…

  • Most of this ad monetization potential has been captured by monopolizing platforms such as Facebook and Google
  • More than 35% of readers use ad-blockers
  • Up to 80% of traffic is now on mobiles, putting added pressure on advertising inventories and revenue
  • Click through rate on ads is now at an average of 0.05%
  • Cookie consent rates are falling whilst third-party cookies are on their way out

To overcome this threat to revenue, publishers are moving over to a diversified monetization strategy, with subscriptions leading the way as the most popular, reliable and predictable revenue stream.

Switching from an ad-model to a subscription model is a significant change for media. It means moving away from the past few decades of analyzing digital performance based on impressions, audience size and visibility of articles to subscription strategies building relationships with users, studying their engagement and loyalty. The change also affects the organization as a whole, even up to the employee incentives which were often based on these volume indicators.

Unfortunately, as we’re all too familiar with, there’s no magic formula or perfect example to follow that can be used by all publishers to successfully develop a digital subscription model. It may be true that The New York Times paywall strategy allowed them to reach 50k online subscribers in just 2 years, but copying them may not bring about the same results. Each content producer has its own history, audience, brand, content and objectives meaning that strategies and models need to be unique to each publisher. Therefore, in order to manage your digital subscribers acquisition strategy, you’ll have to measure, understand and adjust your own recipe for success.

In concrete terms, what’s this guide for?

This guide results from our experience with more than 120 publishers who were faced with the same questions and issues as you. We therefore aim to provide you with the tools to manage your engagement and acquisition performance. You won’t find THE answer here, but key notions to measure, understand and manage relationships with your readers.

We’ll cover:

1. Content and value proposition

2. Visibility of the subscription offer

3. Engagement of users

4. Conversion funnel (engagement, subscription)

5. Stick rate and control of churn

Find the full white paper on the Poool blog!




The Audience Conversion Platform for digital content producers to increase their ARPU by turning users into consented leads, members and subscribers.

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Madeleine White

Madeleine White

Content Marketing Manager at Poool — turning your audience into leads, members and revenue!

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