Almost no subscribers on my site despite a growing traffic

by yanisheyd 43 replies
I started a website earlier this year, published some articles targeting long tail keywords, content started ranking and traffic has been steadily increasing to about 7000 pv/month. However I've been trying to build up my mailing list with little success, I only have a couple of people signing up per week. The site is for learning French through videos, all the videos are free but only half of them are accessible to anonymous visitors, people who sign up get access to the other half. I figure this should be a good incentive for people to subscribe free ! But actually very few do sign up. I've even added content upgrades in some blog articles using an email locker so readers get to download the audio files after they sign up, but that gave me no result either, I have nearly zero unlocking. Does it mean people are not that interested in the content ? Or is there something wrong with the way the subscribe forms are set up ? Can anyone help and let me know what you think ? Here's an example blog article with sign up form I plan to launch a paid product soon but it would be hard to do with such a lame mailing list. Thanks in advance for any advice
#main internet marketing discussion forum #growing #site #subscribers #traffic
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  • Profile picture of the author GuruD
    I have the same problem with my site. Doing social media and about to do a video ad on Facebook.
    But it is hard. I have hardly any traffic right now. Sports niche.
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    • Whats your product?

      Check the reply I gave above and focus.

      Social Media is worthless, if not done properly.

      Target Audience --->>> Powerful Message --->> Powerful Follow Up = Sales.

      Hopw that helps.

      Any questions please ask
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  • Profile picture of the author nickyz1
    May be the quality of your content is not that good. with all that kind of traffic you receive, you should be getting emails subscribers. the fact that organic traffic is not converting for you makes it worse in a way that if you decide to run advertisements you will lose a lot of money.
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    • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
      Well that's what I was thinking (about quality) but actually people who do subscribe, i.e. French learners, are really enthusiastic about the content, including the videos, audio and articles. Of course some people may not like it, but generally speaking it seems like content quality may not be the issue - visitors are spending almost 2 minutes per page on average. So this remains a mystery.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by yanisheyd View Post

        Well that's what I was thinking (about quality) but actually people who do subscribe, i.e. French learners, are really enthusiastic about the content, including the videos, audio and articles. Of course some people may not like it, but generally speaking it seems like content quality may not be the issue - visitors are spending almost 2 minutes per page on average. So this remains a mystery.
        I took a look at the sample page you linked to.

        For a casual visitor, it's LONG. For a page that long, it could easily eat up two minutes just scrolling and scanning.

        For serious learners, it's probably about right, and that seems to be who you are getting to subscribe.

        So you may be right. Quality may not be the problem. Quantity might be.

        There's a very popular podcast built around learning Spanish. None of the 'lessons' are more than five minutes long.

        The call to action could be much stronger. Here's an idea that just popped into my head...

        Put the CTA in French, under it put 'If you subscribe, you'll know what I said'. Kind of a curiosity play. Then your emails can 'sell' the various posts.
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        • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
          Hi John, thanks for your input. Yes I agree the articles are really long, that's actually what gets them to rank better and faster, in addition to the content itself. Also, readers who do subscribe say they learn a lot through these articles. I thought of splitting them into multiple pages, but I'm afraid that wouldn't be as effective for SEO purposes. Not sure which path tp follow.
          Thanks for your suggestion regarding the CTA, I'll definitely tinkle with stronger messages, see if it makes a difference.
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        • Profile picture of the author helisell
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          ............

          The call to action could be much stronger. Here's an idea that just popped into my head...

          Put the CTA in French, under it put 'If you subscribe, you'll know what I said'. Kind of a curiosity play. Then your emails can 'sell' the various posts.
          Now THAT is a 'cracking' idea....

          Definitely put the CTA in French..voila!
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Originally Posted by yanisheyd View Post

    Or is there something wrong with the way the subscribe forms are set up ?
    Well, without knowing how you're targeting your list, I can only go on my first impression of what I see.

    I didn't read / listen to the whole page. (TLDR) But the first thing that caught my eye was your sign up form "call to action" is weak.


    Right now it says " Like these audio articles ? Get them in your email"


    What's wrong with that, is if I just finished the article / audios, on your site, why would I now want to get them in my email? (I've already seen / listened to them)

    You could try testing a different call to action. Something like "want more great lessons for free? get them delivered right to your inbox"

    (just an example, but at least it gives people the anticipation of getting more)


    Anyway, it's something worth testing.

    All the best,
    SAR
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    "It all boils down to psychology, and numbers"
    SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Advertising and Marketing Aficionado
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    • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
      Thanks SAR. Well the message really says "like these articles ? get more", but you're right it could be improved. I will test stronger alternatives.
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  • Profile picture of the author amunt
    Can't help on your actual question because I have similar issues, but I would say it's a pretty cool site, so good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
      Thanks a lot amunt, appreciate the encouragement
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  • Profile picture of the author Facebloggerguy
    i will advice you to install optin monster as it helps to turn visitors into subcribers
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    A little dull. You could put something like "Join my VIP List where you get exclusive information on my newest and most beneficial Audio Articles delivered right to your Inbox".

    Something to that extent. Make them really want to sign up for it



    - Robert Andrew
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    • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
      You're right Robert, thanks for the suggestion, I'll work on that
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    To be honest the site instills no confidence. It needs to be redesigned from the header onwards.

    Second the signup forms are not positioned in a way that makes them look like anything but ads which a lot of people are now conditioned to ignore. I see this alot with people who have to use Wordpress. Rather than place forms where they would be most natural and effective they have to add it where the WP plugin allows them to.

    Finally if you really want signups for content the most effective way is to block access to content actually on your site that the readers wants to read (should not be overdone). So you need a system in place that can automatically and immediately update the access rights to the reader after a quick signup (email and password max. long forms turns off interest.)
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    • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
      Hi Mike, you're right the signup form does look a bit like an ad that people can gladly ignore. I actually have some technical flexibility to place them pretty much anywhere, I'm not constrained to the sidebar, that was a deliberate choice on my part.

      I could indeed lock part of the article and ask the reader to do a quick sign up in order to continue reading, I can try this approach on a couple articles and see how it goes.

      Another thing I'm realizing from reading all the comments is that many visitors may think the articles are the actual lessons , whereas in reality they're just the blog part of the site, the real lessons are free video lessons that are accessible via the main menu. Guess I should add some kind of indication of that on article pages with a link to the actual video lessons.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Your site is very technical. Actually it seems more like technical computer babble - rather than simple French learning. Also maybe some of your visitors don't have the time to listen and download your audio videos that you offer for free for subscribing. Honestly it seems complex to learn from your site.... it's like deciphering calculus without algebra experience.
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    • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
      Yes it's more for people who want to deepen their knowledge of the spoken language rather than people who are just getting started. But I guess the video lessons are much more simple and fun to watch, the articles like the one above are more for SEO and in-depth topics
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  • Profile picture of the author amuro
    Originally Posted by yanisheyd View Post

    I started a website earlier this year, published some articles targeting long tail keywords, content started ranking and traffic has been steadily increasing to about 7000 pv/month. However I've been trying to build up my mailing list with little success, I only have a couple of people signing up per week. The site is for learning French through videos, all the videos are free but only half of them are accessible to anonymous visitors, people who sign up get access to the other half. I figure this should be a good incentive for people to subscribe free ! But actually very few do sign up. I've even added content upgrades in some blog articles using an email locker so readers get to download the audio files after they sign up, but that gave me no result either, I have nearly zero unlocking. Does it mean people are not that interested in the content ? Or is there something wrong with the way the subscribe forms are set up ? Can anyone help and let me know what you think ? Here's an example blog article with sign up form I plan to launch a paid product soon but it would be hard to do with such a lame mailing list. Thanks in advance for any advice
    Can I ask you 3 simple questions?

    1. Who is your target audience?

    2. Do you know where to find them?

    3. And even if you do, how do you connect to them so that they will know, like and trust you over time?


    If you just do random marketing hoping that someone or a few people will buy, I am sorry to disappoint that is not going to happen or make you big bucks at all.
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    • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
      Based on existing subscribers, my audience is primarily English speaking men and women aged 35 to 65 with some French knowledge but who can't really speak. Not sure about question 3 though
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarataylor1
    The Same Situation is with me. How can I generate more traffic to my site? What's the solution?
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Small but important things:

    make sure your grammar and spelling are correct. It's French not french (on the home page).

    Silly, but it might help: all your text is in blue... change colors here and there.

    Why do you call them articles? I have a hard time wanting articles. I'm more interested in getting lessons but that's not great either.

    Your situations are useful. So, if I were you, I'd look for a name that'd emphasize the practicality of them, the fact that they can be useful fast... Not like learning the plus-que-parfait for some irregular verb.

    Handle Yourself With Ease in a French Situation, kind of thinking. Except, yes, it's hard to come up with a good name for the articles, so I don't have one.

    I think doing it in French, if you fail at anything else, might be useful.

    Get more Lecons pratiques in your inbox sounds better than Get Your Practical Lessons in your inbox.

    And, yes, yes, yes, limit the number of lessons they can read/listen to for free... You want to give them a sample large enough that they can figure out for themselves you're the real thing but not as large that they don't need to sign up.
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    • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
      I did a CTRL+F on the home page but couldn't find "french" anywhere (only "French"), can you tell me where exactly ?

      You're right about "articles", it's dull-sounding. But again these blog posts are NOT the lessons, just some in-depth SEO-optimized content to attract French learners. The actual lessons are the free video lessons accessible through the main menu.

      Thanks for the "handle yourself with ease in a French situation" suggestion, a really helpful thought. You're probably right also about the number of free access lessons, I need to rethink that.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        My bad; https://www.blablafrancais.com/conve...-and-customer/

        Originally Posted by yanisheyd View Post

        I did a CTRL+F on the home page but couldn't find "french" anywhere (only "French"), can you tell me where exactly ?

        You're right about "articles", it's dull-sounding. But again these blog posts are NOT the lessons, just some in-depth SEO-optimized content to attract French learners. The actual lessons are the free video lessons accessible through the main menu.

        Thanks for the "handle yourself with ease in a French situation" suggestion, a really helpful thought. You're probably right also about the number of free access lessons, I need to rethink that.
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  • Profile picture of the author sheisan
    To get subscribers, all what you have to do is to offer a good an attractive content to your site visitors.
    Don't forget to make a kind of pop up on your site after 5s with a free gift as an e-book for exemple to get them...
    good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
    Thanks everyone for the great insight and suggestions. Someone also suggested that I add a prominent indication that the page (the audio article I linked to in the topic) is just a blog article, and that the real core of the website is the video lessons (and I should point to them). Would you agree ? If so how should I do that ? Maybe add a prominent link after the blog post's first couple of paragraphs ? If I do that (point visitors to the video lessons), should I still keep the subscription form in the blog post page, or should I move it to the video lesson pages ?
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi Y,

    I'd get offsite.

    Start guest posting and commenting on blogs related to the language niche.

    Going offsite boosts traffic and also positions you to grow your email list.

    Also, make sure your content is super simple and super practical. Be less concerned with content upgrades and more focused on solving the most pressing problems in your niche with each post.

    Ryan
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    Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging at Blogging From Paradise
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  • Profile picture of the author safiajacobs
    There's a lot of possibilities why that happens, probably lack of marketing strategies and try putting offer walls in your website. Offer walls are certainly one monetization strategy that can earn publishers money.
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  • Profile picture of the author posinfo1
    I think that you need to look at what you are offering for free. If you were a visitor to your site, would what you are offering tick the "must have" box. I would tweek how you describe what you are giving away for free. Make it as enticing as possible.

    If I was wanting to learn a language I would want the videos to make it easy for me. I would like the idea that in a short space of time that I could become fairly fluent in the language.

    ❝To have another language is to possess a second soul.❞
    ‒Charlemagne
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  • Hi, buddy

    Firstly, congrats on your site, very good idea and niche.

    I am only mentioning these things so you can improve so dont be offended:

    1. Your optin is too vague " Like these audios, get them in your email"
    2. Your site is all over the place.
    3. Your "million dollar message" is not clear
    4. Your Optin options are not placed correctly
    5. Don't develop your product later, make it NOW! and build your marketing and content around it.
    6. I am assuming you don't have a conversion system

    So the solutions:

    1. Create a very specific optin for a very specific problem e.g. "Learn The 3 step system to speaking French in 3 Days" (Obviously you would know better)

    2. Focus on the million dollar message (Take a look at my site in my profile, you now exaclty what it is im solving)
    Then the menus, blogs etc.. should all work around it.


    3. What is your million dollar message?

    " I help ______ Overcome _________"

    4. You need to start developing mulitple optins (Laater but for now have it very specific and place it in the sidebar, in between the posts and end of post, and a popup (like neil Patels site)

    5. Make your product NOW, will it be a course, training or caoching?

    6. Build a conversion system ASAP!

    Once you have all these in place then drive targeted traffic (ideally from FB first), and watch your conversions sky rocket!

    This is where you want to get to:

    Targetted Audience --->> Powerful Message -->> To Powerful Follow-ups = Sales

    I have done bloggin in the past thinking i wll get an sudience first than get sale, boy was i worng.

    Hope that helps.

    Any questions please ask
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  • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
    I was looking for the video locker you mentioned but couldn't seem to get that to trigger.

    Honestly, I think it's a nice site and quite useful to anyone who is looking to learn how to speak French.

    I would change the call to action on the form in the sidebar to something like "NEVER Miss A Lesson! Get Notified By Email EVERY Time I Post A NEW VIDEO!"

    I think the content you have is great, the only thing I would recommend is more if it.

    I would add a pop-up opt-in form to the site that triggers on exit. I use a service called SumoMe to do this. They have a free version, which I use, and they also have a bunch of other inexpensive options based on the amount of unique visitors you get per month.

    I only get 50-100 visitors on my main IM blog, and I end up usually get 2-3 opt-ins per day from that pop-up alone. My IM blog isn't really all that great, either. I'm not that much into blogging about my main niche, which is "make money online/work from home." The blog you have is much better than mine.

    While content lockers can work, a lot of people are also turned off by them and see them as spammy. Having that set up on your blog may actually be doing your more harm than good. I know when I come across them, I immediately click away from the site and go back to Google and find another site that doesn't force me into providing my name and/or email address.

    I think your main issue is your opt-in copy/call to action, your form placement, and your content locker.

    Also, you need to think about something better to offer as incentive to sign up. Sure, some people will subscribe to get post notifications to their inbox, but most people already have inboxes that are overflowing, and unless you offer a really nice free eBook, video course, etc, why would people subscribe? They can simply bookmark your blog and return at their leisure without waiting for an email.

    If you can, create a really great eBook or video course that you are sure people would pay for, and give it away for free. Put your all into it and just blow people away. You will get dedicated followers like that and they may even spread the word for you.

    Hope I've helped you a bit
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    • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
      Hi Nicheblogger75, yes helpful, thanks for the comprehensive feedback and suggestions. From your response it appears that what I'm giving away is really not obvious, which might just be the problem. what the blog is offering is a series of free cool French video dialogues with associated video exercises (grouped in lessons). People who subscribe (free) get access to more video exercises in each lesson, such as role playing and pronunciation. There are actually other optin forms in the lesson pages, the one you saw is in a blog post and is just for subscribing to the blog articles. I guess I should change that optin in the blog to also mention the free videos instead, since as you said people don't really need to be notified about new blog articles being published.
      About the content lockers, I only have a couple here and there for downloading the audio, not for blocking the content itself - just experimenting but no success.
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  • Profile picture of the author Highest And Best
    Your Opt-In Box Sucks

    No insult intended, let's try to fix it...

    NOTE: For those of you reading my reply after the opt-in box is changed, this is what it looked like:



    Try this:

    You are asking people if they like "these audio files" and then offer to send them to their inbox. There is nothing compelling about that. You are assuming that they like the audio files and want them in their inbox, and you are forgetting that they already have access to the audio files (whether they like them or not) so there is no need to give away their email address to get something they already have.

    Try giving away something valuable to you audience... for instance, "Get the 10 most important French phrases every beginner MUST know". That's just a rough example... I don't know your niche. Give them something that solves a problem and make them feel they have to have it. Once they are on your list, continue to bring them value so they stay on your list.

    One More Thing:

    Move your opt-in box to the top of the sidebar so it is above the fold...

    -Scott
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    Don't let Internet Marketing overwhelm you... let's take the journey together! Build Money Machines!
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    • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
      Agree, I now realize this optin is weak and doesn't offer much value, I'll try to focus on the free videos optin I have in the lessons pages
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        Do you have tips on how to learn French easier? If yes, it would be better than than an article.

        Also, Nichblocker’s idea’s good.

        You never said, where is the increased traffic coming from? That might be a reason too.
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  • Profile picture of the author fhmobo
    May I ask what niche are you promoting? Is it too saturated or too costly?
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  • Profile picture of the author fhmobo
    Plz ignore my previous comment. It is for no conversion rather than no subscription. My apologies for the quick fingers!
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  • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
    Thanks everyone for the great feedback, I'm really impressed and didn't expect so much valuable advice. From all the response I now realize that the optin in the blog posts has a weak proposition. How about using the same optin as in the lesson pages for the blog posts ? Like the one in this page (in the Videos in this Lesson section). The message is "Want more free exercice videos for this lesson ?" which is somewhat more compelling, correct ?

    Or, I could completely change things so that most lessons are accessible only to subscribers (still free), and keep only a couple of lessons in anonymous access. But I'm afraid that might seriously impact traffic, which is growing slowly but steadily.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by yanisheyd View Post

    Thanks everyone for the great feedback, I'm really impressed and didn't expect so much valuable advice. From all the response I now realize that the optin in the blog posts has a weak proposition. How about using the same optin as in the lesson pages for the blog posts ? Like the one in this page (in the Videos in this Lesson section). The message is "Want more free exercice videos for this lesson ?" which is somewhat more compelling, correct ?

    Or, I could completely change things so that most lessons are accessible only to subscribers (still free), and keep only a couple of lessons in anonymous access. But I'm afraid that might seriously impact traffic, which is growing slowly but steadily.
    Better, but still not compelling. It's too easy to answer "no, not now" and keep moving. And "exercise videos" doesn't promise much besides more work. For seriously motivated learners, this may be enough. For more casual learners, you need to up the benefits.

    Here's an exercise for you, one that I picked up years ago and has served me well.

    Start with your statement: Want more FREE exercise videos for this lesson ?

    You are offering more free exercise videos.

    Ask yourself, SO WHAT?

    Maybe you answer, 'you learn to handle more versions of the situation.' (I'm just guessing to illustrate.)

    Ask yourself, SO WHAT?

    Keep repeating until you reach the essence, where there is no more 'so what'.

    That's your benefit. Put that as your offer.

    And to increase commitment, make the button text an active statement.

    "Yes, I want [benefit] now."

    Free videos, in and of themselves, aren't a big deal. YouTube has millions of hours of free videos. You have to find the big idea behind why someone will want YOUR free videos.
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    • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
      Thanks, I like the "so what" process to get to the actual UVP and thus action call message.
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  • Profile picture of the author scriptlance
    I am facing the same issue with my website
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  • Profile picture of the author yanisheyd
    These are some of my main takeaways from this rich discussion :

    1) Limit your free access content
    2) Use your UVP for your subscribe message
    3) Position your subscribe form prominently

    This is how I'm thinking of implementing it :

    1) Make only 3 lessons (one for each learning level) free access, with the rest of them requiring signup (free). I do expect this will negatively impact traffic, but better less traffic with more subscribers ?

    2) The UVP of the site is helping French learners who can't speak get by in common everyday life situation - something like DABK suggested "Handle Yourself With Ease in a French Situation", or "learn to get by in more situations". Use a version of that for the subscribe message

    3) Only have the 3 free lessons visible to anonymous users, show subscribe form prominently in lesson pages (as popup of within the copy) so visitors can sign up to access the protected lessons
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