Workflow #1: Setting up your free registration

An important step in generating new paid digital subscriptions is creating a free registration level that includes limited access to content. Set up a free registration level to start generating new sign-ups to capture email addresses. Send out your free newsletter with links to new content on your site to drive free subscribers back to your website.

What is a free registration level and why implement one?

A free subscription level (or free registration) builds your email list and allows a casual visitor to experience a little bit more of your content. Your paywall meter lets anyone view one or more articles without any interaction with your website but, after they hit your metered limit, they must register on your website in order to get additional access to your content.

Free-level Subscriber Benefits:

  1. Building your email list: Having that email address gives you a guaranteed way to follow up with your engaged readers, one that they volunteered for.
  2. Relationship building: Having that channel to reach them, gives you a chance to specifically target these casual readers with content and offers likely to appeal to them.
  3. Running out the meter: Sending newsletters to the free-level subscriber drives them back to the website where they read more articles to use up their access, prompting them to upgrade to paid access.
  4. Organic pestering: this cycle occurs naturally over time; as they repeatedly encounter your paid subscription message.
  5. Reduce friction: since they have already created a free account with you, their basic information is already pre-filled. The only step left when they decide to upgrade is entering payment info. Reduced friction makes them more likely to follow through on the purchase.

Extra tips:

  • This video will go over why setting a registration wall is critical to your paid subscription success. 
  • Here is a case study on using this approach to quickly build your email list.
In this article, you will learn how to:
  1. Setup a free registration wall.
  2. Create a welcome message.
  3. (Optional) Send Leaky Paywall subscriber data to other services.
  4. Send out your daily/weekly free newsletter to your free subscription level subscribers with links to your content.
  5. Setup an Upgrade message to motivate anyone registered to upgrade/pay for premium access.

Step 1: How to set up your free registration wall 

  1. Go to Leaky Paywall/Settings in your dashboard. 
  2. Click on the Subscriptions tab.
  3. Create a new subscription level with a price of $0 and it will generate the free level subscription.
  4. Set the Subscription length to Forever.
  5. Set your Access options to how many articles the free level should give access to each time period (time period = Restrictions tab > Limited Article Cookie Expiration)
  6. Under Leaky Paywall >> Settings make sure you update your Subscribe or Login Message (HTML accepted) to motivate your free registration


Step 2: Create a welcome email message

New subscribers will get a custom message from you. You can use HTML for a fancier email if you like.
  • Our Leaky Paywall - Per Level Emails add-on lets you send custom email notifications for each subscription level. A free registration level welcome email could promote your mission, popular content or social groups and your paid subscription

How to: Go to Leaky Paywall > Subscriptions and update the welcome email field located in each of your subscription levels.

Want to send fancy transactional emails? Set up Email Templates Send beautiful emails with the WordPress Email Templates plugin. This is great for your welcome and reminder emails

  • Make sure you set up a transactional email service to reliably deliver password resets and welcome emails from your website. Website servers are not designed to send email. Our paid plan includes setting up and hosting transactional email for you.
  • We also recommend you install the email log plugin which will show you every email that is sent via WordPress on your site, including Leaky Paywall new subscriber emails

Step 3: Send Leaky Paywall subscriber data to your newsletter service

Our Leaky Paywall - Mailchimp extension integrates Leaky Paywall with the popular email marketing platform Mailchimp.

The Mailchimp add-on will do the following:

  • Automatically add new subscribers to your desired Mailchimp lists.
  • Tag each new subscriber by the level of subscription (free, paid, etc).
  • Add opt-in Mailchimp Groups to your subscription levels.
  • Support a paid newsletter option by automatically removing the assigned tag for the subscription level when a payment cancels.

You can use also use our Leaky Paywall - Zapier extension to send data between over 5000 different apps without using code.

Here are just a few of the things you can do:

  • Send new subscriber data to a Google Spreadsheet
  • Create or update a subscriber when someone submits a Gravity Form
  • Automatically add new subscribers to your email marketing software or CRM

For more information:

  1. How to send subscribers to MailChimp
  2. Leaky Paywall - Zapier

Step 4: Send out your daily/weekly newsletter

Start sending!

Step 5: Upgrading free to paid subscribers

So, you’ve launched your free registration and you want to encourage newly registered users to upgrade. What are the next steps for converting these free users into paid subscribers?

Next steps:

1. Under Leaky Paywall >> Settings also make sure you update your  Upgrade Message (HTML accepted) to motivate anyone registered to upgrade/pay for premium access. This will trigger a logged-in free registered user after they have exhausted their free allotment of articles. 


2. Use our Conditional Display Notice to call out to your free subscribers. This quick to set up add-on creates a header notice of your website's pages that you can customize to motivate subscriptions, and donations, or to display messaging that targets your free subscribers. Encourage them to upgrade to pay for a premium subscription.


How to set up your header bar (Conditional Display Notice)

3. Our Ad-Dropper extension allows you to drop in your own promotional messaging in your article content (or in a sidebar widget). The best part is that Ad-Dropper allows you to hide promotions from paid subscribers. 


More information on setting up Ad Dropper

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