Best Practices

How To Grow Subscriptions & Enhance Signed-In Experiences

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Photo by Denise Chan on Unsplash

Connect With Your Readers In A Way That Makes Sense For Them And Grow Revenue

As publishers ourselves, we understand the importance of signed-in experiences and subscriptions to enhance user experience and the customer journey. There are many ways to go about this, so you certainly have options if you’re thinking about it.

Paywalls are on the rise and subscriptions are projected to continue to grow beyond $900 billion in market revenue by 2027. If you don’t offer subscriptions already, you certainly have prospects among those visiting your website. The profile of a likely subscriber:

  • Reads 5+ articles per month
  • Reads multiple categories of content
  • Accesses your content across multiple devices
  • Subscribed to your newsletter or provided an email address
  • Follows your brand on social media

You can reward these loyal readers with free trials, coupon codes, subscription offerings, and more. You can also run audience-related experiments and testing based on data and analytics to build a best-in-class user experience.

Enter RebelMouse. We’re a next-generation CMS that can help you build a subscription experience designed for the modern user who wants an optimized site and the modern publisher who relies on paywall revenue to survive. We offer easy, customizable paywall models that include common subscription features like recurring billing and seamless user experiences, but also so much more. If you simply want to enhance the signed-in experience, which users can take advantage of at no charge, and don’t want paywall infrastructure, we can help with that too.

RebelMouse Offerings

We aim to fine-tune your tools and maximize your revenue through locked posts, premium content, and gated content.

We have a sophisticated suite of A/B testing and analytics for gated-content. Those will help you test what works and what doesn’t, and you can learn how to better cater to your readers’ interests. We also offer real-time data, which helps you make more informed decisions.

Let’s walk you through some current live implementations with our publishers.

Heatmap News

  • News media company focused on climate change
  • Pop-up appears requesting an account for more free content
  • gated content pop up requesting account for free content

  • Subscription page emphasizes “first-month free” trial option and a clear breakdown of what you get as a subscriber:
    • Unlimited access to content and analysis
    • Subscriber-only newsletters with need-to-know highlights
    • Tools and guides to help you make informed decisions
    • Early access to future events

Subscriptions page outlining benefits for HeatMap

La Verità

  • Italian newspaper with gated content on a per-user basis
    • Process payments through credit cards or PayPal - everything happens on site, no sending user to third party
    • Offers the most seamless experience for print and digital subscription

gated content subscriptions wall on La Verit\u00e0


  • World news site that partners with foreign-language media and writers to deliver the best international news in English
  • Subscription page highlights 30-day free trial and the benefits listed below of subscribing monthly or annually:
    • Ad-free experience
    • Exclusive international coverage
    • Access to Worldcrunch archives
    • Daily and weekly newsletters

Worldcrunch subscription page outlining benefits for subscribers

Market News

  • A leading provider of intelligence and real-time analysis that provides unique, actionable insights to traders and investors
  • Free trial is emphasized on homepage in top right spot

Free trial promotion on Market News home page

  • Free Trial button leads to a short form to collect name and email

Free trial form to subscribe for more content from Market News

  • Content is gated so only subscribers and free trial users can see it

Gated content experience on Market News

  • Cost of a subscription is hidden, starting users off with the free trial
  • Their “Terms of Use” notes that signing up for a free trial may lead to a sales representative contacting you

J.J. Keller

  • Safety and compliance expert - trusted source for DOT Transportation, OSHA Workplace Safety, Construction & Human Resources products and services
  • Sign-up form to create a free account

Sign-up form on J.J. Keller to create a new account

  • J.J. Keller Advantage Membership has a 7-day free trial option and this page outlines key benefits of becoming a member:

J.J. Keller membership page outlines key benefits

Brit + Co

  • Lifestyle and entertainment media website that educates and inspires women through diverse content and online classes
  • CTAs promoting online classes that you can subscribe to

Online classes promo on Brit+Co website

  • Annual membership option or monthly subscription:

membership selection menu on Brit+Co website

  • Digital newsroom covering Los Angeles’ startup and tech scene
  • Users can subscribe to the newsletter, spotlighted on the homepage Newsletter promotion

Investing News

  • Trusted news source for investing - stock market news, expert tips, and analysis of top-performing stocks
  • MyINN: signed-in experience

Investing News log-in page

Raw Story

  • An American progressive news website
  • Subscribe for $1 blue button at top of navigation

Raw Story blue button promoting Subscriptions on home page

  • Benefits clearly outlined on the Subscription page:
    • Trial starts at $1 per month and renews at $6.99 a month
    • Reduced ad experience for monthly or annual subscription
    • Totally ad-free experience for a higher price

Subscription page on Raw Story, a political website

IEEE Spectrum

  • Engineering magazine and technical membership organization
  • Subscribers have the ability to save stories, comment, download free PDFs, get personalized experiences, and see a custom topic feed

IEEE Membership si

Enhanced Signed-In Experience

In addition to subscriptions and paywalls, you may want to enhance the signed-in user experience. We highly recommend providing Google Sign-In as an option for a quick and easy way to log in. This gives readers a reason to sign in to your website. Use marketing (CTAs) to communicate the benefits of signing in, such as:

  • Premium content
  • Personalized content
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • Unified experience across devices
  • Access to polls or surveys
  • Ability to bookmark or save articles to read later
  • Social component (community)
  • Special flash sales for signed-in users
  • Easy check-out experience for shopping, if relevant

There are other benefits to growing your signed-in userbase. From a publisher standpoint, sign-ins lead to first-party data, the ability to target advertising, and the opportunity to tailor content to certain groups of people based on their interests.

Make sure you spend some time thinking about the design of the log-in experience to make it as seamless as possible.

Third-Party Integrations

To provide the best user experience possible, we integrate with third parties, ensuring the best-possible customer journey for subscriptions and signed-in accounts. We have many integrations live, including:

Increase Your Subscription Sign-Ups With RebelMouse

Supercharge your subscriptions campaigns with RebelMouse tools like custom content pages promoting benefits, calls to action, gated walls or locks, and other incentives that encourage your readers to take action. Build up the signed-in experience for every user of your website, whether they subscribe or not, and continue to enhance the customer journey. We’ll help you do it all to drive more conversions and deliver first-in-class experiences.

Whether you want to integrate with a third-party platform listed above, or another that isn’t listed, we’re happy to deliver the custom solutions you need for success.

Ready to explore next steps? Get in touch with one of our strategists and we’ll work with you to build the perfect subscription or signed-in experience for your site.

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