Pay Wall

A few months ago I bought a workout program from a fitness influencer.  I found this guy through my google searches; he had produced a bunch of YouTube content that ranked at the top of my search results.

I clicked through to his videos and they did a great job of indirectly marketing to me.  His production is great, he comes across as genuine and knowledgable, and gives a lot of good information for free.  When he pitched the $5 downloadable program I decided to bite.  After all it was only $5.

What I got was a 30 or so page .pdf file delivered to my email inbox.  It was flat, boring, and not particularly interactive.  I was, in a word, underwhelmed.

It’s not that the actual program content was bad, but the experience fell short of what my experience had been with his marketing.  Clearly he put much more time and effort into that free content than he had into the almost free.

It’s a tricky thing to put a product like this behind a pay wall.  If I get great content for free, shouldn’t the paid content be multiple times better?  I paid nothing and got a well produced, engaging video with great information.  I paid $5 and I got a flat, lifeless .pdf file.  That math doesn’t make sense.

If this guy was planning to make money off me, he’s not getting any more than that throwaway $5 I already spent.  He had his chance to make a first impression and wow me with his paid product and he failed.

I think anyone who is considering putting something behind a pay wall, even for a “throwaway” amount, should think really hard about why they’re doing it.  You can only sell so many 1 time cheap downloads of a well marketed but sub-par product and expect people to come back and pay for more.