We get a lot of feedback about Birdtricks.com’s sales pitch. Much of it is less than complimentary – it seems that many people hate the way Birdtricks.com sell their products. I feel strongly that this topic deserves its very own blog post.
I recall getting a comment on a post I wrote some time ago in which I relayed information on a specific health issue that is usually brought on by poor diet. I used the opportunity to push our cookbook at the end of the very informative post.
The commenter politely thanked me for all the useful information supplied on the blog, but said she was annoyed that I went on to try to “sell her the solution” and pointed out that dietary information is available to everyone for free should people care to look for it.
Not every online source is reliable
She’s half right. The information IS out there if you care to go hunting for it. But the average bird owner doesn’t know how to apply nutritional information to their parrot’s diet when, and if, they find it. What if they stumble upon bad information? There is a lot of risk involved in heeding online advice if you don’t have a trusted source.
It is true that at the end of the post I could have simply said: “To avoid this problem, improve your bird’s diet by feeding fresh fruits and vegetables, cooked or sprouted legumes and whole grains everyday” (words which we repeat over and over on Facebook). But I have learned that it only leads to more questions: “What kind of grains? Should I cook them? Why can’t I just soak the beans? Is ______ safe for parrots? ” Sure, they can google and get a list of “what to do” answers, but how about “why” or “how” to do it?
I can tell you from experience, the the vast majority of bird owners ARE NOT feeding their bird’s properly, even with the availability of so much information. That tells me that guidance is needed, and Jamie and I worked long hours to compile a lot of information in a way that no one else has to date – online or otherwise. Educating bird owners is the whole reason I work for Birdtricks.
Birdtrick’s blog has supplied volumes of free information that has turned people’s lives around with their birds and, in some cases, saved a bird’s life.
However, if we can’t promote and sell products, the blogs, the emails, the special reports, the facebook page where so many of you go to have questions answered will all cease to exist and all the free information you have come to rely on will be gone. I don’t think it is asking too much to allow Birdtricks to continue their business practices in the midst of all the free help we offer on a daily basis with no strings attached.
Which brings me to Birdtricks.com marketing style…
I understand that some people find the sales techniques objectionable: too in your face, too over-the-top, too info-mercial-ish. However, this style of selling has proven itself to be effective and many people respond positively to it…but not everyone – maybe not you. Here’s my take on it:
I don’t really care in what manner someone chooses to promote a GOOD product. The training courses and seminars and other products have helped SO MANY people improve their lives with their birds that however Birdtricks.com gets the word out there, and they are successful in doing that, it can only be a GOOD thing.
Birdtricks attracts the interest of many people who are new to bird ownership. They may be those who find the scientific jargon in other areas of the bird community too tedious or confusing. They may have been made to feel unwelcome on some of the bird forums. In some way, they are all looking for help with something.
With birds being the third most popular pet in the world, the number of people needing assistance is overwhelming. Birdtricks’ marketing reaches far and wide into the avian community and, because of that fact, at least some of the people out there can get the help they are looking for.
Long story short(ish), if you don’t like the way Birdtricks.com sells their stuff, please, simply look away. Through their marketing strategies, this company has had the opportunity to help more birds (and their humans) than you can imagine. I would like to think that everyone can find a positive in that.
Having said so many great things about the Cooking For Parrots cookbook, I would be a complete idiot if I didn’t include a link to it.
Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.