Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Learning from LinkedIns' (Mistakes)

OK, first off disclaimer (in the event my advice comes across the wrong way);

I love LinkedIn, I believe them to be one of the most successful web 2.0 services, They are the REAL pioneers of Social Networks and they obviously know what they are doing.

Now my rant... I have often felt (still do) that LinkedIn (maybe YOUR company also?) was missing something in their pricing structure. Ok, free is nice (what I currently use), but IMO they are missing a crucial price point. The Price Point can be the difference between a $200M company, or a $2B company - Make no mistake about it, it is that important. A link to LinkedIn's Premium accounts sign-up page, shows the following options:

Should you not be able to read it in the image above, they jump from free to an immediate $20 per month (or offered for $199 per year). Now as much as I love their service, I simply can not justify $200 for the amount/type of networking I do. I am also certain that I am not alone here, and more then likely I am in the *sweet-spot* of what an average user would pay (besides free). My personal choice would be for some sort of a limited (small biz?) price point that I would bet would work best at $49.99 [ As an aside, and I will post about this in more detail latter, but this is an EXCELLENT example of how/when and why to do A/B testing - (yes, even on pricing!!), but who knows...maybe the magic number will end up being $39, or $29....

The second mistake LinkedIn makes regarding PRo Vs. Free users ? Their sales funnel!!! Without driving down into sub page, after sub page let's simply look at the top half of their front page first:

Where the heck is any offer to upgrade, any mention of a PRO account??? OK, let's now look at the bottom half of their homepage:

Careful, you might miss it!! There is is, buried underneath the Google Adwords!!! To, the right of the word "Premium", where it states "Upgrade Your Account". Now this is only the very first stage of their sales funnel, however it is usually the most important, and also the number one rule in Sales; ASK FOR THE ORDER ... and for Gods sake, ask for it where a user can find/see it!!!

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