I had an annoying experience at a movie theatre that reminded me of how so many email marketers today who, after going through the trouble and expense of adding new subscribers to their list, almost immediately ruin this new and potentially profitable relationship before it’s even had a chance to begin.
Here’s how it played out:
The movie was scheduled to start at 3:30pm. We were running a little late but still managed to be seated at around 3:25pm (my foot may or may not have been a little heavy on the way there).
At around 3:35pm the typical pre-movie ads started. Now maybe it’s been a while since I’ve been to a movie theatre but I don’t remember there being 25 minutes of commercials for local businesses. Keep in mind we were watching an animated movie with the kids so health insurance ads were not helping to keep them settled as they waited for the movie to start.
Finally we got to the upcoming movie previews. Probably about 3 or 4 previews. Then they were done and we all got ready to finally watch the featured presentation.
There might as well have been someone jumping in front of the screen yelling “Psych!” because, much to our surprise, instead of the movie starting, we had to then endure a 5 (maybe 10) minute animated short film that had absolutely nothing to do with the movie we went to watch.
It was 4:15pm when the movie finally started and by the time the opening credits started to roll I wasn’t even interested in watching it anymore. I went from really wanting to watch this movie to being totally turned off.
Are you doing this same thing to your subscribers?
So many internet marketers are teaching a very similar tactic to up and coming list builders and, while it may get results (at least according to them), I really don’t believe this is the best way to build a long term (read profitable) relationship with potential customers.
You’ve probably seen it either done or taught like this:
- Send people to an opt in page where you promise an incredible, high value free give – so far, so good.
- When they opt in, instead of being taken to the free gift they’re sent to some paid upgrade. What??
Ok fine, a paid upgrade isn’t so bad. And in fact if it’s a related product of even higher value then this is a great way to make some money and cover advertising costs in the beginning. Especially true if you’re paying for traffic.
However, 2, 3 or 5 upgrades is just too much. I had to wait 45 mins to watch the movie I went to see and I just felt duped and my initial excitement was all but obliterated by the time the movie started.
Here’s the problem: someone who doesn’t know you has just decided to take a leap of faith and trust you with their email address. Not something to take lightly. They’re taking you at your word that you can deliver something great – and then you trick them?
Even if the price tag is small, the extra hoops you’re making this person jump through make it more likely for them to want to just find that unsubscribe button the moment your first email hits their inbox.
Again, I’ve seen marketers do very well with this strategy but they’re typically very careful to make it clear that the free gift is on the way (or even already in your inbox) and they now need to fix an already strained relationship.
Here’s what I recommend doing instead
I’ve tried this “opt in upgrade” approach and my results were less than stellar. I made a couple of sales (which didn’t cover my ad cosst by the way) but having grown up in my dad’s bakery I know that the best way to get loyal customers is to blow them away with great value on the first contact.
It’s quite simple really:
Deliver what you promised and then sell them something.
I’ve seen this work really well with high ticket products being sold on webinars. These savvy marketers will use the webinar (live online presentation) to teach new subscribers something amazing for about 30 to 45 minutes. At the end of the presentation something related to what was taught is offered for sale – usually for a pricetag upwards of $300.
Sales fly in because the listener has received value – first – and has had a chance to decide if they like and trust the presenter enough to actually spend money with them.
If the paid product is as amazing as the sales material said it would be you have now acquired a customer for life.
This is a little extra work but boy does it work well if done right.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it
So here’s something for you to test. If you’re not seeing many sales from your “Opt in upgrades” try sending new subscribers to a thank you page that delivers what you promised and also offers somethng for sale as an optional upgrade.
You’ll want to use your creativiity here to make the paid product a logical next step but at the very least you should feel good knowing that there’s no trickery involved.
Who knows? You may like it and get amazing results too.