LL offer Premium membership at 50% discount

Linden Lab have slipped in a new offer to encourage the take-up of Premium memberships. For a limited time (i.e. this weekend), people can sign-up at a 50% discount  – but only if they sign-up for the Quarterly payment plan and only for the first billing cycle.

While such quarterly offers are not uncommon – my ISP offers new sign-up 1/3 off their first quarter bill for phone & broadband charges, for example) – one cannot help but feel the Lab are perhaps being a tad tight-fisted here. While I can understand that Annual membership is hard to discount to the same degree – why restrict the offer to Quarterly only (and perhaps even why only the first quarter?).

The discount offer. The small print reads: “This limited-time discount offer is available only for memberships on the Quarterly billing plan. Discount will be applied to the first quarterly billing cycle only and all future charges will be at the regular Premium price.”

Why not offer a 25% discount on monthly memberships, applicable to the first 3 months alongside a 50% discount on Quarterly memberships?

Of course, there is a risk that, in offering such discounts, LL will annoy their established Premium members. But the fact is, currently, and the new additions to Premiums notwithstanding, there is little enough being offered to tempt established users with free accounts into jumping onto the Premium train; and while the various offers might appeal to incoming members, one feels that overall, people will – by their very nature – opt to go the “free” route first, rather than “risk” signing up – again, discount notwithstanding – to limit their exposure.

Both increasing the attractiveness of Premium memberships and promoting them to the user base is a good idea. One just wonders if there is a consistent and workable strategy behind it that will lead to success.