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Netflix’s big, fat business-killing mistake

A while back, your humble narrator here predicted the future:



Well, their stock just plummeted by 35%. And they lost subscribers for the first time in over a decade.


Not to mention, they keep trying to raise their prices — even though the quality of their content has leaped off a cliff.


Now, I’m usually an advocate for raising your prices. But it’s backfired on Netflix because they keep raising their prices without providing their customers with more entertaining shows.


Take a looksie at what I wrote a couple months before this news broke:


==


Netflix was the king of the hill and looked everyone down on everyone else like the peasants they were.


But Netflix has made a series of braindead decisions.


First, they never offered a free tier with ads like Hulu. They committed to not showing ads and stuck to it. Bravo on them for that.


But as a business plan?


Methinks they could’ve made much more moolah, gained many more subscribers and viewers, and became more profitable as a company if’n they offered a free version and got advertising revenue.


Then, they decided to spend billions—and BILLIONS—of doll-hairs on creating their own shows and movies. Most of which were complete busts. (It makes me wish I was a couple o’ years older, as my chances of writing a show, something I’ve never done, would’ve been to the moon during this phase of their business.)


While they pumped more and more money into their own shows, they lost more and more timeless classics—like The Office, Friends, and other similar shows that get an insane amount of views. Before this happened, these shows were their “flagship” products.


Then, their competitors started popping out of the woodwork. First came Hulu, then Amazon Prime, then Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, and a thousand other options.


And their competitors did something completely different than Netflix (lesson in there)...


They stopped releasing entire seasons of their shows at once. Instead, they followed the proven principles of releasing one episode per week.


While it might seem like viewers (aka customers) preferred binge watching the entire season in one sitting as soon as it drops, their actions said differently.


This is a classic case of giving people what they need, not what they want.


When Netflix’s competitors switched to a weekly release schedule, it created more buzz around whatever the hottest show was. This buzz led to more organic conversations between fans between episodes. Gave fans breathing room to speculate about the next episode. And resulted in more sign ups from non-subscribers.


In other words…


Netflix’s competitors created a more engaged fanbase. And many of these alternatives poached some of Netflix’s “flagship” shows, like The Office and Friends.


==


Netflix didn’t fix any of these concerns, and they kept raising their prices.


Not a good biz strategy if I do say so myself.


But none of these problems are as deadly about the one I’m about to share with you.


And this problem I’m about to share is something you can immediately apply to your business to make more sales and to prevent your biz from going belly up.


Let’s boogie…


I have a Netflix account, but I’m almost never even opening the app on my TV.


No, I didn't go full guru on you. Rather, I’m more likely to open Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, or heck, even YouTube.


Here’s why:


Netflix has too much content.


There are too many potential shows and movies someone could watch.


And here’s how it’s impacted my Netflix experience:


Whenever I load Netflix, I spend 10 minutes just scrolling through their shows. Then, it overwhelms me, and I go back to another streaming service.


It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even log into Netflix anymore. (And while the price keeps rising, I wonder why I keep paying for something I don’t use.)


There’s two powerful, business-saving lessons in here:


1. Too many options overwhelm your audience and actually hurt your sales.


One of my clients has 600+ products in his store.


We never run out of different products to promote.


But you know what?


Almost every email I send only promotes one product at a time.


There are some exceptions. But this is our guiding principle.


It’s been proven that the more options customers have, the less likely they are to make a decision. This is why In-and-Out Burger has enjoyed profound success with only 3 items on their menu.


And this is why Netflix’s days might be numbered.


2. The general experience of your product or service is the most important factor.


This applies to the copy you write too. You want to think of how your product/service fits into the general experience for your customer.


Netflix has a terrible general experience.


You binge-watch a show you like a few times a year, and then you avoid Netflix like a mask the rest of the year.


Because having too many options “nukes” the general experience.


And here’s the kicker:


More than half of the shows and movies on Netflix are gar-bage.


But this still applies even if all their content was top-notch.


It might even get worse if their content was top-notch — because it makes making a decision that much harder on a psychological level.


And a third bonus lesson:


Seems your humble narrator here can predict the future. Which means… I can predict that if you reply to this email, we’ll back the Brinks truck up to your bank account with emails. As long as you have a proven offer and a decent-sized email list, that is.


So, what are you waiting for?



Or you can choose to keep trying everything yourself and sowing the seeds of your own downfall. Kinda like Netflix.


Your choice.


John


P.S. If’n you don't have a proven offer or list, I’ll send you a fat check for any new client you refer me to.


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