Don’t underestimate the impact of trial subscription offers

To some, using a trial subscription offer may be deemed as a price strategy with potential risks. Will it be cost effective? Will it attract the right audience? How many subs will stay on after the trial period?

Whilst these are important points to consider, there are also significant rewards to be gained. Jellyfish Connect generally recommend that publishers feature a trial offer as one of their pricing options. There are new potential audiences who will be enticed by a shorter, lower priced offer, who won’t commit to a longer-term subscription when they first purchase. Whether you choose to use trials as part of an ongoing strategy, or just tactically from time to time, they are a simple and easy way to appeal to new audiences and boost new subscription volumes.

We recently helped a publisher test this concept. They had previously only ever featured 6 month and annual subscriptions on, and decided to add an introductory offer of 3 issues for £3 (by direct debit) for a 6 week test period across three of their magazine brands; the aim being to assess what impact trial offers would have on overall subscription volumes.

The result… in just over 6 weeks, new subscription volumes for the smallest title increased by 50% year on year, the second by 126% and the biggest title by 511%!

The trial offers allowed all the magazines to gain far greater visibility, building brand awareness as they could feature in high traffic pages such as, as well as in promotional emails and social posts. And, as the trial offers could also be included within the copy of the PPC ads, the ads got far higher click through rates and therefore generated higher visitor volumes through to their respective magazine page listings on

These amazing results encouraged the publisher to test further types of trial offers (including 5 issues for £5) to gain further insight into the impact of different offers, conversion rate and retention post trial, and we will report back on the results of these subsequent tests in the next 6 months.