Want to tap into recurring subscription revenue? Setting an effective pricing strategy and making payments seamless are your most important goals. To find out how industry leaders in subscription pricing marry strategy and tech seamlessly, join our interactive VB Live event featuring Ancestry.com’s senior manager of electronic payments and fraud prevention, along with VB’s Stewart Rogers and Worldpay’s Kevin Hennessy.

Register here for free.

“The subscription model across industries is really on fire,” says Derek Blatter, senior manager of electronic payments and fraud prevention at Ancestry.com. “There’s a lot of interest on the merchant side to offer a seamless experience where the product is the focus, as opposed to the payment.”

Ancestry is the global leader in family history and consumer genomics. By harnessing the information found in millions of family trees, billions of historical records, and more than 3 million people in the AncestryDNA network, Ancestry helps everyone, everywhere discover the story of what led to them.

Their recurring subscription model is successful, in part, Blatter says, because they know their product and they know their users — these are the family historians, both amateur and professional, who need ongoing access to that content over the course of their research.

But they need to constantly test and tweak to ensure that both new users and ongoing ones are getting the most value out of their subscription.

Upfront, users can choose not only the duration — monthly, semiannually, or annually — but also the level of access, from local to international.

“That’s a lot of information to be able to provide a new customer with right from the onset,” says Blatter. “It’s a delicate balance that our team here at Ancestry works to test and optimize in order to not overwhelm the customer with too many options and too many choices.”

In part, they’re working to avoid a sales pitch at the front end, where a new customer may not know or fully understand the ins and outs of how those different tiered options are related to each other, and may end up clicking away, or unsubscribing too soon.

It’s also their biggest upsell opportunity, he says.

“Instead of just giving them a giant matrix to choose from, it can also be integrated with the product experience itself as the users are engaging with the product,” he explains. “We’re able to give them the opportunity to upgrade at the time when they need it, when they may not have access to global records that are going to be useful, and have that be a much more contextual type experience.”

Data is key in this whole process, Blatter says.

“Often, you can think of payments and subscription payments as a necessary evil and a tax to pay in order to make this machine go,” he says. “But there’s another perspective you can take on how they interact with the payment and the transaction itself, which yields a lot of valuable data.”

“Ancestry is continually trying to navigate that maze and that opportunity as we’re able to garner the voice of the customer,” Blatter adds. ” That’s a constant focus and something we’re continuing to try and adjust and continue to get right.”

To learn more about making payments seamless, picking the most lucrative moment to upsell and cross-sell and more, don’t miss this interactive VB Live event!

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

By registering for this VB Live event, you’ll learn how to:

  • Provide subscribers with the right payment options at the right time
  • Get users to pick the subscription option you WANT them to
  • Increase payment conversion with an effective pricing strategy
  • Create and execute a payments strategy that enables you to reliably scale globally


  • Stewart Rogers, director of marketing technology, VentureBeat
  • Derek Blatter, senior manager, electronic payments and fraud prevention, Ancestry.com
  • Kevin Hennessy, business development director, North America Worldpay
  • Wendy Schuchart, moderator, VentureBeat

This VB Live event is sponsored by Worldpay.