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03 February 2008

Comments

Tom Drugan

Hi Jim,
The Naymz Premium Subscription is actually risk-free for the first 30 days, meaning you can test things out for the first month without paying a dime. All you need to do is cancel within the first 30 days should you not find the service valuabel.

Feel free to contact me directly should you have any problems or questions.

Regards,
Tom Drugan
Naymz Co-founder

Jim Benson

Hi Tom,

I also usually recommend against these types of offers. Your service takes only the most nominal of hits for just making the service available for 30 days as a matter of course.

Here's the order of operations:

1. User signs up for 30 day "free" trial
2. User gives you a credit card
3. User forgets to cancel in time
4. User gets charged
5. User is annoyed
6. User is not converted and doesn't come back

As opposed to:

1. User uses system for 30 days
2. User ends trial after receiving value
3. User determines that they aren't ready to convert
4. User downgrades to free service
5. User stays there until their network matures
6. User happily converts upon network maturity
7. User appreciates not having to give up personal financial information (credit card numbers) until necessary

and the bonus 8

8. Everyone gets to try Naymz off the bat, you get more users, and you get more testing on the service in the early days.

I honestly feel people are too busy to opt-in for locked payment free trials like this. I, personally, would have to schedule my termination date just to remember.

Tom Drugan

Jim,

In most cases I do completely agree with you, particularly when there are no/little switching costs for the company (i.e. LinkedIn).

Our premium service and revenue model is unique from the likes of LinkedIn. They make their money by charging their members to contact others in their database who are not in your immediate network. They charge a minimum of $19/month for this service. We are an open network, and we do not charge our members to make contact with other professionals on Naymz. We have taken a different path and offer a premium level service for $4.95/month which includes promotion on Google/Yahoo/MSN through paid search placements, detailed visitor reports, removal of advertisements on profiles and accounts, and a few other items. These are all features that LinkedIn does not currently offer.

The primary feature of our Premium Service is Naymz places sponsored results (aka advertising) on top of Google, Yahoo, and MSN for each subscriber’s name. Outside of this being a fairly laborious process, it also costs us money out of our own pocket each time someone clicks on those sponsored results. We tried a model similar to the one you mentioned above, and unfortunately our business could not sustain the costs for the model to make sense. The compromise was to shift the subscription model to its current form and give users the ability to earn a free premium subscription upgrade if they achieve a RepScore level of 9 or higher.

Thanks,
Tom

Jim Benson

Interesting,

So the costly portion of this for you to provide is auto-feeding google adsense with the names of your subscribers, bringing people back to Naymez to show people their reputation scores.

That's very interesting and very unique. And, as you say, not without its costs. It's also very effective because the subscriber gets an interesting extension of reach on their personal brand, while you get a huge number of relevant search keywords to bring people back to Naymz.

That's quite clever all the way around!

I know that the number of people searching directly for Jim Benson that come to my blog or my business site are rather numerous. So there's quite a lot of natural search results out there for Naymz to tap.

However, that feature isn't the one I was wondering about. That could easily be the hold-back feature (along with advertising removal) while allowing the user to see all the other features during the trial period. The metrics features, though, are of great interest to me - to my personal value equation.

The value equation for auto population of adsense (in addition to the other features) for $4.95 is an easy one for people to grasp. As for me, I am on the fence. On the one hand, it's pretty cool and drives people back to a trust-based site that is tracking my activities. On the other hand, it may pull natural search traffic from my blog and from my business site.

So now I find myself in a situation where I wouldn't opt-in to the paid side of Naymz because I'm mulling over a premium service and while mulling a specific premium service, I don't have access to others which may have great value to me.

That's a conundrum.

Tom Drugan

Jim,

Within the next two weeks we will be enhancing our premium model by adding a .name domain and email address for your name (i.e. benson.name/jim@benson.name) as part of our suite of premium services. That being said, we will also be raising the costs for our monthly subscriptions.

We are fighting between keeping things simple for our users(one comprehensive premium service), or having an ala-carte list of services which would satisfy someone in your position. We are going to start with the former and may test the latter depending on what kind of feedback we get from our community. We will certainly take this conversation into consideration when making any decision.

Thanks,
Tom

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Jim Benson is a collaborative management consultant. He is CEO of Modus Cooperandi, a consultancy which combines Lean, Agile Management and Social Media principles to develop sustainable teams.

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