|How do people react to Subscriptions?|
I remember seing a thread started by RC i think, and it quoted some numbers about subscription models on the web, can't find it now though.
But how do people react to subscriptions on the web, what are they willing to pay for, where is it better to choose a 1 time of fee?
So just feel free to fill it up with your own experiences, problems and what did you sell for the subscription fee (Is it alright if we just mention which industry like travel etc, and throw the "widgets" for this one? (moderator/admin?))
Badly b4 but now it is easier to make people pay for content.
CNET's GameSpot.com changed to subscription model a few months back, charging $4.95 per month for the membership. Originally, non-members had no reason to visit GameSpot as nothing was really accessible. No game reviews, no downloads, no forum access.
Now they have changed a little - probably after their number of hits to a real HIT.
Now NEW game previews/reviews are accesible to even non-members. However, old game reviews, downloads etc still need member access.
Obviously, they did some experimenting and found that making a website completely subscription based may not be wise. A little bit of free content plus little bit of paid content is what one should go for.
The canonical example of a subscription system that has worked is LiveJournal. Since the inception of its sub system they've been able to drop all ads and buy hardware at a breakneck pace, austensibly because people are willing to pay for something they see as quality.
An example of a Sub system that has been rocky is that of Slashdot.org; even now, a year after the system was announced, Rob Malda (the proprieter) still gets batches of flame mail about it.
In designing the forthcomming subscription system for my site I kept these two in mind, along with some other truisms I've culled along the way:
* People will pay for a site they feel a personal bond with; if they can personally relate to a site and it's culture they freed up to pay for it.
* People like to see evidence that what they pay is being used "well". Again with the personal bond, they like to know what's happening in the sameway a shareholder likes to know the companies' business.
* People want *something* from being a contributor. They need the extra features and a gold star by their name.
* Corallary to above: people get offended when social favouritism is shown to those who pay. Subscription status should never affect how the person it treated in the community by managment. Rules need to be set and kept.
I charge a subscription for theuse of my site, but it's a 3 year signup. The customers didn't want to pay monthly, thought annually was too much like buying endless upgrades.
They are very comfortable with the 3 year signup.
Have as many payment options open and available as possible.
You should be doing the work, not the subscriber, so find out how the subscriber can pay you directly - Do not ask them to do this and that (such as a paypal scheme) and then this and that again.
The less you ask of the client the better.