Friday, May 14, 2010

A Real Feel-Good Online Experience

I love great online experiences. I never expect them, because they're almost non-existent. I'm more used to frustration and roadblocks. But every once in a while a great experience jumps out and surprises me and gives me a big fat smile. I was so happy with my purchase of the book Rework, and my experiences leading up to it, that I have to share it with you. It's a terrific example of great content, after great content, after great content... all working together to create a great customer experience.

Good content #1: Social relevance and intrigue

I read a tweet from Copyblogger recommending the book Rework, from 37signals. In less than 140 characters, I was captured by two persuasive messages: 1) Somebody else (like me) enjoyed a specific product, and 2) he commented on how much he liked Rework's web page, which made me curious enough to actually go look at it.

Good content #2: Product positioning

A big image of the book. On the cover: A great but concise testimonial from a well-known name, and an interesting graphic. I keep going. Back cover: Interesting, controversial, concise, clever. Definitely keep going. I see three YouTube videos, which I watch one by one. And I'm completely sold! The movies convey the basice theme of the book, and I get a sense that the authors are smart, clever, funny, articulate, and a bit irreverent. AND they're talking about something that interests me! I love it. I see the table of contents (in this case "essays") which confirms my first impression. I want to buy this book.

Good content #3: Super-slick, 1-click shopping with almost invisible upselling

Cut over to Amazon (In the USA you can do this directly by clicking on the book's image). I'm not a big consumer. I rarely shop unless my kids clothes are two sizes too small or it's Christmas. But I do admit to a certain fondness for books. Some call it an addiction, but that's just semantics. At any rate, I have an Amazon account with 1-click shopping set up, so literally all I have to do is select the book and click to purchase. But I like to watch my dollars so I check out the price before I buy. Very reasonable! So reasonable, in fact, that I need to add another book to get free shipping. No problem, there's always a good selection of books sitting in my Amazon wish list. Easy, easy, easy. I don't need to dig out my credit card. I don't need to spend time finding another book to purchase. There is not a single thing to distract me from my decision to buy, and buy right now.

So, who wins?

Everyone. Copyblogger wins because I talk about him, retweet his tweet, link to him in my blog. 37signals wins because I bought their book Rework, and am talking about it. And Amazon wins because not only did I buy Rework from them, I added another book to the order! And I win, because I'm happy that everything just worked to support me. I never felt like I was being sold anything at any point along the way. I was being shown something that I would enjoy, and was provided with a quick and easy way to buy it.

Was this just random good luck? No. It was a result of well-designed, effective, strategic content that provided me with an effortless experience. Someone else did all the work so I didn't have to.

Now, I just have to wait to enjoy the book.

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