This is the one blog post that every HitTailer needs to read. Our premium product is around the corner, and you can lock-in the low cost introductory pricing for years to come. That’s right. Unlike Time Warner Triple Play, where they can (will?) hike the price after year 1, HitTail’s low-cost offer will allow you to renew at the introductory low price for year 2, year 3 and beyond.
So now, as an expression of our gratitude to the thousands of beta testers, we are giving you all an opportunity to grandfather yourself into a pricing structure that no one else will have access to after a month or so. This creates a special class of HitTailers, with whom I will have a special relationship, and with whom I will communicate with on a separate forum–the original crowd who saw the power of long tail marketing, and dispensing with “manual” keyword research, in favor of applying all that precious saved time towards the lost art of writing well (and the new art of writing often).
The exact details of the pricing will become clear over the next few weeks (or days?). Suffice to say, it will be in the neighborhood of premium blogging software (a very fair price, that we feel everyone can afford, even if they’re blogging as a hobby).
Therefore, those who know about HitTail now have a distinct advantage over their counterparts in the online marketing field. And if there’s someone whose online well-being you care about who you have not shared the HitTail secret with, now is the time. Win some points with them by referring them to HitTail now, instead of after this brief introductory pricing window slams shut.
Fact is that Connors is the company that ushered in the era of long-tail sales and marketing by marching arm-in-arm with Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com as their PR firm, reverse auctioning with Priceline.com, streaming media with Real Networks, and yes, even the very pay-per-click industry itself with GoTo.com. Most recently, we’ve turned VOIP phone service into a household concept, successfully counteracted the EFF’s attack on certified email as “email tax”, and are in the process of introducing the Expedia/Travelosity of shipping services to the world. Connors consistently and successfully predicts and facilitates the emergence of “game changers”.
This time, we’re doing it with our own service, HitTail.
So when we say we’re about to blow the lid off of natural search as a mainstream marketing tool, we’re not kidding. If you’re reading this post, then you’re participating in online history along with Connors… again. Now, you’re starting to see why long-standing participant in the “search engine optimization” community, Mike Levin (me), hitched my apple cart to the star that is Connors.
I don’t have much to say right now regarding the details of the premium service, as I don’t want to steal the thunder from my exceptional team who is working out the details as I type. But change is scary, and there are oh, many thousands of HitTailers out there, who upon reading this post are going to get a bit nervous that we gave them their first dose for free, and are about to make you pay for it.
No worries! I am the same honest, straight-shooting, but slightly manipulative Mike Levin that you have come to know through the many thousand discussion threads in which we’re engaged. So in that spirit, I admit that I’m triggering off a premium-service registration race. And in that spirit too, I am telling you that this is the time to jump on the bandwagon. It’s a clear deal. I tell you what you get, and I’ll tell you what we get, without even spilling the beans regarding features, which will be a totally separate post.
You get membership in a special class of users that will never again be available. You lock-in your place in history (and pricing) as a charter HitTail Beta Tester AND Customer. You get a channel of communication with me (sharing HitTail secrets) that I will be sharing with no one else. But most importantly, you support an online endeavor that has greater social implications than just a bunch of marketers making money. You support a “way of being” online that helps the little guy, promotes social causes and activism, that disrupts and undermines the mainstream way of doing things, and results in a landscape of which you, the effective HitTailer, are the master.
You are joining an online marketing movement whose implications as an asset builder are greater than the short-term Google advantages that it may yield. Indeed, what you build as a result of HitTailing could possibly outlive Google itself, because of our insidiously simple insight: there’s always something that COULD be working better for you, if only you knew to focus your attention there and give it that extra little push over the tipping point. Refer to my earlier analogies to the skee-ball arcade quarter-drop machines. This principle works astounding well today with Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask, and I am confident it will have live in it long into the future, no matter how the “search players” and algorithms change.
So, what do we get?
Money! But more important, Customers. Yes, it’s nice to have freemium users. But it’s nice to have Customers who directly support us. We still plan on having perhaps every blogger on the planet at least using our basic free product, thereby opening a relationship with perhaps every online marketer on the planet. We will keep our promise in that the HitTail you know today as the beta will remain free as the basic product. But more importantly, those who become part of the HitTail movement by expressly voting with their wallets and becoming supporters, will enable us to continue doing what we do. And what we do is improve people’s effectiveness in whatever it is THEY do by letting them reach THEIR audience more cheaply and efficiently.
Directly supporting HitTail allows us to continue pursuing our goal of directly improving the world by making more opportunities for more people. We want to raise the voice of a special group of people in a sea of indistinguishable voices.
The HitTail team went to some considerable lengths to design something akin to real-time analytics, satisfying an online marketer’s basic need to watch search hits in a meaningful, real-time way. Further, we went to considerable lengths, including inventing wholly new patent-pending technologies, to ensure that we can scale to accommodate the HitTailing needs of every blogger on the planet.
Think about that.
Compare our readiness and clear understanding of what it is we’re doing to other similar ventures of recent years, where “other companies” failed to anticipate and and prepare for the popularity of free analytics services. And I might add, those weren’t even real-time, the data you get out of it isn’t immediately actionable (it doesn’t tell the marketers what to do), and it’s none-too-easy either, often requiring career analytics people to make sense of it all.
HitTail is the next stage of evolution for online marketing tools. No longer is it enough to know the next day that you had a surge in traffic, the day AFTER you were on the Digg homepage. These days, you have to know right away in order to respond: alert your ISP, add call-to-actions on landing pages, tweak your conversion process, add follow-up pages, do multivariate testing, dive into the comment discussions, add the page to StumbleUpon, alert your partners, etc. In fact, seeing activity in real-time could CAUSE you to get Dugg in the first place, by allowing you to see what things are on the verge of “catching on”, if only given that extra little push.
Sure today HitTail focuses on which keywords are almost working for you, and encourages you to give that extra little push in the form of making a new blog post with a HitTail suggestion in the headline using blogging software that’s already pandering to the search algorithms du jour. But tomorrow, the nature of the “clue” and the nature of the “push” may (and probably will) change. And to that, we say that our role is to play hound dog, sniffing out the clues of which way things are going to break one way or the other, and prepare our premium customers first.
And what we’re going to ask for you to make that premium commitment, we believe is so low for this initial offer, that we have to be careful that people still understand the value. And as such, we will indeed be hiking the price up to a fairer level (for us) after the offer expires.
And if there’s any doubt that HitTailing has value, well, just Google on HitTail a bit. There are so many positive quotes out there, that keeping track of them to republish on this page has become overwhelming, and we encourage you to instead check out our del.icio.us bookmarks, or just go to this real estate discussion where some real avid fans hang out. There are discussions like this going on all throughout the Internet, including ones locked away behind proprietary niche sites that the site owners have been kind enough to let me glimpse. These “special” forums include the place where Yahoo Store operators exchange super-charged tips, and even phone sex operator forums, where hot babes spend hours discussing the ramifications of Chris Anderson’s long tail prophesies.
That’s all well and good for the grass roots crowd, who all love early access to a secret weapon. But what about those in the know? How about the technorati and digirati of our age? Well, Wired founder and author of The Search, John Battelle was among the first to recognize HitTail, and CNET, BusinessWeek, TechCrunch and others were soon to follow. Even non-rock-star pundits who carry clout due to their credibility as programmers, such as Dave Taylor of Intuitive.com and Chris Pirillo of LockerGnome have given it a whirl, passed the link around on their private “Brain Trust” mailing list, and disclosed that fact publicly. Sometimes, these “in the know” programmers can be counted as bigger feathers in our cap than rock stars in the publishing business.
So on that note, I’ll wind down this extremely long blog post that announces our imminent premium service, but which really says nothing but “stay tuned”, and be sure to let anyone know who you might like to share the charter membership advantage.