Friday, May 27, 2005

Missed Opportunities?

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a neat utility called "Search Automator". It's like a browser on steroids - enabling the user to carry out a huge range of search tasks. I won't try to describe them - visit the site, and watch the video.

Anyway, when I first found the site, they were in the process of selling the product to another company. As a consequence, you couldn't buy Search Automator - you could only download a trial version, which I did.

There were no signs, when using the software, that it was a trial version.. no nag screens, no indication as to the length of the trial period.

So I kept on using it, and was very pleased with it. Then, today, it suddenly stopped working. Fair enough, although I would have appreciated some warning. All that popped up when I tried to open the program was an "alert box", which said "Thank you for trying Search Automator".

Now, here's the marketing error - there was nothing to indicate where or how I could buy the product. What a missed opportunity!

I revisited the site (guessing at the URL), and the new owners had obviously taken control. Now you can buy Search Automator ($50) as well as downloading a trial version. And here was error number 2..

I clicked on the "Free Trial" button. It led straight to the download file. Again a missed opportunity. What the owners should have done was to set up a page to capture the user's name and email address before they could download the trial version. Then they could have followed up after a period, reminding the user just before the trial period expired where they could buy the product.

A final error, another missed opportunity, is the lack of an affiliate program. Search Automator is an ideal product to sell via the affiliate channel.

So I won't make any money by sending you to the site :-(

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