Over the years, I have tried many things to improve our results at the White Dove Books site. If you are familiar with the Deming Cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act) for continuous improvement, you will know that the checking and acting (tweaking) never stops.
Occasionally, I make a decision to reverse a tweak because it just has not produced the anticipated results. But that is one thing I believe I have got right i.e. I allow my results (measurements) to be the judge of whether or not a particular tactic is effective. So, today, I decided it was time to end the requirement to do a Like, Tweet or +1 before allowing visitors to download our free books.
In principle, the idea sounded good and, there is no question about it, it did cause our site to get a lot of social mentions over the period we tested the idea. But really, social mentions are not the end game and I realised that the number of visitors to our site simply had not increased over the period of the test.
In addition, as ridiculous as this may seem, the practice meant that we had to respond to people who could not figure out how to access the downloads, despite the fact that we made a video showing how to do it and we put it in our FAQ page. There is a link to the FAQ page from the contact form, suggesting you might look there first. But, of course, a lot of people don’t and all of that was just a lot of unnecessary hassle.
So today, I decided to dump the idea. You can now access all of our free books directly from each of the download pages and you can view them on screen or you can choose to download them. The text under the download links now simply asks people to give a social mention if they enjoy the book and actually, I feel a lot better about the arrangement.
In addition, I have removed the ‘Pay-with-a-Tweet’ requirement from our WordPress plugin, so again the download links access the books directly. Oh yes, while we are on the subject, I also removed the requirement to sign-up in order to access the books. By the way, if you have a WordPress blog, you really should be using our plugin.
We have a new version of the plugin almost ready. It will add the LoyaltePays facility to the existing plugin and that means it is going to be very exciting indeed. So do watch out for a further announcement on this matter in a few days time.
EDIT: Version 2.0 of the plugin, supporting LoyaltePays is now released!