Built with Readz

Monetized Access
(Recurly webhook integration)

Learn how to set up of a controlled paywall to monetize content published on the Readz platform. We’ll focus on how to set up a paywall page to validate active subscriptions and restrict access of readers based on their subscription.
Readz offers different ways to monetize your content:
  • The free-at-first: provides content for free at launch to build a readership or customer base and then transitions to another model – either ad-supported or subscription-based.
  • Straightforward sale approach: sells content based on subscription plans.
  • Content Controlled / Soft Paywall: Offers a subscription, includes a free trial or access to digital content for a limited time before requiring a purchase.
  • Native advertising campaigns: Instead of seeking revenue from consumers, this method explores new advertising revenue possibilities by running native, contextual ads/sponsored posts.
  • Non-traditional marketing campaign: In addition to native ads, Readz offers the possibility for digital publishers to explore new marketing approaches, relying on non-traditional monetization streams like event promotion, shoppable content and services.
Important: Readz does not handle any billing, fulfillment or transactions. Those services are handled through Recurly. Therefore every Readz Paywall setup requires a Recurly account.
  • How It Works: Reader Journey
  • Customizing the Paywall
  • Paywall Setup Step by Step
  • Creating the Paywall Landing Page
  • Configuring your Domain Settings
How It Works: Reader Journey
Once a reader has signed up for a valid subscription plan, an automated email will be sent to the email address used during the sign-up process with an invitation to access the content.
This invitation will contain a ‘magic link’: the URL to the subdomain hosting the gated content including a one time key to verify the reader is a subscriber.
If the reader is a valid subscriber, Readz will validate the key and authenticate the reader to see the content unobstructed. The authentication process will set a cookie in the browser that will enable the reader to subsequently access the content without a key. (Important: cookies have to be accepted. Readers will have to request a new validation link when deleting their cookies.)
Every time a reader accesses gated content, Readz will verify that their subscription is still active.
Customizing the Paywall
Whenever a reader accesses content on Readz that is behind a paywall, the reader will be directed to a customizable landing page presented on top of the gated content.
The purpose of a landing page is to:
  • validate readers if they have an active subscription
  • authenticate subscribers to get access to the gated content
  • offer the marketing team a customizable landing page with messaging and call-to-actions to convert readers into paying subscribers.
  • explore marketing tactics, such as a semi-transparent overlay window asking for subscription, etc, in order to convert more readers
This landing page can be designed and styled using the Readz design studio to include messaging and to match your brand and styling.
The landing page should include a form with one input field in which the reader is asked to enter their email and click on the login button that submits the form. Once submitted, Readz will verify the email address.
Paywall Setup Step by Step
  1. Set up a Recurly Core Account.
  2. Complete setup and configuration of a webhook endpoint as instructed by Readz.
  3. Build a paywall block page and checkout page with a subscriber login form.
  4. Configure your Paywall domain preferences in Readz.
Data privacy disclaimer: All subscriber names and email address need to be stored in the Readz database for authentication purposes.
1. Recurly: Make an Account
Set up a Recurly core account. Each subdomain that will be behind a paywall must have at least one Recurly plan associated with it. Multiple domains may use the same Recurly plan. Or multiple plans may be associated with a single subdomain.
The Recurly account credentials don't need to be shared with Readz.
2. Recurly: Configure Webhooks
Readz communicates with Recurly on every change in subscription status through a mechanism called Webhooks so it can correctly grant or restrict access to readers.
  1. In the left sidebar, click Webhooks under Integrations. This will show previously sent Webhooks notifications.
  1. Click on the Configure button at the top.
  1. You will now see all existing endpoints. If not created already, create a new endpoint by clicking on the ‘New Endpoint’ button on the top.
You will now be presented with a form that will allow you to set the Webhook properties.
  1. Set your endpoint name. The endpoint name can be anything.
  2. Set your endpoint URL to https://api.readz.com/webhooks/recurly/YourReadzAccountName/. Replace​ ‘YourReadzAccountName’ with your actual Readz account name. Note that any spaces or other URL unfriendly characters must be properly encoded. Note: The username and password only has to match what you will later configure in Readz. It doesn’t have to be your Readz nor your Recurly username and password
  3. Hit the Save Changes button and you’re done.
3. Design the Paywall Landing Page
The landing page will be presented to readers accessing your content if they arrive without a cookie set and not using the invite URL. It should give users the option to either validate their email or sign up to become a subscriber.
The landing page will be a single-page project under the same subdomain as the gated content. Name this project “Paywall”.
    1. Place a form on the landing page. The input field and type should be set to “email,” and the Required​ option should be checked.
    1. Set the Subscribe action. The form element must have a ‘Subscriber Login’ action set in the ‘On Submit’ event. That action will validate the submitted email and make sure it is of a subscriber. If it is, it will send the invitation email mentioned above.
    2. Create your Result element. After their email has been validated, the system will then present the reader with a message and relevant instructions to access the publication.
    3. In the ‘Subscriber Login’ action properties, you can indicate what element to use as the ‘Result Element’.
    • The ‘Result Element’ should be initially hidden
    • Add a Show Element action to the login button in order to show it
    • Put some text in it (and optionally an animated gif) saying something like ‘login in progress’
    • When clicking on the log in button, the result element will appear with an indication that a login is in progress. When the operation finishes, the ‘login in progress’ message will be automatically replaced with the message “An email was sent to yourname@example.com”.
    4. Publish the Paywall Project.
    4. Configure your domain settings
    Open Settings from the left side menu on your Readz dashboard. In the Content Access section select ‘Manage content access’. Select ‘Monetized Access’.
    This will allow you to edit the paywall parameters.
    Open ‘Recurly account integration’. In ‘Plan Code’ enter the Recurly plan code. You can enter multiple plan codes, separating them with commas. Important: Enter the plan code and not the plan name.

    Enter the endpoint username and password you used in Recurly.
    If you want to allow an unsubscribed user to access some pages for free, choose how many and over what period of time.

    Turn Restricted Access ON.
    Contact Support
    Need more help? Get in touch!
    Contact support
    We're available 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST
    © 2022 Readz All Rights Reserved