The other day I was looking through my Blockbuster Total Access "My Account" considering upgrading my service. I found this handy little cost comparison chart for all of Blockbuster's Total Access plans:

Blockbuster Total Access Plans

That's a great chart but the problem is that it's only available to existing Blockbuster Total Access customers. (This isn't entirely true. I did find a round about way to get to it when not logged in, but more on that below.) Understandably Blockbuster is trying to gain customers with their two-free weeks sales hook and have streamlined that process. Two weeks free is cool, but that's not the only selling point they should be providing. When you're not logged into your Blockbuster account you see the following banner near the top of the page:

Blockbuster Total Access How it works (click for larger view)

But that's about all the explanation of how their services work that you'll get. Clicking on that banner takes you to this page:

Blockbuster Total Access Signup

I think they are making a mistake here in the persuasion process by not letting people see the various program options. For many, this information can be an important part of the decision making process. Blockbuster provides these options only AFTER you create an account (and are therefore logged in.)

Blockbuster Total Access Chart

They've got these two screens backwards. Show me the various programs first and then give me the option to sign up for my free trial!

Hold on. Not so fast. This just in!

You don't have to sign in to get to this information after all. It is available, but through a round-about way. Next to the free trial banner shown above is an ambiguous text link.

Blockbuster Total Access Free Signup

That link takes you to this screen where you can either sign into your account or create an account like before:

Blockbuster Total Access Sign In

But this page has something else that's different. An ad for Blockbuster:

Blockbuster Total Access ad

Click on that ad and then you'll be taken to the page with the chart shown above. It's kind of a round about way to get to this information. Notice the heading at the top that says this page is for "existing members". What about newbies?

Is this information not important? Or is the more streamlined sign-up-for-the-free-two-weeks-only approach the right one? My personal preference is the former and while all may not agree, many will. Which is why the approach to marketing must try to satisfy all types users equally.

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September 19, 2007

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.


I wonder if they've actually tested conversion rates both ways, or if they're just relying on "gut feeling" setting it up the way they've done?

I agree it seems counterintuitive to me. I'm also one of those who prefer more information rather than less up front. I'd be unlikely to sign up for a free trial without some idea of how much it's going to cost me after the "free" period is over. Without knowing the available options, I'm left in the dark.

We can only hope they actually tested this. (But I'm not going to bet the farm on it.)

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