During the initial trial period of paid subscription plans, or for marketing purposes, it's common to test out different price points. Eventually, the appropriate pricing strategy will emerge, and publishers will be faced with a multitude of subscribers across myriad plans. When it's time for renewal, especially around annual plans, it's often a good idea to standardize subscribers and move them onto the same pricing structure.
This article will help define best practices around standardizing subscription plans, and how to make changes in the Publisher Dashboard or step to provide paying members.
⚠️ NOTE: Whenever a plan is changed, we don't charge any subscribers the new rate until their next renewal period. Instead, we cancel the plan at the old rate, and create a new subscription set to renew at the next billing date. To cover the remaining period at the old rate so that the subscriber maintains access, we create a trial plan that lasts until the next renewal date.
If a subscriber last renewed a monthly plan at $15 on January 5, and the plan was changed to be $18 on January 10, the subscriber's $15 plan would cancel on January 10 and would be on a "trial" plan until Feb 5, at which point the subscription would renew at $18.
1. Change the Monetization Plan in the Publisher
By relying on Pico's live plan editing, as soon as you make a change to the pricing tier in the offer section, the next time any subscriber interacts with the plan, they'll see updated pricing. This applies to new subscribers and the renewal process for current subscribers, whenever their date comes up.
To make the change, edit the offer tab for any of the outdated plans, and change pricing for monthly, annual, or trial for each of the appropriate tiers. You can then remove the audience from these older plans, so that they don't appear as an option moving forward.
- Don't have to rely on subscribers to make changes
- Applies immediately for all subscribers on the plan
- You'll have multiple monetization plans in your dashboard at the same price with little to differentiate them. If you change pricing again in the future, you'll have to repeat this process across however many plans you have.
2. Instruct readers to change their plans in the Widget to switch to a new plan
Create a new plan with the updated pricing structure. This plan should have no audiences, and only be accessible from a discount code. Subscribers will be able to change their plan by selecting Manage Subscription -> Switch Plan and change to the newer plan. The subscriber will have the option to change to the new plan immediately (if it's more expensive) or at the end of the current subscription.
- Combines all monetization plans into one accessed by discount code so there's only a single "legacy" plan in addition to other active monetization plans
- Communicates with paying subscribers up-front. They're actively choosing to switch, so they're aware of any plans changes. The reasoning behind can be explained as a separate e-mail.
- Requires all subscribers to take individual action. For smaller sets, the work to reach out to subscribers and remind any to take the steps might be manageable, but this becomes more difficult at scale.