Choose a subscription, and then what?


This registration process that I am setting up is turning out to be a real challenge!

In another thread, I explained that I am building a website which sells paid memberships for premium content. The registration process I have so far is this…

Step 1: Create Account
Step 2: Activate Account
Step 3: Sign TOS
Step 4: Make Payment

Unfortunately, I have to add a little more onto the front end for this to make sense to people, and I’m unsure of how to do this.

Why do I say this?

Well, first of all, before anyone is going to agree to sign up for a subscription, they need to know what they are buying!!

In addition, it was always my plan to add a “splash page” which briefly explains to people why my registration process is a little more complicated.

That being said, this is what I was envisioning…

  • In the mast of every page I have a Login link and a “Subscribe” button.
  • The user clicks on “Subscribe”
  • I display a 3-pane page showing the different subscription types…
  • a.) Basic Access
  • b.) Premium Access
  • c.) Premium Access + Free eBook
  • The user choose a subscription plan and chooses “Next” (or something like that)
  • I display a simple page basically saying, “Hey, we need to verify your email and get you to sgn the TOS because we are trying to build a professional online nevironment where people respect one another…”
  • The user clicks “Continue registration”
  • And then my 4 steps above would kick in.

I don’t think adding the two additional pages is too bad, but here is where I am more concerned…

If you choose the “Basic” or “Premium” subscriptions, you click a button and then it’s off to the “Disclaimer” page.

But if you choose “Premium + Free eBook”, then I need to take you - at the very least - to a page showing you a catalog of all eBook available. And then once you choose your free eBook, then I have to take you to the “Disclaimer” page…

Does that make sense?

I’m afraid I’m going to lose people if they choose that last option.



This is a fairly normal workflow. People expect to fill out a form and agree to TOS when they buy a subscription. I don’t think you need the extra step where you warn them of that.


Okay, but what I was really concerned about is if they choose “Premium + eBook” then I have to take them to the product catalog which is backwards.

Normally you would shop from the product ctalog, adding things you want, and when you are satisfied with what is in your shopping cart, then you would go to checkout.

But in the above, they click on “Subscribe”, are taken to a page where they choose which subscription they want, and then I would have to take them to another page showing all of the choices for eBooks.

After they would select an eBook, then I would have to bring them back to the page where they choose the subscription tyoe they wanted OR I could take them to Step 1: Create Account.

That seems like it might overwhelm a user…


Ah, got ya. Have a link to the catalogue which they can choose if they want, throughout the whole process. Bring it up in a modal if that works. If they don’t choose it, ask them to choose their book at the end of the process.


I’ve been reading too many articles about people quitting the checkout process, and now I’m afraid that what I have won’t work.

As mentioned in my other thread, I think the following is pretty straightforward…

  • Click on “subscribe”
  • Display a page with subscription types
  • User chooses a subscription type
  • Display an optional page explaining with Account Activation and Sign TOS is important
  • Display a Create Account form
  • Send email with activation link
  • User clicks on link
  • Display a confirmation page that account is activated
  • User logs in
  • Ask user to read and sign TOS
  • User signs TOS
  • Display payment form
  • User enters payment details
  • Complete sale

I am just worried if I have to route them to the product cataloh after they select the “Premium + eBook” option it might be too much?


My advice is build the thing and go out and test it with some users.

In the meantime, you might find this of some use