Running Your Price as well as being an experiment, is also a learning process for me. The things I learn along the way, I put into the stories blog category, to take you on a journey of exploration like me. Running Your Price, I learnt a lot of things about people, society, and usability. Back when I was running Your Price for 4 months last year, as well as dealing with an avid marxist, I also learnt about increasing conversions, using my own made up set of guidelines called ifumes. Before I get into what ifumes are, I’ll explain to you my thinking process.
My Thinking Process
When I was running Your Price last year, I noticed that I had active members that were completing earning opportunities. I knew this because my members were cashing out and bringing in referrals too. As I’m the admin, I also get to know which earning opportunities they were completing. If you’ve used Your Price, you may notice that some earning opportunities give you the ycrow after 8 seconds, and other earning opportunities give you the ycrow after answering a question. The latter ones required you to complete actions in order to get the ycrow. The questions were such things as “At what day and time did you install the toolbar” and “What username did you use to signup to the forum?” Campaigns, (a jargon term for advertisers), are earning opportunties that you create. On Your Price, every earning opportunity is a campaign – even the ones that myself the admin creates. On Your Price, there are 3 types of campaigns on Your Price…
* Impression campaigns
* Destination campaigns
* Manual campaigns
Going back on what I planned to say, the impression campaigns were successful, but the manual ones, not so much. Impresssion campaigns gave the ycrow after 8 seconds; and the manual ones, after the question was answered correctly. These results are not surprising. Obviously earning opportunities that required users to signup for websites with their email wouldn’t fare as well.
At this point, it was early days, and Your Price wasn’t yet making a profit. If my members had completed the manual campaigns, (we don’t speak of manual earning opportunities), Your Price would have been making a profit. The sad fact for Your Price’s was that they weren’t. Your Price was financially unstable, burning through cash. I was thinking of things I could do to rectify this. Banner and popup advertising just wasn’t paying enough. This is when I got an idea.
I can redesign the website. Everyone knows that when you redesign something, you get more conversions.
I thought again. That probably wouldn’t work.
50% of my users like the design the way it currently is. To learn about my users, I added the one who was bringing in the most referrals to my msn. His username is valim. I spoke to him online regularly. He gave me an insight as to how his referrals are thinking. But that alone was not enough.
I offered a $1.00 ycrow for anyone who installed a toolbar on their computer, a $0.50 ycrow for someone who signed up to a free offers site. So why weren’t they signing up? Here were the top 3 reasons…
- 1. There’s no earning opportunites specific for my country
- I don’t want to install spyware or use my mobile phone for charges.
- I like a free ride, and offers are long.
In case you’re wondering , the destination campaigns were quick surveys that I made. They fared well.
I decided to give up making my members complete those manual campaigns, and instead pursue my efforts into making sure that my members logged in every day and boost my website traffic. I thought again about how there was friction between what I wanted my members to do, and what they were doing. I can’t teleport into the room with them while they’re on Your Price. I needed a way for my members to do what I want them to do on my website. Here’s where I got an epiphany.
If I improve the user experience on Your Price, more members will do what I want, because they’ll love it more.
I eventually got to a point where 7 active members were giving me 400 page views every 5 days on Your Price, with most of them logging in every day. Before they used to login to my site every 3 days. Before they only did 3 earning opportunites when they logged in. I later on got them to do them all, all without ever asking them to. How I did that is with ifumes. Once I implemented ifumes, it was way more effective than the weekly ycrow contest. The weekly ycrow contest gives $0.25 to the person who got the most ycrows last week.
Ifumes are usability rules you can use to reduce friction among you and your users, and get them to do what you want. Now to explain exactly what ifumes are.
Interactivity means to let the users of the product communicate with each other and with the admins, and share their thoughts and ideas freely with each other.
I put a shoutbox on Your Price that was only visible to logged in users. Page views went through the roof, by 400%. People doubtful of whether Your Price was a scam, quickly completed more earning opportunities once they saw that their friends got paid.
Maria: Hey I made ycrows evaluated at around $2.40 and I only got $0.12 ? . Is this a scam or something?
Me: maria_frum has got 26 ycrows in the past 5 days. 22 of those are pending payment. please wait 5 days. 🙂
This reduces friction and breaks down barriers.
Functionality means to provide the users features that will be useful to them, and to actively monitor how your product is used, in order to provide functionality that will help your users.
I had functionality on the first day Your Price launched. The most used feature besides earning money, was the Campaigns feature. It let users add their own campaigns for either nothing, 1 cent or 2 cents. My members who had referral links for other GPT (get paid to) websites that competed with mine, could add campaigns that spread their referral links to other Your Price members. That was the main usage of the campaigns feature.
This reduces friction and creates more value.
Usability means to make your product easy to learn for new members, easy to use for experienced members, and not to be intimidating.
This reduces friction and keeps user retention.
Money means to make the way your product handles money beneficial for both sides of the coin. If you come across something cost-effective or have something that boosts revenue, you must pass the benefits along to your users. Users do not like being a tool for one’s corporate plan.
I managed to make Your Price profitable, so to make my users stay on my site forever, I decided to create higher paying earning opportunities to keep my advertisers and revenue more happy. When my marxist user quit Your Price calling it capitalist, I with permission, used his earnings to give to other members, saving me money. Around the clock I am thinking of inventive new revenue streams to make Your Price more profitable. Manual campaigns is just one of the revenue streams. I have more planned.
Efficency means to make whatever it is that can be done with your product, quicker to do. Efficency is different to usability, as usability involves making changes to how your product works to make it easier to use, whereas efficency instead means to speed things up, to make things hassle free.
I always respond to emails within 12 hours or less, which makes support from Your Price efficent. To make Your Price efficent, I decided to speed up the website, change the waiting time on earning opportunities from 18 to 8 seconds, and also to put the email form on every page of the site. Doing so doesn’t make the Your Price easier to use, but it sure makes it work speedier.
There is no S, as ifumes is a plural of all 5 things put together. Some say I’ll be a successful business person when I grow up. When I am, I’ll have a workplace in town, and roll up to work maybe late. I’ll walk in, eating breakfast, and ask random people I see, “What’s the ifumes today?” and they’ll tell me. I’ll be able to take their ifumes into account and use it to improve my products.
As with all usability rules, they are not for everyone. I can’t see ifumes working for the Amazon, Youtube, Kongregate or Microsoft website. If ifumes can work for you, that is great! If you’ve learnt something from this post today, post a comment and let me know how you’ll implement ifumes into your product.
If you’re a Your Price member appalled that I am making you do what I want you to do, you can vent your frustration here as well. 🙂
Your Price is a “Get Paid To” website that pays people to visit websites and complete surveys.