5 Best Practices for Paywall Design

December 22, 2022
|
Amanda Maricle
mobile app paywall design
Photo by
Firmbee

Your mobile app paywall is a key driver of revenue. Designing for usability can help optimize your revenue streams. Here are our 5 tips for paywall design best practices, from color to length.

Use 1 primary color to draw attention to the purchase CTA

Color is a powerful design element. Too little color can be boring. Too much color can mean your user doesn’t know where to look.

Use your brand color or primary app color sparingly on the paywall to draw attention to the purchase action.

Nami mobile app paywall design best practices for color
Paywalls from Noted and Caribu

Pro tip: squint at your paywall or use an image editor to apply a thick blur effect to it. What elements still stand out? Where is your eye drawn? If there are multiple elements competing for attention even when squinting or blurred, you don’t have a clear call to action. Reduce design elements or use of color until it is more clear.

Looking for design inspiration? The Nami Paywall Gallery has hundreds of examples of mobile app paywalls from top industry apps.

Paywall Design Best Practices: Carefully choose text on your paywall and avoid lots of lines to read

Users are skimming over your paywall on their phone. They don’t want to read through paragraphs of copy, even if the copy is really well written! Stick to a few lines of carefully written copy like an ad, and use short bullets to spell out the benefits of your product.

If you are using a checklist on your paywall, limit the bullets to no more than 7 and experiment with the items and order of the bullets to improve optimization rather than adding more copy.

Nami mobile app paywall best practices for text
Paywalls from TuneIn Radio and Pestle

Use a Carousel to allow users to quickly swipe through features and benefits

Also known as a gallery or a slideshow, a carousel is a component composed of multiple “slides. Slides are made up of text, photos, and even video. Users can use their finger to swipe through the slides, or carousels can automatically advance through slides.

To create a carousel, first add catchy imagery and short, clear copy for each slide. Then optimize your carousel by testing the order of the slides and the number of slides shown.

Pro tip: if the user clicks to unlock feature A, make sure that feature A is explained on the first slide in the carousel. That way the value prop is clear and they don’t have to swipe to search for it.

Nami paywall design best practice carousel
Paywall by Timepage by Moleskine Studio
Paywall by Life360

Looking for more examples of mobile app paywalls with carousels? Check out the Nami paywall gallery.

Include a way to close the Paywall

Users typically need to see the paywall multiple times before they want to purchase. Don’t force your user to make a purchasing decision right away, otherwise they may just close your app and never return.

Paywall from Curio

Paywall design best practices include an ‘X’ or ‘<’ icon in the top menu bar or a link that says ‘Close’, ‘Later’, or ‘Not Now’.

Paywall from Cozi Family Organizer

Make a choice between a scrolling and a fixed-height paywall

Scrolling can be a distraction to the user. Only use this pattern if you have lots of quality content to display.

If you don’t need your paywall to scroll, test and optimize your paywall for devices of all sizes so that there isn’t a scrollbar when there doesn’t need to be. Try reducing whitespace and text size in order to get everything to fit.

Paywalls by VSCO and Gather

Looking for more tips on paywalls? Submit your paywall for personalized advice from our team.

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Amanda Maricle

Amanda Maricle is the Product Owner at Nami ML. She has an extensive background in app development and most recently product managed the Connect mobile app platform at HomeSpotter.

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