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Why Try Before You Buy Works….and How To Convert Browsers into Buyers

Why Try Before You Buy Works….and How To Convert Browsers into Buyers

After a long battle with my knees and feet, I’m back to exercising. (Happy dance here, please!) And, my neighborhood is jumping with options.

In fact, I have 8 fitness options within walking distance including F45, Graviti Fitness, Defy Gravity Studio, House of Fitness, Corona Del Mar Fitness, Studio Cycle, Shape Up Fitness, and an Orange Theory Fitness that is opening soon. Every studio is rushing to recruit me and experience a free 2-week trial…. except Orange. Let me explain.

Orange Theory sends me an email, but I’m prohibited from signing up on-line. I must speak with a sales person who quickly explains that I am required to commit to a contract before I can start my 2-week free trial. I must pick a plan ($79 for 4 classes, for example), sign their contract, give them my credit card for auto billing, but my billing won’t start for 2 weeks essentially giving me 2 weeks free, right? WRONG! This offer isn’t a free trial, but delayed billing!

In fact, this company’s marketing efforts are a case study on how NOT to convert browsers into buyers.

  1. Buy and Then Try is Their Mantra – I have never visited Orange Theory, and the one in my hood doesn’t even open until February 15 prohibiting me from even seeing if I like the layout! How can I logically make a purchase decision and a commitment without even experiencing it?

  2. Negative Option Billing Reigns Supreme – Do you remember the Columbia Record Club whereby it automatically sent you albums (ha!) monthly and billed you for the privilege UNLESS you cried “uncle” and requested not to receive a shipment? Well, this Theory embraces that controversial theory of marketing.

  3. The Nagging Never Stops – Four email reminders have popped up within one week from a third party (RightSignature) reminding me that it’s time to sign my contract. Since I’m clearly not signing, I can’t even unsubscribe: The unsubscribe link merely takes me to a home page.

  4. The Email Follow Up Violates Solid Marketing Principles – I’ve received 2 “just following up” emails. (It is my #1 offender on how NOT to follow up; take a look at the blog I wrote about that topic.) Even worse, my in-box shows an email from “OTF.” At first blush, the acronym looks like another acronym; oops!

  5. Customers are Held Captive – If you don’t cancel the contract on time and in writing (Saturdays and Sundays don’t count), you get billed anyway. Who wants to take someone’s money when they don’t want to be there? Yikes!Make it easy to unsubscribe so that you #market to your #tribe Click To Tweet

BUT, there are easy fixes to these marketing missteps:

  1. Initiate a Flirtation Device – As the Baskin-Robbins folks advocate, dish out a ton of free samples (pink spoons) so that folks try before they buy. And, more importantly, allow them to revel in knowing that they made the right choice.Create a way to “sample” you like @BaskinRobbins: speech, webinar, or white paper Click To Tweet

So, if you’re wondering how to create a sample, it’s easy! Offer and market your free talks or seminars, record a webinar, distribute an audio, start a Youtube Channel, write a blog, or offer a darn good white paper. I change my opt-in offering often and currently, it is for my free 10 Red-Hot Branding Principles. I also hope that I see you on Friday, January 27 for How to Pitch in 60 Seconds That Gets You Funded, or on Tuesday, January 31 for Communicating with Confidence & Competence.

  1. Create Valuable E-Mails – Stop simply emailing prospects that it’s time to sign. Instead, continue to offer value; remind them of the benefits of working with you or exercising their options with you. Current marketing theory states that, of course, it’s OK to promote your stuff. After all, the cost of a free blog is an occasional promotion just as the cost of a YouTube video is often an ad. BUT, find the balance between content and promo.

  2. Nab The Right Name – Email open rates are determined by 2 items: the sender and the subject line. Make your “from” line simple and logical. Yesterday, for example, I abandoned a shopping cart, yet the email reminder came from “Info.” Of course, it should have been the brand name which would have triggered a reminder to complete the purchase. Instead, I was left wondering, “who is info?”

Ready to add a little sizzle to your marketing mix? Let me know!

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