Five on Friday: Referrals, Rules and Rankings
Featuring Cadillac, Bark Box, Google and Convince and Convert
In Five on Friday for Friday, the 13th, Cadillac rewards dealers for subscription referrals, the European Union’s portability rules are now in effect, Bark Box plans to avoid standard subscription model problems, Convince and Convert shares ‘must follow’ content optimization rules, and Google updates its core search engine ranking algorithm.
Cadillac to Offer Incentive to Dealers for Subscription Referrals
In an attempt to involve dealers in its subscription program, Cadillac is offering incentives to dealers for customer referrals, reports Auto Verdict. Though the incentive figure was not disclosed, director Melody Lee told Automotive News that it is ‘a significant amount of money.’
Launched in early 2017, the Book by Cadillac luxury car subscription program is currently available in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles. For $1,800 a month, subscribers can order the Cadillac of their choice using a mobile app. The all-inclusive cost covers registration, taxes, insurance and maintenance, and subscribers can switch out their vehicles up to 18 times a year.
At the time of launch, Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac chief marketing officer, said, ‘Book by Cadillac is an innovative new option targeted at a growing class of luxury drivers searching for access to various cars over time, dependent on their individual needs, coupled with a hassle-free white-glove exchange.’
An incentive program for dealers is a great way for the automaker to get buy-in from dealers who might otherwise feel like Book is competing with their traditional car ownership and leasing programs.
No April Fool’s Joke: EU Digital Portability Rules Started April 1, 2018
This is no April Fool’s joke. On April 1, the European Union’s new digital subscription portability rules went effect. Under the new rules which apply to paid services, EU residents who subscribe to streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix or Spotify can access their subscriptions throughout the EU. Though the rules don’t require freemium providers to participate, they can opt in, reports Telecompaper. Also streaming service companies are no longer required to be licensed in territories where their subscribers travel to. The European Commission, who sets the rules, said lifting these rules is a win for consumers.
According to Telecompaper, portability is a key factor among young Europeans when choosing a streaming service. The European Commission anticipates the lifting of digital boundaries will help grow the subscriber base of streaming service providers and encourage platforms to improve the user experience for their customers. Read more about the new rules at Telecompaper online.
Success Secrets from Bark Box
Founded in 2012, Bark Box has shipped more than 70 million products to dog lovers, including toys, treats, chews and more. Starting at $21 a month, Bark Box tries to continually improve the subscriber experience by asking for BARK feedback. According to CNBC, Bark Box has 500,000 subscribers and a 95 percent retention rate month-over-month. In addition to its subscription box business, last December, the company partnered with Target to sell its products.
How are they so successful? By avoiding the problems other subscription box companies have had. Here are a few success secrets:
- Understanding both the dog and the owner – designing a set of products that are right for both
- Variety – the company started out with three assortments of products, now it has 15,000 and each month’s assortment is themed.
- A great first experience – company sends out a “getting to know you” box as the company learns more about its customers.
- Testing and prototyping – creative sessions that include testing and prototyping to see what works and what doesn’t.
Convince & Convert: 2 Content Optimization Rules
In a recent blog post, Jay Baer of Convince & Convert wrote four content optimization rules that you can’t afford to break. Here are two of those four.
- Great writing is important. Sure, you can hire an unknown writer from anywhere in the world for just a few bucks, but the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ remains true. It pays to hire a good writer. When selecting a writer, ask for a link to their online portfolio, give them a test assignment (they may say ‘no’ – writers shouldn’t write for free), review their work and talk to their references. In particular, you will want a Red flags: spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and typos.
- Use a content optimization tool for keywords, but avoid keyword stuffing. Your copy will sound ridiculous – and you won’t be doing your website any favors – if your copy reads awkwardly because you are you using too many keywords in unnatural ways. Baer recommends CognitiveSEO and MarketMuse.
Google Confirms Update to Core Search Ranking Algorithm
Oops, they did it again. Google updated its core search ranking algorithm in March, and it appears that some sites have seen a drop in the rankings. Google responded on Twitter, reports Search Engine Land, saying that some sites will experience drops while others will see gains.
‘There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content,’ Google said on Twitter. ‘Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.’
Um, thanks, Google for the transparency (or lack thereof). Read more about the update on Search Engine Land.