Hate The Way Birdtricks.com Sell Their Products?

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.

7 comments

Jamieleigh

Great suggestions, thank you, we are working on some future products like this :)

Jamieleigh
BarnWil

Birdtricks.com is a great service. The information is exceptionally valuable and the staff are great. I don’t mind the sales pitches either. Go figure why someone would complain about advertising your product. However, the monthly subscription fee is significantly higher than many can afford I would think. Offering smaller quantities or one-of products so people can buy one at a time. Give people an opportunity to try things out without subscribing – your money-back offers may be great but it’s time-consuming. As a business coach, I would tell a client what I"m telling you: If you are getting that many complaints, you might want to listen. These are people who are attracted to your product line and to your web and blog sites. They want what you have; they just don’t want to do it the way you are demanding they do it. Give them a break, increase the visits to your sites and products and try some different offers – less expensive offers. As much as people love their parrots, you are asking them often to spend more money per month on their birds’ health and toys than they do on buying life insurance, flood insurance etc. for themselves. So keep up the good work! And…maybe make it easier for those with parrots to do the right thing by offering more products for less, or smaller quantities for less.

BarnWil
Eric

The only apprehension I had at first was the look of the marketing pages; I thought they might be a scam site that would infect my computer with viruses. Once I got familiar with Birdtricks.com, I realized that was obviously not the case. Recognizing it for what it is, I get a kick out of the marketing emails. We all have to make a living; everyone at Bird Tricks included. It is beyond obvious that you all REALLY care about birds and their owners, and at the heart of all the over-the-top marketing gimmicks, that fact shines through, which is really what sold me. I have purchased a number of Bird Tricks products and without a doubt, you all deliver on the quality. From the training DVD’s to the reality show and especially the cook book. In fact, if I made the laws, I would require that every new bird comes with your cook book as a package deal! So, keep it going! I enjoy your products and marketing because there is real quality behind it, and only a Grinch wouldn’t laugh at Santa Chet or the various Halloween Chets :)

Eric
Trish

Just goes to prove you can’t please all the people all of the time, just some of the people some of the time. Keep up with what you are doing and let those minor critics “go fly a kite”. We real bird loving pet owners wanna know what you have to offer once an issue has been brought to our attention.

Trish
mz

I am a long time fan of you guys and am sorry that you’ve been under attack. However unpleasant, the criticism is a sign that people want and like your products, and are interested in helping you improve the overall user experience. The internet will always put negative and even mean spins on the things people write, but try not to be too defensive by always dismiss this as “hating”. Instead try to receive it objectively as constructive feedback. I wouldn’t dare tell you what to do, but I feel that it is your YouTube videos that sell your products more than anything else. In my experience they are what introduced me to you guys, made me like you enough to explore Jamieleigh’s blog and the site, and provided the credibility and trust necessary to make a purchase. I think you and your lovely flock are what sell, not the “pushy” marketing tactics. Keep up the good work!

mz
Karen Dell

I found a training posts on the internet. I was so excited that I ordered the whole pkg deal. Insert credit card here wham. Received my clicker, dvd’s, and ‘temporary’ internet access code for the website. You had it. Then every time I clicked on something new just to watch, it was another insert your credit card again if you want to go any further. I felt like I had just been duped and scalped at the same time. So I did not walk but ran away quickly. I felt like the sham-wow guy might knock on my door at any moment and beat the crap outta me. I am glad and I give you credit for trying to address this and in my eyes it gives you credibility again. As far as marketing goes. I am more motivated by ‘watching’ a youtube or internet class rather then dominating my tv or computer with a dvd or reading a cumbersome manual. In the end to put it bluntly I already have a great relationship with my birds but really just wanted to learn to how make it even better. Thanks for listening and I will take you seriously again.

Karen Dell
Jendi

Well said Patty! I want to chime in because I think it’s more common for we humans to complain louder when things go wrong then when things go well. I think BirdTricks has a great mixture of free content and for sale products. I totally agree with this: “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.”

Jendi

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