This article was first published on the Friday before our 2020 Summer Sale. It’s still relevant, so I’m publishing it again, with a few minor changes to dates and so on.
There’s a lot of self-serving nonsense in marketing, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Personally, I live by ‘caveat emptor’, so ‘let the buyer beware’, and I do.
But when you’re actually selling products, or a service, ripping off your customers is seldom either satisfying or sustainable.
Better to find a way to do things ethically.
For which reason, I always encourage people to download a free sample chapter of an ebook before buying the full version. Our catalog page has links to the free sample chapters – take a look! That way they know what they’ll be getting, should they choose to splash some cash.
Also, we encourage people to write reviews (all reviews are published, unedited – especially the bad ones, which add credibility!) Read, for example, what people have written about taking online Italian lessons with a club teacher.
‘Your success is our success’ is a cliché, it’s true. But think about it – suppose we sell you one ebook easy reader, that you subsequently don’t find useful or are in some way disappointed by? You think, “Well never mind, ‘caveat emptor’ and all that, I’ve learnt my lesson. Won’t buy any more, though.”
Whereas if the material fills a gap for you, say by providing much-needed reading and listening practice, at approximately your level? And say that once you’ve finished it, you feel a sense of satisfaction, and feel you’ve had your money’s worth? Then, hopefully, you’ll buy another. And another. And another.
We have one lady who’s bought everything we’ve ever published, since 2012 or whenever it was.
Ditto with online Italian lessons. Setting you up with a teacher who’s available when you want to study (even if you live in Australia), who has suitable experience and the right attitude to meet your needs, and then monitoring that all goes well between the two of you – especially at the beginning – is work.
Competitors often do this with an algorithm, or have students select their own teacher from a list (I choose the pretty ones, usually.) But we have a ‘Director of Studies’, a qualified and experienced manager of teachers (and of students) who is skilled at matching new clients with one of our staff, and attentive at monitoring the results of her decisions and fixing anything that isn’t as it should be, as far as that is possible.
Once the new student is settled with her teacher, things tend to manage themselves. The teacher and the student get to know each other and the student usually renews each time there’s a sale on. Everything goes smoothly, everyone is happy.
Once I talked to the owner of a competing online lesson company who explained to me that they were able to offer great discounts if I bought 40 hours of lessons (this was when I was taking Swedish lessons with them) because MOST PEOPLE NEVER FINISHED THEIR LESSONS. Their profit came when their students quit! Hard to believe, really. I made a point of doing every single one of my forty hours of online conversation pratice.
‘Your success is our success’.
I genuinely want you to develop the habit of reading and listening to Italian, and take every opportunity to encourage you to do so for free.
But besides that, we ALSO sell graded materials, the ebooks mentioned above, which are useful and priced at a similar level to those you might see in a bookshop stocking ‘real’ books, published by ‘real’ publishers.
The logic? People who don’t want to buy, or can’t afford to, will at least say nice things about us (so we don’t need to advertise.) Whereas those who have a budget for their language-learning may decide that part of it is well spent with us.
As regards the online Italian lessons, the reviews say it all, really. Students often write that they wish they had begun earlier, that their progress has been so pleasing that they regret the time wasted.
Which makes the marketing so much more fun! And easier.
Talking of marketing, if the above has inspired you to try some ebooks or online lessons, do me a favour and WAIT UNTIL MONDAY, when our Summer Sale starts.
All next week I’ll be publicizing a discount code with which you can save 20% on the prices listed in our online shop.
DON’T BUY TODAY! WAIT UNTIL NEXT WEEK.
The exception being existing students, who already have the code, and are already using it. That helps Lucia (our teaching manager) deal with the rush. You guys go ahead and book more lessons, assuming you’ve received Lucia’s email with the coupon code. If not, check your spam. If still nothing, then Monday.
N.b. We run a sale four times a year, usually for a week at a time. I’ll be bombarding people with emails, which always provokes a handful of people to email that they don’t want the marketing, just the free stuff, please.
To which I reply, you have two options:
1.) Stop reading these emails from July 5th until July 11th inclusive, after which start reading them again because on Monday July 12th we’ll be beginning our totally free 30-part series (text and audio in Italian, especially written for club members) on the Middle Ages in Italy! Don’t miss that.
2.) Or, if you’re really fed up, unsubscribe. There’s a link in each article that goes out. Scroll down to the bottom of the emailed article and look for the word ‘unsubscribe’. Click the link you find and select ‘unsubscribe’ from the options. You won’t be bothered further.
That’s it for today: your success is our success, you don’t have to spend any money, but if you do then wait until Monday July 5th 2021 to use the -20% coupon code I’ll be promoting then.
And/or we have loads of free materials coming up, so stick around for the summer, why not?
Have you listened to/read Saturday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news? It’s FREE!