People deal with numbers in funny ways. You tell someone something is $404 dollars and they’ll never pay. Tell them it is only a buck and a bit a day and they’ll buy a subscription to the New York Times with Digital Access (ahem). What if your blog could make use of that same vaguely innumerate impulse in the human mind? Rather than trying to take large payments that make people nervous, what if customers could instead make small payments that put them at ease? “It’s only a buck,” they’ll say.
Why does this work? As Apple discovered with iTunes, people are more willing to make small purchases many times if they see that they will get their money’s worth. Why spend $20 on an album you might not like, when you can spend $3 on three songs to figure out if you like it and then decide to get the whole album if you do?
This is the value of micropayments and how they can help you to monetize your WordPress website: you can put the buyer at ease while demonstrating the value that makes your product worthwhile. Take a look below at some plugins that make taking micropayments a cinch.
One of my favorites, Cleeng offers a little bit of everything to everyone. If you are a publisher, you can sell your content as single items, offer a day pass, create specialized bundles, or have users sign up for a subscription, depending on how you think your content can best be packaged. However, it is also a great option for the user: they can easily register with only their social network; all content they buy is automatically added to their Cleeng account’s library for future access; and users can gain commissions from sharing links. With a wide variety of payment options that accommodate different payment systems (especially direct deposit), Cleeng is an especially good choice for the European publisher.
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TinyPass is an excellent micropayments provider that does pretty much everything you would expect/hope a micropayments provider to do. What distinguishes TinyPass, though, is how much it works to suit a wide range of different options for providing your premium content. They allow you to: offer pay-per-view for a page, download, or video; sell bundled content packages; charge for a subscription to your site’s content; meter the access, so that you can trigger the pay wall after a certain number of views; or create a tiered membership plan. When combined with their broad array of payment options, TinyPass makes it very easy to come up with a solution that works for you.
Allopass makes it easy to put up a pay wall around your content in your posts and pages with a simple shortcode. Not being quite as flexible as the others in terms of content packaging, it makes up the difference, somewhat, with the range of payment options and types that it offers. The only dedicated payment gateway/processor of the lot, they offer surcharged phone calls, SMS payments, ISP payments, prepaid cards payments, electronic wallet payments, credit/debit card payments, and a host of other choices.
WPMUDEV’s Pay Per View
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This is the cheapest, easiest, and most direct solution available. Simply install it, adjust the settings, and enter your PayPal info to be ready to start accepting micropayments. Slightly undersold by the title, you are not only able to offer pay-per-view access, but also create day passes and subscriptions. Since it is simply a plugin, not a service with a plugin, there are no additional charges or fees except for those of PayPal for payment processing, making it competitive with any of the other options available (depending on the cost of the product). It isn’t quite as feature rich as some of the other plugins/services, but makes up for that with a strong focus on integrating smoothly with WordPress, BuddyPress and WordPress Multisite.
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An all-around good solution, MediaPass is especially worthwhile for publishers managing multiple, related publications. You are able to offer users the option of creating membership/subscription plans that work across all of your sites and much like other major publications, they also allow you to meter usage. If you would like finer control, you can charge by user, category, and tag allowing you to only charge for a certain popular writer, topic, or series of articles. That they also allow you to include your logo in the overlay, so you can manage the branding and use your reputation to drive conversions, is an additional, surprisingly rare bonus.
MuCash is probably the best option for the small website owner. If you don’t get a ton of traffic, have a very well established name, or work in an especially profitable niche, many of the larger bore options may be too intimidating to your users. MuCash is a welcome antidote. With a muted color palette, small buttons, and an easy sign-up process, it is less likely to scare off users. Most importantly, it is also designed to take small donations and make it easier for users to make payments of only cents, rather than dollars. If your readers are a small group of people who would be happy to support what you do, then these small voluntary contributions could unlock their generosity. All in all, it is a great option for those of you who aren’t totally convinced or comfortable about creating a paywall.