Tuesday, January 08, 2013

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Promotional Second Life Offer Becomes Top Seller on Amazon Despite Early Termination -- Consider the Possibilities!

Amazon Bestseller

Last weekend Linden Lab started selling Second Life starter packs on Amazon, including this one above, for L$1000 and a hoverboard, which was originally being given away for free as a promotional offer, and two funny things happened: SL users immediately started trying to exploit the offer; so much so, that Linden Lab prematurely pulled it. ("[T]he promotional offer was terminated early due to repeated attempts to circumvent the one-per-customer limit," Linden spokesman Peter Gray tells me.) But despite doing that, the promotional offer is now the top seller in the Free-to-Play Games category on Amazon, above offerings from extremely popular free-to-play MMOs like Battlestar Galactica and RuneScape. So now a lot of Amazon customers who buy virtual items for their favorite freemium game are probably seeing Second Life as a retail offering there for the first time.

"We saw great demand for the deal," Gray added to me, "and hope to be able to offer similar special promotions in the future." I hope they do -- but I also hope the Lindens see the larger opportunity here:

Amazon SL Account Linking

Promotional offers on Amazon generate massive conversion rates, a halo effect, and a new base of monetized customers. The other, pricier Second Life offerings on Amazon are selling much slower, so the real win, ironically enough, seems to be this terminated promotional offer. It's attracted thousands (maybe tens or even hundreds of thousands) of customers to Amazon, where they've connected their Second Life account to their Amazon account via account linking (see above), which links their Amazon account with their SL account. That creates a direct relationship between their credit card/PayPal/etc. accounts and their Second Life account, often where one did not previously exist. That's good for future sales, and revenue. And because this promotional offer did so well, it became a bestseller on Amazon's chart, which acts as excellent free promotion for non-SLers.

Advice to the Lab: Next time you do a promotional offer on Amazon, give away a bunch of free Linden Dollars and a starter pack pre-installed with starter kits for one or more of Second Life's many user-made mini-MMOs, the kind that would appeal to folks who play RuneScape, World of Tanks, etc. You may actually get some new paying customers.


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Ciaran Laval

The only problem being, account linking only works for US customers, I'd have happily linked my Amazon account to Second Life, but I'm unable to do so.

This is an Amazon restriction, so outside the scope of Linden Lab.

However yes I agree, this is a case of good publicity.

Wizard Gynoid

And, erm, Linden Lab... when you say you are limiting the offer to one per customer, have some kind of mechanism in place to enforce that. Otherwise you look like you are begging to be pwned. Which you evidently were. Most people won't turn down a free offer, and even more will accept a hand-out of $4.00USD. Why is that so attractive? It wouldn't be as attractive to naive noobs (who don't know how to cash it out) as it would be to seasoned Residents. I'll bet most of those who bit were.

Pussycat Catnap

If you factor out the deal that was $1000 for free, does it all still do well?

shockwave yareach

LL already has my credit card number and such. I use it to buy L to pay my rent with. It used to pay LL directly for land, but that was before LL turned into a nannystate and a bait and switch mafia.

I'd sooner give a monkey a live handgrenade than give LL a connection to my Amazon, paypal, or CD-of-the-month-club accounts.

RobsterRawb Jaxxon

"Hamlets Advice to the lab" Couldn't Agree more! Stop competing with your residents and empower them instead! ITS WIN-WIN GET IT!

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