In getting ready for my monthly stats report, I’m checking to see whether the grids I’m listing in my directory are up and running, and collecting their terms of service pages and other links.
I routinely get into discussions with grid owners about why they needlessly make their land sales pages so complicated and hard to find. Some grids, for example, require users to create accounts and login before they can buy land, then jump through a lot of other hoops.
But this little grid seems to be getting a lot of things right, at least when it comes to site design.
1. Take their money first
I can’t stress this enough. Make it easy for your customers to give you money. You can work out all the details of the region coordinates and estate rights and all that other bookkeeping later.
If you make your customers figure out their region coordinates before you take their money, they might well go away and you’ll never hear from them again.
Here’s a typical scenario. A customer wants to buy land on a grid, and the grid asks for their avatar name. Let’s say 10 percent of them can’t answer the question right away. Maybe they have more than one avatar on a grid, and now they have to decide which one they want to buy the land with. Maybe they have to go and lookup their avatar password, since it’s saved in the viewer and they don’t usually use it on the website. Maybe they haven’t created an account on the grid yet, but have visited over hypergrid. Add all those up and 10 percent of your potential customers will just leave.
Now let’s say the grid wants to know the coordinates of the region. Who can possibly know that? You’re going to lose 50 to 75 percent — or more – of your potential customers right then and there.
Some grids will then ask about how much storage and processing power and server cores and flux capacitors people want. Again, who knows that? Folks tend to know how many prims they want, maybe how many visitors they expect to get. Asking them for technical details will cost you a certain percentage of customers.
These losses add up. Ten percent here, 25 percent there, and pretty soon there’s no one left.
But if the customers pay first, then they’ve made a commitment. They’ll follow up and pick a region name and coordinates and the avatar because they’ve already spent the money.
Genesis Global Journey asks no questions at all. None. It’s as simple as you can get.
2. Limited choice
There’s a sweet spot of about three to five choices when it comes to buying hosting. More choices means that the customer has to make a lot of decisions, decisions they might not be ready to make.
Genesis Global Journey offers just four options, ranging from $8 a month for a single-region starter plan to $160 a month for a 25-region-size varregion.
3. Simple, simple, simple
Each of the plans offer unlimited prims and avatars. In practice, of course, at some point, the regions will start slowing down. But customers don’t have to worry about keeping within specific limits.
But when it comes to the initial buying decisions, it means that customers don’t have to decide ahead of time whether they want 15,000 prims or 30,000 prims or 5,000 prims, or whether they will ever have more than ten visitors at once.
There are no setup fees, and no restrictions.
For example, some grids have covenants on their land, or rules about mainland regions, or there’s a limit about who can buy how many of what kind of region.
Sure, it makes sense to have a limited time promotion as part of a marketing campaign where only a certain number of customers can get a particular deal. But that kind of thing is separate from having a good, clean basic sales page. Especially since there’s no logical reason why a customer shouldn’t be able to order, say, ten landscaping regions. It’s not like they’re a limited commodity.
4. Free trial period
This part really impressed me. New users get a free region for seven days, without having to give any billing details, and if they like it, they can buy a region hosting plan.
I really like this offer, but it might make a little bit more sense to put it on the home page, to motivate people to sign up for new accounts, instead of on the land sales page, where people come already willing to spend some money.
Plus, I couldn’t find any information on the site about how to actually get this free region.
But I love the idea, even if the execution needs some work.
5. Slick and clean design
The folks who set up this website picked a design theme and stuck with it. As a result, the whole page looks crisp and professional.
I do have to add a disclaimer, though. A well-designed sales page will not, by itself, make a grid successful or unsuccessful. There are lots of other factors in play.
In particular, Genesis Global Journey has really high new user registration rates — they gained more than 600 new registrations this past month alone. But their active numbers are very low, with just a couple of dozen users a month. So folks are coming in — maybe attracted by the free region trial offer — but, like me, can’t figure out what they’re supposed to do after they’ve registered. I’ve also not been able to find any activity on their social media sites or in their forums, so there might be other issues involved as well.
But if you notice that your grid’s land sales page is getting a lot of traffic, but isn’t bringing in any money, then take a look at whether you’re making it easy and pleasant for your customers to give you money, or whether you’re throwing a lot of unnecessary obstacles in their way.