Aleksei Matveev
subscription integration
after four years of the product's existence, the team had the idea of moving the service from a completely free model to a freemium one. the motivation was to test the hypothesis about the value of the product for the audience.
the idea was to expand and simplify the functionality, as well as to elaborate tariffs, analyze user features, and rethink the logic.
some theory
in simple terms, a subscription is a periodic charge to the user for additional services, certain products, and enhancements on information and entertainment services.
if there is enough product functionality to highlight the limitations, paid services usually start with two or more plans.
this approach sets them apart from competitors who do not give users flexible choice, customisation and transitions (upgrades, downgrades).
in addition, companies often resort to marketing tricks to create the appearance of benefit to users, such as providing discounts or using odd prices, which create the illusion of lower fees.
odd prices are part of the psychology of pricing. psychological pricing, in turn, aims to keep the product within the "mental boundaries" of customers with a slight reduction in price.
we began our work on the upgrade with a discussion. the main issues we intended to address included:
  • working out the interrelationships with the existing functionality;
  • elaboration of tariffs, based on our value in the market, as well as the value of competitors;
  • building audience interest in the near-term upgrade;
  • setting a timeline;
  • implementing
we decided to start by studying direct and indirect competitors in order to identify recurring patterns that would form the basis of our own functionality.
in addition to analysis, we needed to determine the capabilities of our payment system in order to close most of the obvious problems for users in the first version. such as «change of payment data when blocking or losing the card».
in addition, it was necessary to find points of interaction between customers with subscriptions and establish a link between subscriptions and the rest of the service functionality.
when the minimum task description was formed, including the system behaviour and user actions, we had all the necessary data on hand to designate a task pool.
tariff development
in the process of implementing a paid subscription, we could not miss the opportunity to test the influence of the name of the tariff on the decision to buy.
The decision to call the minimum tariff «amateur» was not accidental. According to our hypothesis, this name should have motivated users, most of whom were actors and models, to buy a «premium» tariff, which in their view would correspond to their level of professionalism.
Thus, dividing users by professional level, we have distinguished 3 tariffs:
  • «amateur» for beginners;
  • «standard» for specialists;
  • «premium» for professionals
initial prices were calculated based on monthly traffic, income, the value of the services provided and the service fee. the monthly cost of tariffs "standard" and "premium" was 199 ₽ and 499 ₽, respectively. «premium» tariff in turn was divided into several periods:
  • 499 ₽ for a one-month subscription;
  • 2,990 ₽ for a six-month subscription (498 ₽ per month);
  • 4,990 ₽ for an annual subscription (415 ₽ per month)
in order for the user to see more benefit in the «premium» tariff for a semi-annual and annual period, we decided to display a monthly billing and discount percentage. however, in reality the discount was so small that we initiated a price review to increase discounts and, consequently, the average user check.
as a result, the prices for the "premium" tariff have been reformed:
  • 499 ₽ for a one-month subscription;
  • 2,694 ₽ for a six-month subscription (449 ₽ per month);
  • 4,788 ₽ for an annual subscription (399 ₽ per month)
the process
we began our full-fledged work on pricing by working out the logic and scripting, which helped us find and refine the states.
to make it easier to choose and pay for the tariff you like, we used pop-ups, which made any action that fell under the restrictions of the free plan, was a trigger to purchase. we did not redirect the user to another section, the choice was left to him: to renew the plan or close the window and take action that does not require an investment.
when we started the design, we proceeded from the principle of consistency and re-use of existing patterns so that people would not get lost in the new functionality. after refining the sections and notifications, we assembled a general flow and conducted a corridor test for error rates and task success.
we have allocated separate time for copywriting edits. in order to reduce the number of potential requests to technical support in the future, we have worked out the information in the section on payment confirmation, highlighting such items as: the cost of the plan, the payment period, discount, the total amount, tips and received from the update features.
that's not all
to significantly reduce negative feedback from users at the launch of proration, we told the audience about how useful subscriptions are, and how they work overseas.
we have not forgotten about people who may be coming to us for the first time, and about people who may doubt the usefulness of the plan update, so we have added a promo code for 7 free days of «premium» tariff.
in the first days of the test, when we were tracking conversion, service rejections and feedback received, more than 100 plans were purchased. for the available traffic, available benefits and set prices, it was an unexpectedly high result.
there was no clear gradation, then bought a standard for a month, then a premium for a year, then used a promo code for a week, so we can give a prediction on further purchases only after time. for now, we need to test new hypotheses and do not stop at the achieved result.