Your followers are eager to support you!
Political sites using Piano convert unique views into paying subscribers at over double the rate of other paid content sites. Chances are, if you own a political site, but paid content or donations are not a part of your business model, you are missing out on huge financial support from your fans.
Political paid content models
Political content sites using Piano fall into one of three paid content strategies:
1) Voluntary support – earnestly asking users to contribute to the site with reminders and marketing campaigns
2) Metered paywall – allowing visitors on average 10-20 free page views per month, then restricting access afterwards
3) Hard paywall – pushing out marketing materials and teasers for premium content that requires payment before viewing
Your audience and type of content will help you to decide which paid content strategy to use, but in our experience, a hard paywall is the most lucrative. To make a hard paywall business work, you’ll have to create bespoke marketing materials and directly target your potential clients. This may seem like the most work of the three, but it often leads to the most revenue.
Metered paywalls and voluntary support allow you to have a larger reach, but depending on your audience and type of content, you may suffer from a free rider problem. Thats why we recommend combining ad revenue with these two models, and then using a feature such as Dynamics to remove those ads for your paying users.
Key success factors
The most successful politically oriented sites, ones with the highest conversion rates, often share the following characteristics:
1) A personal and transparent call to action from the founder
Users care about the site they’re supporting, and want to know that their money will impact the continued health of the site. Sites where the solicitations to subscribe come from the primary voice outperform ones that are more generic. Moreover, users being presented with direct communications frequently from that primary personality are less likely to cancel their recurring subscriptions.
2) Multiple price options
The number of offers, such offering monthly subscriptions, yearly subscriptions, and day passes, has a direct impact on conversion rates.
Not only does allowing users to pay extra on top of a pre-set suggested minimum help bring in more money (Andrew Sullivan’s “The Dish” used this feature of Piano to bring in over $180,000 in additional revenue in 2013) — having the option to type in their own price actually results in more users completing a purchase as well.
We believe that the dramatic results of early paid content experiments will be impossible to ignore and will lead to more voices from traditional media outlets setting out on their own. Many Piano-powered sites are already generating seven-figure numbers per year in revenue; we believe that rather than just serving as a soap box, these sites will mature into healthy businesses and become an enduring part of the media landscape. And more voices with more sustainable business models is, of course, a benefit to everyone.
For more information about getting started using Piano, check out our Publisher documentation.