Walk down to your local supermarket. Watch the old lady giving you crackers and some new fangled dip being promoted by a local food company. Your curiosity gets the better of you–if your hunger doesn’t get there first. You taste one dip, then another and if you have the nerve, all the five dips that sit on the demonstration table.
The little old lady gives you her sales pitch.
Tells you about the discounts and the special offers available and cajoles you to buy. About one in twenty do buy. But if you watch carefully, about nineteen of those simply say bye-bye.
What just happened here?
There was no opt in, that’s what! That food company simply tickled the palates of thousands of supermarket goers, but got very few of them to actually purchase the product. Essentially the concept of giving samples is a sound one and frankly the only one any business should use. The mistake is the little glitch that no one noticed.
Most of the customers didn’t opt-in
And in the mountain of books we read today, it’s easy to miss a book called ‘Scientific Advertising’ by Claude Hopkins. Claude is rightly called the father of advertising, because his ideas were so far ahead of his times, that almost every one of them have been used for the past century, and continue to be used as we go from a direct-marketing/in person selling role to a digital medium such as the Internet. And here’s what Claude had to say all those years ago.
“We do not advocate samples given out promiscuously. Samples distributed to homes, like waifs on the doorsteps, probably never pay. Many of them never reach the house or the housewife. When they do, there is no prediction for them. The product is cheapened. It is not introduced in a favorable way. So with demonstrations in stores. There is always a way to get the same results at a fraction of the cost. Many advertisers do not understand this. They supply thousands of samples to dealers to be handed out as they will.
Could a trace be placed on the cost of returns, the advertiser would be stunned. Give samples to interested people only. Give them only to people who exhibit that interest by some effort. Give them only to people whom you have told your story. First create an atmosphere of respect, a desire, an expectation. When people are in that mood, your sample will usually confirm the qualities you claim.”
And I want you to pay very close attention to these five distinct thoughts.
1) Give samples to interested people only.
2) Give them only to people who exhibit some effort.
3) Give them only to people who you have told your story.
4) First create an atmosphere of respect, of desire and of expectation.
5) When people are in that mood, your sample will usually confirm the qualities you claim.
And frankly, Claude seems like an idiot in this day and age
Because how do you as a seller of products or services, create an opt in when all around you people seem to be giving away stuff without any opt-in? A customer can quite easily stroll in and out of a blog. They can quite easily watch a video or listen to an audio without needing to so much as sniff an opt-in form.
But does that create an aura of respect, desire and expectation?
No it doesn’t. The most coveted night clubs require you to stand in a line to enter. The most wanted events require you to be part of some group to enter. The most desired products and services know that you must indeed create some fencing; some rope, over which the customer must indeed jump, even as other similar businesses are freely allowing the customer to stroll in and out without a thought.
And there’s proof that this concept works
On our Psychotactics website, we get thousands of subscribers. On our blog, we get far fewer subscribers. Why would that be the case? The blog has prettier pictures. It even has audio versions of the article. It even has RSS. Or email. And yet the Psychotactics website gets the lion’s share of the conversion not only with regard to the newsletter, but also with the sales. And guess what? The Psychotactics newsletter doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles above. And yet it does a whole lot better. And it converts like crazy.
But this brings us to one puzzling question
Tens of thousands of businesses, websites, blogs don’t have any such restrictions, and they do very well. Do very well in what respect, one may ask? Because traffic doesn’t equal to conversion. Millions of people eating your free crackers at the supermarket doesn’t lead to whopping sales and cheering shareholders.
Listen to Claude Hopkins.
Listen to those five thoughts carefully.
Human nature hasn’t changed. And changes slowly, if ever.
We still want what we can’t have. We still want to put in the effort. We still want to be apart from the milling, strolling masses. And that’s when we, as customers end up buying. When the sample we’ve worked so hard to get, conforms to our expectations. That’s when we buy.
So what are you doing to put those five steps into your business plan today?
This article is just part of a detailed series of articles on the topic of attraction, conversion and consumption.
This week in 5000bc.com we’ll have other detailed analyses of opt-in and why it matters. 5000bc has hundreds of detailed articles, critiques and other stuff you just won’t find elsewhere.
The detailed analysis on this topic can be found at 5000bc (Members Login Here)
– Why Attraction and Conversion Need To Be Separated For Opt-In : Part 1
– The Elements Opt-In at the Point of Conversion: Part 2
– A Slew of Mistakes on the Opt-In Page: Part 3
– How Opt In Resolves Client Indifference- Part 4
To find out more, go to www.psychotactics.com/5000bc