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  • Tyler Harman

The Organ Donor Program & Sales Strategies

When it comes to the Organ Donor Program, why would two very similar neighboring European countries (Germany and Austria), have such drastically different enrollment rates?

  • Germany, 12% enrolled

  • Austria, 99% enrolled

Germany and Austria have similar cultures, religions, language, economics. Of course, I'm speaking generally, obviously they're two different countries, but why such a stark difference?


It all comes down to the paperwork:

  • In Germany, you check a box to enroll. (Opt In)

  • In Austria, you check a box NOT to enroll. (Opt Out)

That's it! That's the BIG difference. Nothing cosmic, just the way the question was phrased. In case you're wondering, yes this is the case almost everywhere else, too. Here's a list of other European countries that have similar enrollment rates for this same reason:


Opt In Countries:

  • Denmark, 4%

  • Netherlands, 27%

  • United Kingdom, 17%

Opt Out Countries:

  • Belgium, 98%

  • France, 99%

  • Hungary, 99%

  • Poland, 99%

  • Portugal, 99%

  • Sweden, 85%

Sales Strategies for Your Business


Do you think this would work for improving sales? You betcha. We're social creatures who want to fit in and go with the flow. We don't WANT to make waves. We may think we do, but 'by and large', we really don't want to push back and make a scene.


It's the same reason every teenage boy right now has the same TikTok "Wet Mop" haircut. (I googled it, that's what it's called. Now you know.)


Increasing Sales in a Hypothetical Meditation App


Let's say you started a meditation app. There's three options that you've seen a thousand times, the "freemium" model:

  1. Free, but limited use with ads

  2. Free trial of all the paid premium features

  3. Paid premium subscription

From experience marketing several meditation apps, I can tell you, the percentage of people who actually enroll in the free trial, is staggeringly low, like way less than 10%. But now that you know about the Organ Donor Program enrollment rates for Opt In, that shouldn't surprise you.


If I were making a Meditation App today, when they register, I would make it where they're automatically enrolled into the free trial. Your enrollment goes up by infinity to 100% (but that's not real conversion yet).


The Psychology of the Free Trial


Most people don't even try the free trial because they don't want to know what they're missing. They want to see if they can "make do" with the extremely limited, ad-ridden, free version, and never know what's on the other side of the rainbow. The word for this is "willful ignorance."


Quick Aside:

Let's talk about the people who go through the trouble to build a free app. Why? The cost of running the app ain't free, it wasn't free to build. And, that free version really isn't selling the premium features any. It's a lose-lose.


But in our meditation app, there's no "free version". That's not an option. I know, you're worried about losing potential users. Don't worry. They were never going to pay you anyways. Never. Ever. Never in a million years.


But here's the twist: I wouldn't make the trial only 7 or 14 days, that's not enough time to immerse yourself in the app and see the value. I'd make it 90 days, that's how long you need to build a new habit. Or at least 60 days. That's a long time! You come right out and tell them, "Enjoy the app for the next 90 days for free!" Most of them will think they're getting over on you and taking advantage.


This is called a "Risk Reversal." It puts all the risk onto the business owner, not the customer--they're taking enough of a risk with you already by installing the app and wasting their time.


So what's a Risk Reversal?


Let's say you were going to buy a horse.

  • One horse, you pay up front, take the horse home yourself, and bring it back for a refund.

  • Second horse, we'll take the horse home for you, show you how to care for it, if you're unhappy, we'll come by and take the horse back, but if you like the horse and want to keep it, then we'll ask to be paid.

After 90 days of using the meditation app, the people who are still using it have made it a habit, they have a routine, and they're invested. They see when they log into the app that they have 72 more days, 60 days, 31 days, then when it expires, some will leave and find another free option, but plenty of them will pay a very nominal amount because they see the value in it.


There is value in the app, right?


In conclusion.


There are real "sales hacks" out there. Not hacky salesmen (there's plenty of those too), but I'm talking about "cheat codes" basically to improve your sales with very little effort. And most of it comes down to simple psychology.


Also, don't get hasty and rush to market. I truly can't think of ONE thing that's more important than spending the time here on the sales process. Something as tiny and seemingly insignificant as this, Opt In vs. Opt Out, can be huge in terms of conversion. So taking a couple hours to discuss a few different sales strategies or setting up some experiments at checkout, will be time will spent, I promise.

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