I don't know how you started your collection but mine started with the incredible how-could-anybody-pass-up-this-offer from Columbia House Records. The deal is NOT why Columbia House Records went bankrupt, that's another story. But how Columbia House made money with a deal like this is a lesson for every business and an excellent strategy for landing page design.
Hey, I know some people called it a scam. I wasn't one of them. In fact, even before I gave up the penny, I did the math. You were obliged to buy 8 more records at regular prices plus shipping and handling. So, of course the devil was in the details? But scam? Nope. By the time you had fulfilled your contract, you still paid less per album than you would have at the local record store.
In the digital marketing world, that kind of offer is called a "trip wire". I personally hate the term because it implies that you fell for something. A good loss leader is never a scam. It is imminently useful to the buyer with the knowledge that there is more to come.... but later. And that should be your take-away relative to the Columbia Records offer. What did this offer teach us? Rather than explain all of this, I'm just going to toss out a few questions that should make you think.
- Why did Columbia Records make you send in a penny?
- Why was the number almost always 12 or 13 and why did the number change from ad to ad?
- How many times did you see the offer before you decided to take the plunge?
- What made you decide to take the plunge?
- How did Columbia Records recoup its losses?
If you can answer these five questions, you're well on your way to devising a great landing page strategy.While you're thinking about that, here are some modern day trip-wires that you may be tripping over. Ask yourself why?
- Amazon Prime Membership
- Netflix DVD rental
- Spectrum services - Hey Spectrum! I don't want the phone! Why is it cheaper WITH the phone service than without the phone service
- Dish TV
- Direct TV
- Just about any magazine subscription deal
OK, so now you may be thinking... "this doesn't apply to me. It doesn't apply to my business." To that, all I can say is that it will apply to your business when your competitor figures it out.