Response Crafting

If you say it’s “free,” it should be

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Linkedin has a “premium” component. By paying $20-100 per month, depending on the level of access you need and the type of user you are (individual or business), you see the full list of who’s viewed your profile, inMail messages, more extensive search results, and premium filters (like “salary” in jobs.)

Linkedin has sent me two emails in the last month with the subject line: Try Linkedin Premium Free for 1 Month


At first, I deleted the email. I delete almost every email Linkedin sends me, including the updates from all my groups, which inexplicably seem to pop up more than once a week. But after reflecting on it, I figured, “hey, I’m job hunting right now. It might behoove me to see who’s checking out my profile. And who’s paying what for jobs posted online.” So I follow the embedded link, which takes me to a “subscription” page, complete with a reminder of the “1 free month!” offer. And a request for my credit card information.

So I get it – I sign up for a year, and you give me a month, right? Or maybe buy two, get one free? I was so turned off by this move, I didn’t stick around to read the details. I would imagine, given you’re still sending this email out, that many others had the same reaction.

Here’s what I think the issue is:

1. People as a whole are not entirely familiar with the concept of paying for website access. Unless we have memberships to the sort of sites we don’t show our girlfriends or the “rest” of the articles on WSJ.com, this isn’t something that people, as a whole, commonly pay for. As such, there may be some apprehension about knowing whether or not the cost:benefit leans in our favor. (I think we would also want to know whether Other People are doing it, too. We’re like that.)

2. It’s a luxury, not a necessity. And a rather expensive one at that. Right as some of us are cutting back on cable and salon trips, you’re asking us for $50 a month just to show us information that may or may not even interest us? This isn’t an apartment lease, in which case one month free can be the deciding factor between your complex and the identical one across the street. This is a guy on the street handing you a CD and then asking for ten bucks after you take it. 

The solution is simple: you give that month away, just like you said. Didn’t you guys on the marketing team test drive your first 3-series when you bought them? Don’t you guys try on clothes before you buy them? Do you not love the Costco samples just like the rest of us?! You want us to buy something we’ve never tried? Let us see if we like it first. If it’s as good as you think and you’ve priced it correctly, we’ll stay hooked just like you’d hoped. 

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