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Creating monetization plans

Helpful steps to how to create different types of monetization plans using Pico

Steps to start creating a Monetization Plan

You can use Pico to manage multiple forms of on-site payment and access, including donations, memberships, and paywall subscription.

Before you can successfully activate a monetization plan, you'll need to have at least one audience to whom you can apply your monetization rule (see Creating an Audience).

You'll also need to Connect to Stripe.

To start, head to the IAM section of the Pico Publisher App (, scroll to Monetization Plans, and click Add Plan:

There is no limit to the number of monetization plans you can create, however you can only apply one to any particular audience (you can apply the same rule to multiple audiences or create a rule but leave it unattached to an audience). For example, you might create a monetization plan for attendees of an event or supporters from an outside campaign that is only activated when they enter a discount code at checkout.

There are four types of monetization plans you can create.

  1. Individual Subscription
  2. Group Subscription
  3. Pass
  4. Donation

To learn about customizing the text of subscription or donation prompts, visit Customizing prompt text.

Individual Subscription Plan

Subscription plans are the most complex, since they allow you to set up access rules and content pricing. With a subscription, you can:

  • offer monthly and/or annual prices
  • offer free or paid trials that convert into a monthly or annual subscription
  • offer multiple tiers of plans
  • activate pledge mode, which sets a minimum subscription price (allowing users to give more)

Check out this article to learn more about Group Subscriptions.

Exposure – Who does this rule apply to?

You can choose to apply a subscription rule to (multiple) audience(s) and/or to a reader with a discount code (you can even create multiple discount codes for the same plan, such as "EVENT2019" and "SUMMERDEAL"). The discount code allows any reader who has it to override the monetization rule that would otherwise be applied to their audience.


Offer – What are you actually offering?

Within this tab you'll find many features to customize your offer. Using a combination of the available settings you can set the logic of your offer, both with respect to access rules as well as pricing.

Pledge mode

Sets a price floor while allowing readers to pledge more than required. Here's what pledge mode looks like on the reader side:

 Please note: pledge mode is not compatible with trials.

Content Access

This section is where you set the rules of your paywall. You can either apply a paywall to all posts on your site (checking the box Lock site content for readers who are not paying) or apply paywall rules only to posts and pages tagged a certain way. Please read our help article, Setting and customizing content access (registration wall and paywall rules) before setting any paywall.

If you want a metered paywall, you can set the meter length from '0' to '5 articles', meaning that a reader can read up to that many articles for free in a given month. To set a 'hard' paywall (i.e., no free content), set the meter length to '0'.

Setting prices, trials

You can set both monthly and annual prices (or one or the other). These are the prices that readers will see by default (unless they override it with a discount code, thus switching them to a different monetization plan, or unless you offer a trial). If you offer a trial option, readers who purchase a subscription will first be on the trial and then converted into either monthly or annual plans at the trial's conclusion. If you offer a choice, they can choose at the moment of trial and change it later (while the trial is going) from the reader-facing Pico menu on your site.


Benefits, premium newsletters

Currently, every tier in a multi-tier plan will unlock full access to the site. Eventually, we will allow you to vary content access by tier.

If you want to associate a premium newsletter with a paid tier, do so by selecting the newsletter from the list. If you want to create a new newsletter, you must do so (at the moment) anywhere in the Registration Rule editor. Once created, you can then associate it with the paid tier(s) you wish.


Feature List

Use our Feature List editor to explain all the benefits associated with this tier. Here are two examples (one from a multi-tier set up; the other from a single-tier set up).




You can add multiple tiers to any monetization plan. Each tier can have its own title, pricing, benefits list, and associated premium newsletters. To edit the sequence of tiers – as well as add, delete, and duplicate them – use the controls at the bottom of each tier as well as at the bottom of the page.

Pass Plan

Passes allow you to limit access to content on your site through a one-time purchase that is only valid for a set amount of time. Unlike subscriptions, these cannot renew, and expire at the end of the Pass period. Passes are perfect for communities like Yoga Studios, Comedy Clubs, or other performances that want to allow temporary access. With Passes you can:

  • offer passes ranging from 1 day to weeks (up to one year)
  • offer multiple tiers of passes so you can wall certain access behind higher tier values

Passes do not support trials or pledge mode, and they won't appear as an option for any current recurring donors or subscribers.


Do you want to set a 'registration wall'?

A registration wall is an excellent way to build your funnel before asking readers to pay a subscription.

You can set both 'hard' and 'metered' registration walls by applying similar settings to a Registration Plan. Registration walls can exist on their own or coexist with metered paywalls as long as you set your registration meter shorter than your paywall meter. See Creating Registration Rules for more on creating and editing registration plans. 

Do you want your paywall or registration wall to apply to only some content?

You can apply your registration or paywall rules to content only with certain tags or to content not tagged as you designate. This would be the easiest way to have a 'freemium' model or to exclude special content, such as special coverage or sponsored content from your normal paywall rules. For more, see Setting and customizing content access (registration wall and paywall rules)