The Power of Party Pay by Visible

Visible wireless, owned by Verizon, offers users $25 off per month if they join a meaningless party. What’s the effect?

startups
strategy
Author

Bryan Whiting

Published

June 21, 2022

Visible’s party pay madness

Visible wireless offers $25 off to users who join a party. So a user who signs up to pay $50 for unlimited data can click one button to join a party and only have to pay $25/mo from then on. Why not just offer users $25 to begin with?

It’s really confusing to me as a user - why not just give me the $25 automatically if it takes nothing to join a group? Because of gamification.

Why it works

I think their strategy is as follows:

  1. They hope some people get brought in on marketing and never remember to activate a party pay. Let’s say this number is 20-40%. Perhaps these users fund the rest of the discounts.
  2. Joining a party pay group for free is an easy way to make your customers win. I.e., a user gets $25 off for joining. Gimmicky, but I think it works. So a user has an immediate sense of gratification - a great way to build a strong emotional bond. “Click a button to get $25 off in perpetuity? Nice!” Anyone would agree this feels better than just starting off with $25.
  3. This makes users want to share and tell others. Especially if customers feel they’ve gamed the system. Who today doesn’t like a hack?

But even if (1) is wrong, and that 95% of people join a party I’m sure they’ve done the math to consider how many people they need to sign up to make the money work.

The Larger Strategy

Why would Verizon cannibalize their own sales? I switched my wife out of a $70 unlimited plan on Verizon to a $25 plan on visible for the same service. Well some customers will stay with Verizon because of its prestige and the add on benefits. But users who are cutting the cord are going somewhere else, I’m thinking Verizon wants to stay ahead of the curve. It’s a race to the bottom, sure. But it doesn’t hurt to try to win the race.