5 min read

Increasing sign-ups to subscription apps through UX

Almost everyone has close to 4 or 5 subscriptions to e-commerce apps such as Spotify, Netflix and even a meditation app like Headspace. Subscription services are no longer the future of e-commerce, they have become extremely prevalent in the present. Now consumers can get all their daily needs met through these services. They can listen to their favorite songs without having to buy the entire album, get daily news articles, get their medicines delivered every month based on a prescription and so much more.

Subscription services are becoming more and more popular with consumers. This is because with subscription apps, they can experience a lot more content than with one-off purchases. They are also great for business because this way they can get consistent revenues and easily implement updates. 

However to increase sign ups to subscription services, businesses and organisations will need to change their user experience. To drive more revenue through a subscription model, your team will need to design their user experiences differently. 

These are a few user experience tips that can help increase conversions for a subscription service. These easy design tips will help improve your user experience and nudge your users towards signing up to your subscription app.

Increasing signups

Make the Subscribe button visible

To make it easy for your users to sign up, make the subscribe button easily visible on the website at all times. The subscribe button is the most important call to action button. If it isn’t easily distinguishable, or visible from the other content on your site, your users may miss out on seeing it and not know how to sign-up. 

The subscribe button should be easily accessible but also be non-intrusive so as to not hamper the experience of your users while they are on your site. 

The New York Times website is a great example of this. They have a clear ‘Subscribe Now’ button that stays on top. And this is constant on both the desktop and mobile site. Even when a user scrolls down below, the subscription button is clearly visible. When you hover on the button, it pulls into a pop-up box that gives you more details. 

This is a great example of a subscription button that helps increase conversions.

Subscribe button visible

Keep the sign up process limited to 1 step

Easier the sign up process, the more chances that a user will actually convert. The longer the sign up process, and the more information you ask for from the user, the chances of a user dropping out become much higher. Ideally you should aim for a simple 1 step process that is quick and easy. Every time a business asks for more information or clicks than absolutely necessary, the more they hurt their chances of converting a user. 

The entire subscription process shouldn’t require more than a few clicks.

Signup process

Present all the information upfront

Ensure that all the terms of your subscription plan are mentioned clearly before users sign up. Don’t hide pertinent information in between a lot of terms and conditions that users are unlikely to read through. Users could end up feeling really disappointed after finding out that you’ve hidden some important information from them. This could be a deal breaker that leads them to unsubscribe permanently.

This includes important information about the billing process and the terms and conditions for the same. A great example of this is the Tinder premium subscription that shows you exactly what you would be getting when you sign up and the recurring billing process for the same.

Present all the information upfront

Give your users different subscription options

Give your users different subscription options for their convenience. Different users may prefer different kinds of subscription plans. This could be in terms of a monthly or yearly subscription, including or excluding certain types of content or different pricing tiers for students and adults. 

You could also give bigger discounts on longer subscription plans to incentivise customers to sign up for a longer period than they might have otherwise, because they are getting such a great deal on it. 

Adobe is a great example of offering their users different kinds of subscription plans. A photo editing app, it offers customised subscription plans for individuals, professionals, educators, students or institutions based on what they need. These plans all come at different prices so that everyone can find something they need.

Different subscription option

Offer a Trial Period

Before users make the commitment to sign up to a subscription service that is expensive and  long term, they want to be able to experience the service to ensure that it is worth their hard earned money. A trial period is a great way for your users to experience your service. Do not fear that your users will stop using your service once the trial ends. If your product offers users a great experience, they will not mind paying a small amount every month to continue using it.

Spotify allows users to try their Premium subscription service for 30 days before they make the commitment to pay for it. Once users get used to the great service and access to an unlimited music library they don’t mind paying a small fee.

Offer trial period

Continue to find ways to improve your subscription

A business to constantly find new ways to surprise and delight their customers. Your responsibility does not end once customers have signed up. Despite having so many subscribers, Netflix and Spotify keep finding different ways to keep their users interested. They both offer curated recommendations to offer subscribers a great experience and incentivize them to continue subscribing.

Improve subscription


Almost every business is moving towards a subscription based model. Thus using these tips will help your business offer a great user experience and also get more conversions. Ultimately a higher number of subscribers will lead to more revenue.

Published by Antara Bhargava

Sr. UX Designer

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Antara Bhargava Sr. UX Designer