How to use dynamic paywalls to create greater demand for your job board subscriptions program.
When The New York Times announced recently that it was introducing dynamic paywalls as a way to boost subscriber growth, digital publishers sat up and took notice. The decision to alter the user experience depending on where visitors are at in the purchasing funnel is something that has gained popularity over the past year, with publishers like The Wall Street Journal and Hearst Newspapers trying similar tactics.
Dynamic paywalls can lead to significant improvements in conversion rates, and they’re just one strategy The New York Times is adopting as it looks to turn more casual readers into paying subscribers.
Can publishers with job boards benefit from the same tactics? You bet.
Job board subscriptions work slightly differently than newspaper subscriptions. Rather than targeting job seekers, aka general website visitors, publishers selling job board subscriptions target employers and recruiters.
Instead of paying to post listings on an individual basis, employers sign up for subscription programs to place a certain number of listings on the board each month.
Job board subscriptions work like package deals, but often come with extra benefits. For example, companies that subscribe might get discounts with preferred vendors or access to exclusive webinars with insights into how they can improve their listings. Some job board publishers also offer premium listing placement to subscribers who sign up for year-long subscriptions.
Job board subscriptions have become popular among niche publishers, particularly in so-called “prestige” industries, like healthcare and law. The strategy is less common on general interest job boards, since employers could theoretically target those job seekers without having to pay for access.
Publishers have the most success selling their subscription packages when they can demonstrate to employers that their audience is uniquely targeted to a specific demographic or industry. For example, LawJobs.com, a directory for legal professionals, recruiters, and job seekers, boasts that its network reaches 99% of the nation’s largest law firms. Knowing that their listings are going to be seen by qualified legal professionals who are interested in new opportunities, employers are more apt to pay for LawJobs.com subscriptions. The site sells employer packages that range in price from $695 to $995 per month.
Although some job boards prevent non-subscribers from posting any content, that strategy is not as common among today’s publishers as dynamic paywalls or flexible programs. If publishers prevent visitors from posting or viewing any content before signing up, they run the risk of people leaving their sites before they understand the value of the product.
Where is the sweet spot when it comes to paywalls and job board subscriptions?
Strict paywalls sacrifice awareness and audience development for revenue. On the other hand, jobs boards that don’t charge for listings are missing out on a lucrative revenue channel. Dynamic paywalls give publishers an alternative option that sits somewhere in the middle between those two extremes.
The New York Times is hoping that increasing its meter level will cause visitors who’ve been sitting on the sidelines to finally subscribe.
The National Association of Physician Recruiters, non-profit trade organization for professionals in the physician and clinician recruitment industry, offers vendor discounts on job boards and client lists as a benefit to those employers who subscribe.
Another healthcare-focused publisher, HospitalRecruiting.com, gives employers the option to choose from single-use or subscription advertising packages. Employers who sign up for HospitalRecruiting.com’s job board subscriptions can add and remove jobs freely on the site, but it does require a three-month initial commitment.
Encouraging job seekers to subscribe to a job board is generally a more difficult task, especially if the subscription comes with a high price tag. Nonetheless, there are a number of job boards out there that have been successful with this strategy. Usually, these job boards give online visitors free access to a certain number of basic listings, but they require subscriptions for more detailed information, like the name of the company or contact details for the hiring manager. Paying subscribers can usually upload their own resumes to the site, as well.
Of course, it should be noted that not all directory publishing software supports subscription programs. It is important to look into whether these types of monetization features are available when selecting the software for your own job board.
If you’d like to learn even more dynamic paywalls and the subscription program strategies working best for job board publishers in today’s business environment, let’s chat.