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Tiered Price/User reducing account sharing
2 min read

Tiered Price/User reducing account sharing

One of the main issues with the previous model was that we suspect that there will be a lot of our customers downgrading their user count. From the business side there are only downsides to this.

I have mentioned before that we suspect that there is a significant portion of our customers sharing their account. In this model I will explore how well-spread this problem is and what we can do to minimise this.

Is there a way where the accounts that purchase more seats (by forcing them) make up for the loss in revenue for accounts with unused seats?

Detecting real user count

We've been trying to get a better understanding how well-spread account sharing is and have installed some basic logging.

The first time someone logs into Prezly we write their ip address, user agent and auto login token to a table. The last token is used to make sure people don't have to login every time.

Every subsequent login we lookup that data in the table

  • If record is found -> same user/device -> update last_used column in row
  • If record is not found -> other user/device (or cookies cleared) -> write new row.

With that data we can make a pretty accurate estimation of how many devices by looking at device type (desktop/mobile) together with the timestamp of that session and if they are overlapping.

In the sample document with real customer data you can see a number of customers that are account sharing:

Looking at other metrics (number stories published, number newsrooms, ...) there is a good indication something is up. To find more download the sample data and use column users_active_sharing_last_30.

The numbers

So instead of looking at the purchased users I made the assumption we can force those customers to upgrade to their real user account. You might wonder if we can really convince those customers to purchase all those seats. More on that later.

So this could increase our baseline revenue by 21.80%. Notice also how account sharing is happening significantly more for agencies.

Obviously the model isn't entirely correct as the real suspected users could be higher (we keep in account that people could use mobile/desktop at the same time).

How could we enforce this?

The word 'enforce' makes me cringe but let's explore the options we have to reduce account sharing:

  • Tell customers it's against our terms and conditions
  • Enforce 2 factor authentication or Sign-In with Google
  • Build more collaboration features (notes, mentions, notifications) that make it worth having their own account
  • Reduce the number of sender addresses per account
  • 💩 Prevent more than 2 simultaneous sessions in Prezly logging out other users

A combination of one or more items from the above list will increase our revenue. Starting from today we're making sure our Customer Success team has this information whenever they are renewing or renegotiating a contract.


10% is a significant portion of revenue.

We're not the biggest fans of using tricks (auto-log out) to get customers to increase their spent but at the same time accounts that are blatantly sharing is something to be considerate about. So let's start by relaying this information to the Customer Success and Sales teams so we can have a conversation with the owner of that account.

In the previous model we only lost revenue, in this model we might make up for some of that. Besides that message might go hand in hand with the removal of the minimal user commitment.

We're removing the limit of minimal users in every Prezly account while we're installing SSO or 2FA.

Could work?