April March Numbers
Income (this period) from all AvMans
TB Sales: $22,379 (avg $19.47/purchase, $745.96/day)
Gross Income: $35,739
As you can see, these numbers aren’t as strong as we’d like. Let’s look at the trial numbers:
TOTAL (since we started, mid-Feb)
NumTrials Attempted: 247
NumTrials Accepted: 245
NumTrials Rejected: 2 (too many uses of same PayPal acct)
NumTrials that converted to subscription: 50 (20.4081632653061 %)
NumTrials that still have a subscription: 40 (16.3265306122449 %)
MARCH (current status of those begun in March)
NumTrials Attempted: 183
NumTrials Accepted: 182
NumTrials Rejected: 1
NumTrials that converted to subscription: 31 (17.032967032967 %)
NumTrials that still have a subscription: 30 (16.4835164835165 %)
FEBRUARY (current status of those begun in Partial month)
NumTrials Attempted: 62
NumTrials Accepted: 61
NumTrials Rejected: 1
NumTrials that converted to subscription: 19 (31.1475409836066 %) <– friendly testers, novelty, or good 60 day trend.
NumTrials that still have a subscription: 10 (16.3934426229508 %) <– this has been pretty constant
So, our trial conversion rate has stayed at 16% for a 3-month "trend", "trend" being used lightly. This is a really good number, conversion wise.
The good news is that the trial system is working.
Conversion and Retention
The problem we (or any other Virtual World, or any other Game, or Product, for that matter) face is conversion, and retention. As you can see, our Conversion rate is actually good for an online product. The problem is retention – will the converted member stay and spend money?
Keep in mind that There has been looking at retention since it opened, and has tried all kinds of things over the years, including:
- Welcome Walkway.
- Adding activities (paint ball, card games, etc) to landing areas.
- Activity-specific advertising and destinations
- Varying sign-on and progress “Gifts” including T$, clothing, etc
While some of these efforts (especially the Greeters) have been successful, none of these have been really successful.
Now, to get this out of the way, making There Free is not the answer. Converting a Free member to a Free member who doesn’t spend money isn’t “Success”. Sure, it might make the World fuller, but that means we spend more money on infrastructure, without a corresponding increase in revenue. And, no, opening There to minors also won’t work, because besides having lots of friendly members who don’t spend money (we have proof of this), we have the additional Customer Service costs and, yes, the D-R-A-M-A.
What we do know is that people who show up with friends, or meet friends, tend to stay. The problem is, if people are off in the World in their Neighborhoods, or Paintball or Racing Zones, the World will look “empty” to the arriving member, or the members who can’t find people. We know the world’s not empty by the CCU numbers, but we also know that people are having problems finding other people.
Again, this is a place where we’ve tried all kinds of things: Map Icons, Current Event Listings, etc, etc. For whatever reason, none have been successful.
So we’re going to try something new. It won’t be very hard to do, and it’s a time-honored tool: Global Chat. World of Warcraft used to have it, Glitch had it (one of it’s best features, I think), and numerous other worlds have had it. It’s a way for people to communicate and have loose sense of presence and community without being in the same place.
Of course, we’ll augment the global chat experience with the ability to post a teleport link (“Come join me here“), links to products in the store or auctions, etc.
And, of course, we’ll provide easy ways to ignore people, especially inevitable potty mouth who defines their existence by talking like a sailor (not that sailor talk is bad, but, seriously, ALL THE TIME?).
Retention is something we have to solve before spending on advertising. I’m sure you all see that if we spend $5000/month in ads, but we get $200/month in revenue from “new members”, we’re not coming out ahead.
Also, we’ve had suggestions that “Lowering the Rent/Price/… of X will triple the world’s population”. Keep in mind, we heard that a lot before (I remember when someone told us the Key To Success was Space PAZ’s – once we did those, millions of members and Aliens would flock to There).
I’m sure we all remember the suggestions that “If you just lowered the price of paintball refills, you’d be indunated with Paintballers and rolling in money”. Well, we got 1 out of 3 there :-).
We’re doing a little analysis of the contribution of various types of rental to see if it’s worth trying. I think we all agree that cutting our income by 50% or 25% to see if that will help hood ownership would be a very risky proposition.
All that being said, here are our next projects:
- Real Money for Developer Sales (not T$ Buybacks
- Global Chat
- Avatar Deletion Script (this is to reclaim the ‘000s of Avatar names claimed, and sat on, who’ve never subscribed. Of course we’ll warn you before we delete an Avatar/Name, but we’re not going to let you camp on it).
- Dedicated destinations from the Welcome Walkway for Paintball, Racing, etc
That’s about it!