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The Google News Initiative works with publishers and journalists to fight misinformation, share resources, and build a diverse and innovative news ecosystem.
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Promote your subscription

Attract more subscribers on their first day

How can you attract more subscribers on their first day?

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Almost 40% of subscribers convert on their first day.

Today, most audiences are on their phones (65%) yet, while mobile users click on subscription pages at the same rate as desktop users (1.5%), only 20% of mobile users will actually subscribe - compared to 42% on desktop, according to research by Piano.

💡 Best practices:

  • Promote across your site, including mobile
  • Offer three subscription package options to make decisions easy
  • Highlight your best option and make it the default
  • Display options so they’re easy to compare

What information should a subscription page include?

  • Your mission
  • Options
  • Prices
  • Benefits
  • Length (annual, monthly, weekly)
  • Cancellation policy
  • Buttons to subscribe
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Promote across your site, including mobile

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News organizations might feel a little uncomfortable promoting themselves - after all, shouldn’t the journalism speak for itself?

But if your audience doesn’t know you have a subscription, they also don’t have an opportunity to support your journalism.

💡 Best practices:

  • Add a “Subscribe” button to an anchored navigation bar
  • Use "Join” or “Start" instead of “Subscribe” or “Sign Up” in your buttons
  • Add text promotions within articles, especially articles that have the most engagement or are the most popular with subscribers
  • If you have display ads, advertise with house ads
  • Customize marketing messages for specific audiences

💡 Best practices to share the impact of your news organization :

  • Share the impact that your reporting has in an annual report
  • Use a value proposition to highlight your news organization’s unique contributions
  • Add your mission or values to the top of the subscription page, so it’s clear what a subscription supports
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💡 Offer three options to make decisions easy

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It’s tempting to offer more options, because logically, you audiences have different needs.

But research has found that if a person is given fewer choices, they’re actually more likely to buy.

The researchers displayed 24 jams at a grocery store on one day, and 6 jams on another day.

In the 24 jam display, only 3% of shoppers bought jam - but at the six jam display, 30% bought jam.

It takes time and energy to understand and compare options - reducing the number of options can make it more likely that someone will subscribe

💡 Best practice: offer three options

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Highlight your best option

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Your best option is the option you want most of your subscribers to choose, like a digital subscription if you’re a print newspaper, or an annual subscription because you offer a cheaper monthly rate.

Regardless of which option is best, make your best option stand out from your other options.

💡 Best practices:

  • On mobile, anchor your best option as the first option on the top of the page, so it appears without scrolling
  • On mobile, only display benefits for your best option
  • On desktop, list your best option in the middle
  • On desktop, list the most expensive option first
  • Label the best option as “Most Popular” or “Reader’s Choice”
  • Use a different colored button, background, or animation to make the best option stand out
  • If you offer a discount, use “Claim” in your button
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Display options so they’re easy to compare

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💡 Best practices

  • Show images for each option
  • Use images that reference your mission or values
  • List six benefits or fewer
  • Highlight pricing and savings
  • Use bullet points or icons
  • Add a button for each option - and follow our button best practices
  • Add “cancel anytime” at the top, to your benefits, or under each option
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