The Distillery very much likes the SitePal product, but for one problem. That is, even after a customer has purchased SitePal (albeit at its most basic level of $100/year), the company still insists on conspicuously including its advertising in what has then become the customer’s product.

Is this like Real Networks requiring anyone who has “purchased” RealPlayer to always login if s/he is to benefit from that so-called purchase? Most definitely. And just as is the case with RealPlayer, customers walk away far less than happy. Even worse, those customers then inhibit other purchases. Think not? Then how many of you have received positive word-of-mouth about paying $20 for RealPlayer and purchased it for yourselves? (Very few? That’s what The Distillery suspected.)

All that aside, what about SitePal’s online content? This is an easy one. After all, SitePal literally speaks for itself. SitePal is a virtual spokesperson which can be added to a web site, and without question adds a most unique and engaging dimension for visitors. It brings to mind something marketers recognized as often necessary years ago: If you go high tech, find someway of also going a little high touch.

Although not human, and because avatars have become more acceptable to internet users, there is little question that SitePal potentially offers that element of “high touch” needed by so many web sites. Also, unpublished research has confirmed that an avatar can make a site’s visitors feel more comfortable and therefore more satisfied with their interaction with the site. (Thanks, Prof. B.Q.) However, The Distillery has yet to encounter a single web site employing SitePal’s technology.

As recently as April 2006, SitePal had only 5000 customers after being in business for at least 3 years! (There’s nothing like shooting oneself in the foot, eh?) Therefore this unsolicited advice is offered to SitePal: Remove the glaringly obvious barrier to your product’s adoption. If a customer is willing to pay for your product, you should be willing to remove your advertising from what has then become your customer’s product. Even more, cannot your product speak well enough for itself? (Pun intended.) Or, do you not trust that it can?

Enough of that. Go ahead and play around with the SitePal demo. I am certain you will come away more than a little impressed. But again, it is unfortunate that SitePal’s management seems either a little too greedy or not exactly clear on how the internet works. (Maybe they need another hint: Google.)

Home page: SitePal
Video: Tutorial

SitePal logo graphic

2 Responses to “SitePal”

  1. SippinWhisky Says:

    The Distillery loves companies that actually listen to their customers. It appears SitePal has listened, and at least for The Distillery, is willing to remove its advertising from its least expensive SitePal avatar package.

    That means more pressure to get a firm grip on CSS and all the new widgets, templates, and features being made available by WordPress. So hopefully, and reasonably soon, you will find yourself being greeted by one of SitePal’s superb avatars when you drop by.

    Thanks, SitePal!

    (Advice to self: Be careful what you ask for, you may just get it.)

  2. SippinWhisky’s Distillery » Blog Archive » With deliberation…a change? (Location, location, location.) Says:

    […] At present, The Distillery is looking to incorporate a speaking virtual hostess (thanks to SitePal), a Reuters video player, and additional advertising. In the interim, your patience and continued loyalty are requested. Also, should you have any advice or ideas you’d like to share, please feel free to either leave a comment or drop me an e-mail. Your input will be most valued — and very possibly even used. […]

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