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Issue #735: The “Get Them Started” Issue

{Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That Email Newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the left.}

Help get your customers on their way to an awesome customer experience by doing your part to get them started. Here's how:
 
   1> Give them a test drive
   2> Let them invite friends
   3> Show them a roadmap
   4> Check it out: Peep research

1> Give them a test drive

Get potential customers going with a free sample, a trial period, or a complimentary starter product. 37Signals is famous for being an early pioneer of what's now known as the "freemium" business model — where basic services are offered for free while charging for premium or advanced services. Rather than paying for everything up front, 37Signals lets people test things out, get familiar with their tools, and, often, fall in love.

The Lesson: If you've got great stuff, showing can be more effective than selling.

2> Get them to invite friends

Your customers will have a much better experience if they can share it with a bunch of friends. When new users sign up for Facebook, for example, each person they befriend is encouraged to suggest other friends the new user may know. Within a very short time period, these new users have a bunch of connections and a reason to keep coming back. Instructional services such as art, yoga, or similar classes could benefit by applying this concept to help clients invite friends or by making an effort to connect students with similar interests.

The Lesson: It's much easier to start and harder to leave when friends are involved.

3> Show them a roadmap

Don't just hand over the keys to your product to new customers and hope for the best. Instead, give them tips, suggestions, and detailed instructions to ensure they have a great first experience. Socialtext, a company that offers online collaborative applications and tools, sends a thorough list of recommendations for getting your team comfortable with their tools, common ways businesses use their products, and ideas for which tools work best for which jobs.

The Lesson: A lame instruction manual isn't enough. Go out of your way to make sure they get off on the right foot.

4> Check it out: Peep research

You know those little yellow puffs of marshmallow shaped like baby chicks you commonly see during Easter? Well, they're technically called "Peeps" and, as it turns out, are the subject of some extensive studies. Check out PeepResearch.org to learn more about the effects of smoking and alcohol on Peep health, Peep and "Fear Response" testing, and a Peep medical miracle.

Check it out: PeepResearch.org

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