Why does this work? It’s seasonal and it’s good, informative content that shows you why you need their products. They didn’t just send a promo for me to by grass seed and fertilizer – they are telling me why I need it through informative content.
In Des Moines, IA it is tough to find good seafood and when you find a place that has it – you keep going back. Our place of choice is Waterfront, but as you can imagine, fresh seafood in Iowa costs a little more than it does on the coasts. So last week, we decided to try to make our favorite Waterfront cuisine ourselves at home.
To our surprise, Waterfront offers up their recipes on their website – in printable 4×6 recipe cards. They also have a market attached to the restaurant that sells fresh seafood daily.
Many businesses consider their recipes top secret – whether it be business processes, industry knowledge, or expertise. So why does a business like Waterfront embrace it? Why do they give out their recipes and all the means to make it yourself when their core business is to prepare and serve you food?
This act of giving away information is core to the Freemium business model. It is fundamental to the content strategies Doug and I discuss on our internet business podcast and is something I teach my clients when we discuss organic SEO. It’s the reason I blog, record a podcast, tweet industry details, etc. I give away my successful internet business recipes daily – but for what? Why give away something when I can have people to pay me for that knowledge?
Lets return to Waterfront… They give you a recipe and the ingredients – and send you on your way to make that delicious Halibut Royale that you’ve eaten in the restaraunt a number of times. Excitedly you arrive home and start cooking. As you work your way through the recipe you find it’s not as easy as you had thought. And when you finally pull it out of the oven and take the first bite – you realize it’s not near as good as it is in the restaraunt. So next time you get the craving for fresh seafood you will likely return to the restartaunt and purchase the expert-made halibut royale rather than attempting to prepare it yourself.
So I give away all my web strategy recipes. Some people will take them and run – never requiring my consulting services. But many will take the recipes and try to make them work themselves only to realize they aren’t cut out for it. Upon this realization who do you think they will return to? … the chef that gave them the recipe.
This principle forms a significant cornerstone in how we are changing our business in 2010. Do you give away your recipes? Let us know in the comments or jump into the forums.
Yesterday I read a tweet from Dan Shipton about a book I’ve heard a lot about – The Paradox Of Choice – so I decided to jump over to Amazon and pick it up. Upon checking out I noticed the beauty that is Amazon’s checkout page design. I thought it was ironic that I was purchasing a book about choice when I came to the realization that Amazon had designed an extremely effective checkout page – that simply reduced the amount of choices.
Let’s walk through this e-commerce checkout page design. The beauty of this design relates back to the book I was ordering in the first place – Choice. The book explains the psychology of choice – which basically assumes that as more options are provided to a person the less likely they will make a decision. In the case of this Amazon checkout page they have reduced the amount of choices to two: checkout or get out – and they’ve hidden the get out button.
1. Call To Action - Right away Amazon tells you to click the button on the right to place the order
2. Action – Right next to the call to action is the action button – the “Place Your Order” button located in the prime spot in the top right. I guarantee they split tested this numerous times to find the right sweet spot.
3. Get Out – The “get out” button as I like to call it is the only way for a user to get out of this screen and it’s hidden right in the middle – out of sight, out of mind. This is a great tactic to keep people on this screen.
By reducing the amount of choice on their checkout screen Amazon can funnel you into the decision they want you to make, which of course is to finish your transaction.
If you are doing e-commerce or lead generation this is something you need to be aware of on your landing pages, product pages, and checkout pages. By reducing the number of options a user has the odds increase that they will take your preferred path through your goal funnel. If you are having high bounce rates at specific points in your funnel – like the final checkout page – look into the number of options on the page.
Chances are – if you simplify your landing or checkout pages your conversion rates will go up.
Do you have any questions about landing page or e-commerce design? Let us know in the comments or jump into the forums!
Some questions to ask yourself when developing your content… Is your content adding value? Is your content engaging? Are you publishing quality content? This slide deck from @leenjones attempts to help you figure that out… Content Quality (It's More Than Fixing Typos) View more presentations from Colleen Jones.
If your content strategy is to “Go Viral” than you need start over. As Scott Monty says above – “viral is a result, not strategy”. If you produce engaging, quality content – then you may be able to go viral. If you set up a good syndication and distribution system by creating content outposts – [...]