If They Don’t Consume, You Don’t Get Paid Again

It is a dire mistake to assume just because someone buys your product, it will be consumed. The sad reality is most people don't consume the products they purchase.

Some industries play to this and thus rely largely on one-time sales instead of repeat purchases. Like the fitness industry --- most design their workout equipment to easily fold down so it can fit under the bed! Once under the bed, unfortunately, it will probably never get used again... or at least until the New Year resolution kicks in. Ironically, though, the execs know there's just something about having the product in possession (not necessarily using it) that alone, satisfies a need of the end user.

Heck, I've got a collection of over 2,000 books in my home office (not counting storage and pre-college stuff). I practically buy every book mentioned by any respectable figure or colleague. Have I read all, half, or even a quarter of them? Nope. Do I feel proud about my collection when others come over and say, "No wonder you're so smart!" You bet I do.

But this is an exception, not the rule. Chances are, you don't have millions of dollars to spend on infomercials to get droves of new customers everyday. And even then, these companies are waiting for the next big thing to sell because they rely on one-time transactions and any upsales or shipping upgrades they get at the point of purchase. Point blank, you'll be hard pressed to get your customers back if they haven't consumed prior purchases. That's why every effort must be made to put systems and follow-up in place to encourage consumption.

This post isn't really about what we do at Hearandplay.com as I wanted to spotlight my recent experience with Dropbox, as a new user. But at Hearandplay.com, I include a sticker on the package that pretty much aims to get the customer pumped up about taking action again. To assume the same fire that pushed them to purchase will still be lit by the time it takes UPS or Fedex to deliver the goods is a mistake. This unique yellow sticker essentially says "Don't open this program til' you call this number to listen to a special message from the founder himself." And it works.

I had one local fellow at the golf driving range who learned of my business and purchased a jazz program, unbeknownst to me. When he saw me a week later, he ran up and said: "Wow, I love your product but what amazed me the most was the 10-minute message I listened to on the phone. You're one sharp guy!"

Anyway, I'll talk about the 12 consumption-based strategies I employ some day, but here's one way I noticed Dropbox.com doing it:

They essentially have 7 steps (which they've framed as "quests") they want me to take. They not only keep up with each step I've accomplished (by crossing it out), but they cheer me on by telling me how many steps I've got before I receive my reward (an extra 250 megabytes). I can easily see this being applied to a [contentblock id=14 img=html.png], where you have a series of steps you want the user to complete. The idea being: if they consume and see results (or at least begin to witness the benefits), they'll either stick around longer or return to buy your next product.

I know I could save my own examples for another post, and I planned to, but the temptation is too much. Here's how I do similarly in my Gospel Music Training Center:

We take new members through our "Foundation Lessons" area, which keeps up with their progress, quizzes them at the end of each chapter, and rewards them upon completion.

If the topic of consumption fails to make your weekly meeting, it's not too late to start. What do you find works well to encourage consumption of recent purchase?

 

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