Cross-entitlement

Enabling Economist web subscribers to access app-based content.

BACKGROUND

Since the launch of the new app in 2018, we had consistently received feedback from in-app subscribers requesting access to economist.com

 

Because of this, we approached this project a bit differently than others – we knew this was an urgent fix that did not need much (if any) initial user research. The challenge was around ways of working: it was a cross-functional project that involved PMs and engineers in acquisition, entitlement, and the app.

Collaborating with PMs & engineers

Working across teams, I took on the responsibility of overseeing

coordination efforts on the product side. I worked daily with PM,

engineering, and delivery managers to ensure the project was progressing on schedule, defining requirements, and determining phasing efforts, as well as liaising with senior stakeholders.

Role

Lead product designer in charge of liaising with stakeholders. Led a cross-functional team including one UI designer and one copywriter.

Challenge

In-app subscribers on our new app could not register & authenticate to access economist.com or our other suite of digital products.

Results

  • 20,000+ entitlements created since September 2020, equivalent to $159,920 per month in subscription sales

  • Significant reduction in complaints from customers seeking access to economist.com

BUSINESS CASE

This project not only had clear user benefits but also compelling benefits for the business. We modeled potential commercial benefits in building cross-entitlement in the app. We identified a huge potential opportunity in retention & engagement metrics.

Opportunity: 102,240 in-app subscribers on New App worth $2.54m in annual recurring revenue

Ability to improve retention

New pathways for initiating marketing journeys & building relationships with users.

Increased engagement

New avenues for growth with cross-device communication.

Access to data

Ability to understand & track customers activity across devices.

DEFINING THE JOURNEYS

One of the questions we had was when to prompt users to entitle – should we allow users to register before or after subscribing?

Considering technical feasibility

I mapped out three potential journeys: registration pre-subscription, registration post-subscription, and a hybrid journey. We discussed the three approaches with the engineering and product team and determined that for our MVP, the app was best set up to enable registration/login post-subscription.

 

We determined that for phase 2, we would build out registration/login pre-subscription to better enable sampling across the website and app.

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WIREFRAMES

I wireframed potential solutions, taking into consideration various edge cases and user types in each journey. I also considered potential differences between Android and iOS. We eventually narrowed it down to two journeys: entitlement for new users & entitlement for existing users. I worked with our UI designer and copywriter to develop high-fidelity mockups to take to user testing.

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USER TESTING

We ran 7 usability tests with non-subscribers. We found that all users found the process to create an account simple, straightforward, and easy to get through. We didn’t find any significant concerns in the overall flow of the experience. We also found that the initial prompt screen was helpful in communicating to users the importance of creating an account at that step.

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"That's really good to know that it's not tied to my phone, I can access it from my browser or iPhone or an iPad."

User tester

Users clearly understood that by creating an account, they could access their subscription on any device.

SOLUTION

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RESULTS

Through this project, we learned the value of bringing different teams together to solve big problems. We were able to launch this feature successfully & on schedule in September 2020. The team is now looking into building entitlement pre-subscription to enable sampling in our app.

20,000+

Entitlements created since September 2020, equivalent to $159,920 per month in subscription sales, at $19.99 average monthly subscription fee

Reduced complaints

Significant reduction in complaints from customers seeking access to economist.com

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