This morning I saw something new in a Hyper Alert notice that provided a hint of a potential monetization strategy:
The “We are hiring” portion of this alert is new, and could just as easily have been a paid advertisement for a product or service. This is both brilliant and appropriate as long as the ads don’t get more and more annoying and disruptive. If Hyper Interaktiv were to ask me my opinion about monetizing their service, here are some tips I would give them:
- Limit the ads to one very small ad at the very top and any additional ads after all of the alert content.
- Bend over backwards to protect the privacy of your users.
- Build a community around your application and enlist the support and ideas of that community to keep your product viable.
The big concern with advertisements would be cramming too many of them in-line and ruining the clean and easy to read alerts that your system produces. A very small advertisement at the top of the page would be easy enough to read or skip over and one larger ad after all alert content could be easily ignored or read/clicked if they had interest. If ads were included in the alert stream itself it would disrupt the value of the alert messages.
Privacy is of utmost importance
Your users are already feeling pinched on privacy, there is a vacuum for leadership in this area from the provider side. Too few companies take the high road with this, the temptation is evidently too great to opt people in to features that they are not fully aware of these days. One classic example here in the USA is how we have to mail, call or fill out a form to opt out of our information being shared by our creditors.
Too few companies fail to really engage and enlist the support and ideas of their users, or they do it too late. There seems to be great opportunity in this area to build a much stronger community and product/service by really listening and engaging the audience that is ready to be heard and to participate. @Ginidietrich really nailed this issue in a recent comment on my post about Headup closing shop:
See…we’re all becoming social companies yet so few actually engage their users. Sad. – Gini Dietrich, Arment Dietrich
It is evident to me that this is an example where a more robust community could have taken up the charge to help the product become viable and be a commercial success.
Hyper Interaktiv Weigh’s In
I contacted Are Sundnes to find out the official company position on this feature. He indicated to me that right now quality of the service has been the top priority:
This is all in a very early stage, and our main focus now is to make the service as good as possible. -Are Sundnes, Hyper Interaktiv
When I queried him more directly about any plans to monetize the service he said only:
We don’t know where Hyper Alerts will take us, but as for now we’re not trying to monetize. -Are Sundnes, Hyper Interaktiv
So what do you think, do you like my advice?