Recently I’ve been researching Acquisition flows of different apps and services. Like most people I sign up for lots of services with a grand plan to take it for a test drive. Most of the time I have forgotten about the whole thing the next day and I never log on again until I hear about them 3 months or often a year later.
With so many things fighting for our attention it’s difficult to stand out. Blinkist a service that makes written and audio and text summaries of non fiction books did just that, it stood out.
Although I don’t remember where I first heard about Blinkist I originally signed up on April 18th 2015. I’d used Audio book summaries before. Some of the services have been around for years, like AudioTech summaries but the pricing always seemed prohibitive. Blinkist seemed affordable and you can finish an interesting book while walking or riding to the office.
The welcome email from Blinkist grabbed me “Why, hello there! We’re so pleased to welcome you”. They offered me a free 3 day trial. Emily from Blinkist continued to email me over those 3 days but not too often. It’s all too common to use a real name in an email address these days, but here I believed it.
I used the trial allot. Reading 5 books. One my free trial ended Emily kept trying to reel me back in as a paying member. Two clever approaches were employed. A referral scheme that gives 7 days access for each signed up user and a free book a day that allows you to keep using the service and falling in love with it’s ease of use. On June 7th I got an email saying:
“We’ve got something to celebrate: just this week, Blinkist hit 300.000 users! We want to give some of that love we’ve received right back to you. The first 500 people who subscribe using the link below will save 30% on their first year of Blinkist Plus or Premium.”
Who knows if this milestone is true but it’s smart. The one thing that had been preventing me from signing up had been that I had to pay upfront for the entire year. Not a huge amount of money but a reasonable amount when you are unsure if you will use the service.
A few emails later, and to be honest after not using the service for a few weeks I took the bait and signed up. Immediately I received a nice emails saying “ I’m so pleased that you’ve subscribed to Blinkist — thank you, and welcome!”
One of the great features of all the emails I receive from Blinkist is that that they are all really simple, large font, single column, one focus emails. Just the content and nothing else.
Once inside the service itself is enjoyable. I particularly like the audio blinks. There are hundreds of books to keep you busy, though not all are audio books yet.
Book selection screen
For a startup I was impressed with the quality of both their app and their website. Although the functionality varied a bit between the two which confused me a little. The narrator voices are clear and not too cheesy American.They have a nice integration with Kindle and Evernote.
Clever integration’s with Evernote and Amazon make it a pleasure to use.
Whilst using the service I noticed that they interface changed quite allot. I think there may be a fair bit of AB testing taking place in the background, and why not.! It did however make the interface a bit confusing at times. I wasn’t sure why some key features like “what’s new” were only available on desktop. I presume most of the usage is mobile.
You can sign up for a free trial over at https://www.blinkist.com. It may even be possible to get a discount code online. I could not recommend this service enough. It’s very good value for money.