If we expect readers to contribute to our work, we need to make it as easy as possible for them to pay.
That’s why Indiegraf’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Caitlin Havlak and UX/UI designer Anastasiya Razumyeyeva spent months researching ways to improve our publisher payment pages. Now they are in the process of upgrading Indiegraf’s subscription and management platform and improving the support page design. The upgrades enable several improvements:
- Improved user experience: design optimized for maximum conversion
- Improved subscription management: Easier to execute payments and manage subscriptions on the backend
- Improved analytics: powerful dashboard to track conversion, subscription growth and churn
- Improved integrations: powerful integrations with Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Stripe and Braintree
- Improved editorial features: new opportunities for untapped revenue, including e-commerce, gifting and exclusive content.
- Improved security: fraud prevention and more security measures
Indiegraf publishers IndigiNews, Shasta Scout and Cold Tea Collective are among the first Indiegraf sites to implement the new membership management improvements. All Indiegraf websites at the Pro Plus Tier will receive the same upgrades by the end of March.
Here’s a rundown of the new offerings and how publishers can leverage these new features to bring in more reader revenue.
In marketing-speak, barriers to payment are called “friction.” Even the slightest slow-down or cluttered text can cause someone to second-guess their decision to pay.
That’s why big players such as The New York Times have very minimalist payment pages. There’s little to no distraction and no way to navigate away from the action of payment.
Indiegraf’s payment page has also been simplified significantly, with a subtle footer and collapsible FAQs. It’s also modal-based, meaning it functions as a pop-up so readers don’t have to navigate away from content. For example, readers can click the “Support us” button mid-article and pay right on the page without leaving the story.
“The goal is to have as few distractions as possible,” Havlak says.
The new payment page also integrates with Apple and Google Pay. These services are almost entirely frictionless — it takes one action to pay. These payment integrations also boost security and enable use of additional payment tools. There’s also an option to login using Google or Facebook, speeding up the registration process significantly.
The new workflow is focused singularly on helping readers become supporters, according to Razumyeyeva. But it gives enough flexibility to add important context and emotional appeals.
That brings us to the next benefit: personalization. Publishers can easily tinker with all elements of the support page — from the description and header to background image. The new system also enables Indiegraf to A/B test different approaches, from messaging to design.
“Before the payment page was pretty static, it couldn’t change much,” Havlak says.
New landing pages can be replicated and customized for special campaigns and special promotions, including swag giveaways. Publishers can also add emotional appeals like reader testimonials and easily empower readers to offer a subscription or membership as a gift to a friend or loved one.
Exclusive content can also be placed behind a paywall for members-only access. Additionally, the support page adds a progress bar during revenue campaigns, unlocking another feature not previously available to Indiegraf publishers.
“If the publisher is running a campaign, they will have the option to display a progress bar, and change the message from the publisher to a campaign message,” says Razumyeyeva, who points out Indiegraf will also be testing whether this helps boost conversions. “The goal is that, when landing on this page during campaign times, the reader will know at a glance that a campaign is going on.”
A new analytics dashboard, powered by Pelcro, provides all the information and features required to manage subscriptions and better understand what motivates contributors.
With improved Mailchimp integration, Indiegraf publishers will have much more flexibility to update automated emails sent when someone becomes a supporter.
“This is really going to level up our segmentation abilities,” Razumyeyeva says.
New integrations with Google Analytics also make it easier to follow how readers navigate the site to become paying customers. With better insights into what channels — social, email, etc. — are most effective in driving reader revenue, publishers can strategically fine tune their marketing funnel.
“The analytics dashboard paired with Google Analytics will be a super powerful way to track conversions, subscription growth and churn,” Havlak says. “I’m really excited about having clear data on where people fall off in the payment flow and clear data on conversion rates.”
Subscribers and supporters can also easily update credit card information or add an address for receiving swag. And any registered reader has the ability to save stories to read later, further encouraging on-site registration.
Amid all these changes, the transition will be seamless for readers and supporters.