LinkedIn’s ‘stealth’ membership option

Liz Ryan’s presentation last week to the Boulder Marketing Group (BMG) was great, full of useful tips for LinkedIn and other online networking sites. However, she didn’t mention one juicy tip — the presence of a ‘stealth’ option among the Premium (fee-based) membership plans. Here it is…

The Personal Plus membership option is almost nowhere to be seen on the LinkedIn site, perhaps because it’s the most affordable of all the paid membership options. It fits nicely between the free-but-limited Personal plan and the $20/month Business plan.

The Plus plan also qualifies as ‘stealth’ because its signup link is so low-profile as to be nearly invisible, as the top screenshot shows… the vast majority of people will reflexively click on the large, graphical “Upgrade” button and fail to notice the small Plus upgrade link at the bottom of the screen.  

For those who click on that big, graphical “Upgrade” button, you’ll land on a page that compares the various Premium plans… all but the Personal Plus plan, that is! Unless you hit your browser’s Back button and click on that stealth link at the bottom, you won’t ever be shown that affordable, $5/month* upgrade option.

One final detail: Once you’ve upgrade to one of the mainstream Premium plans, you need to contact LinkedIn’s customer service team and ask for the downgrade; you can’t do it yourself. You’ve got to revert to a free Personal plan and then upgrade from there, being very careful to click on that stealth link…

That, my friends, is what’s called a “sales funnel” — carefully tailored choices that lead you down the road to the more profitable selections. And since LinkedIn’s paid plans can run as high as $200/month, let’s not speak too loudly about that Personal Plus plan, eh?

*Note: Personal Plus accounts are only available by pre-paying $60 for a 12-month subscription, which averages out to be a very affordable $5/month expense.