KickoffLabs Blog:

Drop the gimmicks and just love your customers

By Josh Ledgard

Sep 9th, 2011

Every day I see tweets like this that piss me off:


People of the web… you can do better. You deserve to be treated better. Your customers deserve to be treated better and I’ll show you how.

You might say “So what… doesn’t your site enable people to do the same thing?”

Yes, but there are good and bad gimmicks. A good gimmick has a reward on both ends. A bad gimmick only helps one party. This only helps one party. Let’s talk about what makes a gimmick evil:

  1. There is no clear reward evident for the person tweeting
  2. The reward is one way… marketing for them.
  3. You aren’t told if you are helping by spamming your friends.
  4. You’re doing free marketing for a service you can’t even try.
  5. You have no idea how long the line is.
  6. The service is available but you aren’t told how many people you need to sign up to get in.
  7. What you hope to achieve can be gotten 50 other ways.

If you are waiting like a lot of people I know, without word, for months on end… Stop! Look for an alternative. I know people will go to great lengths for something free but give yourself some respect. You deserve better.

Now let’s look at how you can create a GOOD gimmick without being evil for your new venture. Do something that treats you and your potential customers better.

  1. Reward people. Personally thank them on Twitter and send an auto-response that provides them with more value and information.
  2. Define clear rules. Tell people what they are. Tell people if they change and why, but try and stick to your promises. If you want 3 signups before you give something away… tell them that’s how they get in… and let them in! No one should be begging.
  3. Tell people where you’re at. Is this just something on a napkin that you’re testing or are you actively working full time on it? There is no shame in the truth.
  4. Tell them how they are helping. Let them know, without effort on their part… if their marketing is helping you achieve your goals. It’s as simple as saying “Hey – you got 5 people to sign up! Thanks! Here is a free ebook about building a landing page. “
  5. Keep them engaged. Even if you can’t launch yet keep people informed along the way. Demonstrate progress. Send newsletters with information that helps them achieve their goals anyway… even if it’s without you.
  6. Have faith in humanity. That if you provide people with a great service at a good price that people WILL actually tell other people about you. Good products and great services are not gimmicks.
  7. Share your goals. Make people feel like they are part of something bigger than a ponzi scheme. If your goal is 1 million or 1 thousand signups… tell people that’s what your aiming for before you launch. People like being part of something bigger than themselves.

If you don’t do at least some of these good things… I’ll tell you what will happen. One of your competitors will work night and day to turn your gimmick against you.


And the response will be:


An engaged customer that felt like part of something bigger wouldn’t bite.

There you have it. I encourage you all to create better gimmicks that reward both parties.

BTW – If you are looking for a great way to create a social landing page today… KickoffLabs is here to help.

Even if we aren’t your cup of tea here are just a few other alternatives. I’m not scared to talk about them… because I’m confident you’ll love us. I just don’t like seeing people wait in lines.

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