In part 2 we uncovered and discussed the biggest lessons we learned during our first year working with publishers and content creators. Needless to say, there were lots of great takeaways, but we had to understand how to address those lessons. After several different attempts to address those concerns with facts and think pieces we decided to change course. Finding limited success in those previous approaches we decided to place focus on improving the user experience (UX).
Having recently introduced our newly designed embedded paywall, we eagerly started the process all over again. Throughout the first design, we learned not only about the product + process, but all the unique opportunities we had to improve them both. Armed with the knowledge of the past year we made substantial changes with the goal of developing a smart and seamless UX. The thought was simple, even the best content will fail to catch interest if the process to access it is cumbersome and frustrating. Make it easy for the customer and it will be profitable for the content creator. We also are fully aware that this is an ongoing process. The iMoneza team is committed to continually improving our products.
It was at this moment we realized that we are much more than a paywall technology provider. We provide a solution that helps content creators tell their story and encourage readers to consume their content in a way that works for them. This is important because each customer, though accessing similar content, might prefer one approach over another. In fact, according a Google Consumer Survey that we conducted, 23% of people who have or would buy content online prefer a single piece versus a 33% who prefer a subscription. Even more interesting, the remaining 44% said they were “unsure”. This means that until they are able to see the options available, making a decision would be impossible. Therefore, ensuring a variety of options gives the best opportunity to have positive engagement with their customers. If you only offer a subscription, you could be leaving as much as 67% of your visitors behind.
The concept of UX is much more than simply the buttons a user might click, or the message they receive. All of these elements together are what create a cohesive, comprehensive user experience. Placing the paywall right on the page versus using a modal or pop-up element was the first step towards creating this experience. A visitor can access paid content, or not, and still be able to navigate around the page, giving the opportunity to visit other content + views ads. Now that the interaction was no longer an “obtrusive, in-your-face” approach, we closely examined the user flow. In order to purchase paid content for the first time, a customer must create an account, attach a credit card to that account and, lastly, place funds into that account to complete the purchase. While these steps seem straightforward, it was of dire importance that at each step we clearly communicate what is happening and what will happen next. Offering a roadmap along the journey reinforces the customer with the feeling that they are on the right track.
A commitment to UX ensures that a quality user experience is always placed ahead of immediate profits. As I mentioned earlier, it’s safe to assume that without one, you can’t have the other. As more and more users turn to their devices, the concept of UX will only gain more traction as an effective engagement tool.