Money and the idea of its exchange through payments have evolved a lot from the time of its inception. From goods to grain, from metal coins to paper, from bank accounts to e-wallets, money has taken various shapes, sizes, and forms. Payments evolved from a barter system (exchange of goods for grains) to the token system (exchange of coins and cash on paper) to cash pooling (bank accounts and deposits) to cashless payments (credit cards, checks, e-wallets). Over the last decade or so, payment technologies have grown at a dizzying pace.
This ‘free plus shipping’ type approach has been empirically proven in a variety Psychology of Marketing studies and has been recently popularized by researchers such as Dr. Dan Ariely, the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of the hugely influential book Predictably Irrational. We’ve seen this approach drive increases in sales of an upsell product 3-4-fold.
The first example to look at is the email delivery service MailChimp. MailChimp allows users to sign up and use their service for free. If you have a more extensive email list or require more features, then you would join their upgraded plan. They want to make their services seem as easy as possible in an effort to be accessible to both professionals and novices. In MailChimp’s funnel, they have traffic which they get a lot of via word of mouth. Next up is a homepage that draws you in with its slogan and its iconic monkey graphic. They place their buttons strategically around their page for ease of browsing. They next utilize their pricing page and emphasize their free option. They want to get you signed up for their services so you can show everyone how easy their platform is and help them grow.
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You also want a web host with 24/7 customer support—if not by phone, then at least by chat. Forums, knowledge bases, and help tickets are all well and good, but sometimes you just need to communicate with another human to get things ironed out as quickly as possible. That said, not all 24/7 customer support teams are equal. Companies like GoDaddy and Liquid Web boast incredibly knowledgeable and helpful customer support squads—a fact that we confirmed in our in-depth reviews of those web hosting services.
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