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joesmobo

join:2013-01-19

Marketing Strategy: SSID = "Free company.com"

I serve residences with wireless access points (2.4ghz). All of my customers sign up for month-to-month accounts but most of them use it for up to a year. I sign them up telephonically or by using the mikrotik hotspot. My hotspots are installed in the buildings where their flats/apartments are.

Currently my SSID's are "Apartmentname # (website.com)"

Obviously I make the SSIDs short so that they fit in to scan lists.

What I want to do is make the SSID "Free # (website.com)" to entice people to join the network. Then I will have free 500MB accounts that get people to create a customer account and will enable them to immediately surf. Hopefully when the 500mb expires they will just buy a topup or a full monthly account.

This free 500MB is linked to their cell phone and is a once off.

Do you think it's unethical to name the network "Free" if they only get a once off test account?

(BTW the average customer uses about 4GB per month in this town)


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
said by joesmobo:

Do you think it's unethical to name the network "Free" if they only get a once off test account?

Not in my opinion.

You might want to have some verbiage on the main page that explains...something like "we're offering you this free trial of our wireless service so you can see how well it works before you choose to subscribe. Enjoy!"

If your gear supports multiple SSIDs, you might want to have the paid subs use another SSID...to forestall any complaints you might receive otherwise with respect to the use of the word 'free'.
--
Nothing makes an American want to do something more than telling them they can't.


joesmobo

join:2013-01-19
I can't run multiple SSID's on them all.

Do you think the effect will be lost if I just call it "Open # (company.com)"?

I am just trying to get more people that scan with their devices, to actually connect to me and open their browsers. I'm already getting quite a few, but more won't hurt.


TomS_
Git-r-done
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-19
London, UK
kudos:5

1 edit
reply to joesmobo
Could you not simply state the domain name as the SSID, and leave it unprotected, since most devices indicate which SSIDs are open and protected, so that will draw people in to begin with.

Once someone connects they are presented with a set of terms and conditions for the service which they must accept before being allowed to use the service. One of those would be that you get X amount of data before you must purchase access to continue using it.

Otherwise, maybe use "Free trial" instead.

joesmobo

join:2013-01-19
Sure I could do that, but it's basically what I am doing at the moment.

The problem is that currently when people scan they can see up to 30 networks. The goal is to stand out. People don't like connecting to every single network out there. There are also competitors of mine running on "company.com #321".

So basically I want to give them the free trail, but I want to convey this when they scan for networks.


TomS_
Git-r-done
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-19
London, UK
kudos:5
I wouldnt feel too bad about just saying "Free" in the SSID. Since a lot of hotels and airports have wifi that is "free" for only a certain period of time.


WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5
reply to joesmobo
No worse than cellular advertising "unlimited".

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
reply to joesmobo
said by joesmobo:

Do you think it's unethical to name the network "Free" if they only get a once off test account?

I think it is sort of unethical and some customers may get turned off by your "Free XYZ.com" SSID strategy.

But you can easily get noticed with a funny and unique SSID string. Use underscore, asterisk, etc at the beginning and end.

SSID rules:
- upto 32 characters - letters/numbers/punctuation
- first character can't be number sign, exclamation mark or semicolon
- you can't use plus sign, dollar sign, question mark, double quote, back slash, and left/right square brackets

joesmobo

join:2013-01-19
Cool, I think I might try the asterisk thing.

Also I would just like to add to your point of characters that shouldn't be used. The smaller and greater than signs also cause problems. They are often cleaned or escaped when lists are scanned, so even though they are valid in the SSID, they don't always show up in html scans.