<ASK> Asking buyer to opt-in before downloading product, is it ethical?

21 replies
Hi guys,
got a question.

I am going to sell a product.
When buyer went to the "DOWNLOAD PAGE", I was thinking to have them sign up to my list (i.e enter their names and email address) before they will be forwarded to the DOWNLOAD LINK.

I've seen this before in some other sites.

My question is.
Do you think it is ethically right to do that?

I mean, it is "forcing" buyer to opt-in to get the download link.. while opt-in were suppose to be voulentarily, not forced?

Any opinions would be really appriciated.

PS: Sorry for my awful english
#&ltask&gt #<ask> #buyer #downloading #ethical #optin #product
  • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
    Personally, I'd rather not have to sign up to a list to get what I paid for. There shouldn't be conditions on the purchase of a product.

    On the other hand, if you were to have a download link and a signup box underneath, saying something like "sign up and receive notification of updates or special tips on how to use this product more effectively", I'm in.
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    • Profile picture of the author Derek_Thomas
      I agree with Audrey above.

      Give them the option to download the product without having to opt-in. However, emphasize the opt-in box. Use it for updates, more information, and perhaps best of all, an additional free gift.

      Best of luck,
      Derek
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    • Profile picture of the author JeffLam
      Originally Posted by Audrey Harvey View Post

      Personally, I'd rather not have to sign up to a list to get what I paid for. There shouldn't be conditions on the purchase of a product.

      On the other hand, if you were to have a download link and a signup box underneath, saying something like "sign up and receive notification of updates or special tips on how to use this product more effectively", I'm in.
      OP: This was my situation many months ago upon launching my first WSO. You can even check out the deadly replies I got from that experience.

      I basically did that: Made people purchase, THEN made them sign up for a list before sending them to the dl page.

      Guess what? I thought it was okay as many people were doing it back then, and in fact MANY are still doing that now.

      Honestly I don't think it's THAT big of a deal. But to others it is. Many don't seem to realize that with Warrior Plus, they are automatically subscribed to a list when they purchase.

      So I'm not really very sure why there's a mixed in reactions to this topic..

      Anyhows, I then explained the situation, and changed the process so that buyers can download AND sign up for notifications and updates if they want to, on the same page.

      Most people sign up anyways.

      Now, I use warriorplus to handle it.
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      • Profile picture of the author sirtom
        Originally Posted by JeffLam View Post

        Many don't seem to realize that with Warrior Plus, they are automatically subscribed to a list when they purchase.
        That's what I was looking for.

        @Brad: Thanks man! I'm very familiar with the automation you can set up in autoresponders (I currently use Aweber), but I'll admit- I've normally put the download behind an opt in form so I can convert that person from a prospect to a buyer. I'd seen that type of funnel before, from some pretty big names as well, so thought nothing of it.

        It actually wasn't until reading this thread that I realized it could be perceived as unethical, or that people may be offended by it. I've never gotten any complaints about it, nor had discrepancies between sales and buyer-list opt ins.

        Then again, it's IMers that experience the most of that and know the ins and outs of email marketing, and my examples I'm referencing were outside of the IM market altogether.

        I was wondering if there's another script or software like Warrior Plus, for PayPal maybe (I think Wishlist does it, for membership sites). Or maybe with PayPal you can subscribe them to a list upon purchasing, which you'd automate in the autoresponder via "If subscribed to A, then unsubscribe to B", etc.

        Perhaps?
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  • Profile picture of the author globalpro
    Something else to consider, if you use PayPal to process your payments, it violates their TOS.

    I agree with the suggestions above and make it worthwhile for the person to sign up.

    Thanks,

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author neversleep
    for me i prefer an options for that, if they are interested, they have the options to sign up. but we must consider that majority of the buyers don't want hassles specially in buying products.
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  • Profile picture of the author amoneygame
    You could always just include it in the buying process somewhere. A lot of the payment processors can send you the email when they pay for your product (thing Paypal's IPN).

    -amg
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    • Profile picture of the author Lance K
      I'd be more worried about how it made my customers feel.

      I was just rereading part of Mark Joyner's book "The Irresistible offer" earlier this evening and made note of the following statement Mark made...

      "There is no substitute for an ecstatic customer."

      So the question I would ask is..."Is requiring a customer to opt-in to my list before delivering what they already paid for more or less likely to make them an ecstatic customer?"

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      • Profile picture of the author Derek_Thomas
        Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

        I'd be more worried about how it made my customers feel.

        I was just rereading part of Mark Joyner's book "The Irresistible offer" earlier this evening and made note of the following statement Mark made...

        "There is no substitute for an ecstatic customer."

        So the question I would ask is..."Is requiring a customer to opt-in to my list before delivering what they already paid for more or less likely to make them an ecstatic customer?"

        Excellent question. Excellent quote. Excellent book.

        Thanks for sharing,
        Derek
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    Perosnally, I find it offensive after I purchase something then get told I have to opt-in to a list to receive it, I hit the refund button instantly. You would be wise, to include the opt-in on the download page and let me decide for myself whether I want to join. Offer an incentive if the buyer opts-in such as product updates etc.

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author hometutor
    Don't you get that information anyway when they purchase?

    I'd give them the choice and tell them ON the download page the only way to get free updates is to

    Join My Preferred Customers List

    Make them feel good about it

    Rick
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  • Profile picture of the author minisite911
    thanks for the input guys.
    very much make sense Thanks again.

    I will put the optin box underneath the download link instead, like Audrey said.

    Thanks again! REallly appriciate the inputs.
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    • Profile picture of the author Derek_Thomas
      Originally Posted by minisite911 View Post

      thanks for the input guys.
      very much make sense Thanks again.

      I will put the optin box underneath the download link instead, like Audrey said.

      Thanks again! REallly appriciate the inputs.

      I would actually reverse that.

      I put the opt-in box "above the fold" first thing, and have the actual download link below. Not "hidden", but not prominent either.

      Derek
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      Originally Posted by minisite911 View Post

      thanks for the input guys.
      very much make sense Thanks again.

      I will put the optin box underneath the download link instead, like Audrey said.

      Thanks again! REallly appriciate the inputs.
      Rather than this, place an opt-in box (with a call to action that tells them how it will benefit them to subscribe) on the page. Under it, place a link they can use to bypass the opt-in and go directly to your download, with text to the effect that they can opt to not subscribe.

      This way, you keep your customers happy, and you'll get more opt-ins than you would if the download was there on the same page.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brad Gile
        Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

        Rather than this, place an opt-in box (with a call to action that tells them how it will benefit them to subscribe) on the page. Under it, place a link they can use to bypass the opt-in and go directly to your download, with text to the effect that they can opt to not subscribe.

        This way, you keep your customers happy, and you'll get more opt-ins than you would if the download was there on the same page.
        I personally do it just like this and have for nearly 2 years. In the past in this forum this question has been asked a few times. In this particular industry people can get very annoyed with being forced in and I understand.

        I made this decision a while back when one of the threads I read kept having people comment that if they had to sign-up, they would immediately ask for a refund. Now, this isn't something I would do if I was forced to sign-up but it doesn't matter. Everyone is different.

        I've always had a thank you message right at the top saying thanks for purchasing. Below, I state that if they would like potential future updates to the product they can opt-in. Once they do, they'll go straight to the download link.

        Under the opt-in box, I put an link below that basically says "if you don't want to sign-up for updates, then click here to go straight to the download link".

        This has always worked for me and I'll be honest, probably 90-95% of my customers join the list.

        So I would go this direction, you'll build a list and keep your customers happy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Online Bliss
    I believe most of us ask for an opt-in
    only for bonus products after the purchase.

    Actually I don't want to speak for everyone,
    however that is how I do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Online Bliss
    stay away from making anybody opt in to your list it is against so many different rules nowadays might as well stick with building your list through social networks.
    I totally disagree with that statement.
    Yes there are rules to follow
    however there is a reason, they actually work!
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    • Profile picture of the author sirtom
      Hey question for you guys:

      Short of forcing an opt-in, is there any other ethical way to separate the buyers from subscribers? If any buyer isn't converted to another list, he/she'll potentially continue to get promotions for the product they already bought..
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I've always wondered - what happens to someone who refuses to opt in? Do they get what they paid for? I've never seen that scenario mentioned.

        Forced optins tick me off. To me it changes the "deal" after the fact. For that reason, when I run into one I simply unsubscribe immediately.

        I can see they might work in some markets - of course they'll build the list because the buyers have no choice.

        kay
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gile
    Hey sirtom,

    With autoresponders you can usually set them up to remove someone from one list to another.

    For example, lets say that someone is on your general list. Then they buy a product from you and sign-up to be on the buyer list. If you have you an autoresponder setup correctly you can have it remove that buyer from the general list and put them on the buyers list.

    I hope this make sense. : )

    Just ask whatever autoresponder service you're using how to set it up to do this.
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  • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
    If you're running a business where you create value for people who want what you have, then why wouldn't you give them an opportunity to give them more of what they want?

    Collecting their email address for the means of helping them stay up to date with you.. How is that forcing them to do anything unethical?

    Grant
    PS. I read this post as the optin being for a free offer, not a condition to the promise.
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