Friday, February 9, 2007

The Platinum Rule

Over in the Seattle Biznik community, I got into a discussion about Squeezed Pages (see below). And I came up with a particularly clever turn of phrase, even if I do say so myself! Below are my replies from that discussion, edited a little to keep this as small as possible. But the phrase is:

Just goes to prove the Platinum Rule, which is “There is no Platinum Rule.”

It seems like there are all these rules of marketing and management. There is always somebody telling you that you should do X because of some rule. And then somebody else will come along and tell you that doing X will break another rule. I have always found that when people start quoting rules, it is really time to rethink the project. But now I have the the Platinum Rule to quote.

Ok, here is the phrase in context:
Squeezed .vs. Non-Squeezed Web Sites

Non-Squeezed world:
1) Visitors can explore your site without joining first
2) When they join, you gather just the name/email visitor information
3) You send out generic mass mailings

Squeezed world:
1) Site visitors must join your site before they can see anything
2) You gather email and as much other information as you think you can get from site visitors
3) You send personalized mailings to individuals.

How do I say this? A squeezed site is considered slimy by many people. Not that slimy is necessarily wrong, but there is a cost to be paid for employing those tactics.

Modern trends suggest implementing this using transparency and reciprocation.

Visitors are able to play around your site and get to know you before you ask them for their information. And when visitors do give you something (their information), you should give them something. So a more polite version of Squeezed Marketing would be an offer to email them one of four eBooks for signing up on the site. You can then make your response back to that user more personal by using something from the book they chose.

- - -

Overnight I thought of two squeezed sites that are good: The New York Times and LA Times are very quick to make visitors join and ask for a lot of information and they send targeted mass mailings. But somehow it's OK coming from them.

Just goes to prove the Platinum Rule, which is "There is no Platinum Rule". :-)

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