Behind the Scenes - 6/29/24


Dear Friends,

First off, there is a new episode of the podcast available on or called Ep. 421 Colin and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month. You should open those links up in a new tab and listen/watch them after this for more good info.

This week has been another wild week in a difficult month. The short version is that in an effort to try to increase our conversion rate and slightly improve our websites ability to sell our product effectively, I messed everything up.

Well that's not entirely true, I didn't mess up the product. That's still good.

I did however completely shift our paid social media marketing strategy, switched our email provider, and altered our website in some substantial ways. Of course by doing this all at the same time I effectively eliminated any real chance at being able to isolate what was working and what was not from the mess of changes.

To no ones surprise by my own, the effects of these changes were wildly unpredictable. Our analytics (which usually have a reasonable amount of ups and downs around a stable average) suddenly looked like a roller coaster ride with crazy high site sessions and low conversion rates, to extremely low site sessions but remarkably high conversion rates.

In the end the results put us on track to hit about 80% of our expected sales for this month (which was already forecasted to be a low number since its summer and people are out having fun with friends rather than what they should be doing; shopping on their phones in a dark room).

We have had these two large bulk orders that have been floating out in the ether. The people interested are two totally unrelated parties and they contacted us separately around the same time at the beginning of the month. There has been this fading hope that one or both of those orders might land, and thus save us from my reckless attempt to change things, but that light is fading fast.

I do still think that one of them will come through, but not on the timeframe that would salvage this month.

Slowly but surely things are starting to stabilize a bit which is encouraging. We need about 8 more days like the last 3 for me to start to breathe a little better, but I do think we are on that track.

Desperation has lead to me throwing up some long passes while we wait for the marketing waters to settle from our ad changes. For one we have launched the which is designed to work with the famous Full Focus planners. People have been after those for awhile, but they are such a strange size I have been reticent to launch them. A journal designed for one specific insert from one specific company felt too narrow of a market for us, but after years of people asking, I have revised my previous decision and launched them.

Another project that has been on the back burner for awhile that is finally moving is our catalog. Years ago I talked about launching a full speed 20+ page catalog with our full lineup and a bunch of cool pages that had articles and other things in it, but that never materialized. Mainly because its absurd for me to assume I can go from scratch, with no catalog designing experience, by myself , to build out something that ambitious my first time out of the gate.

It dawned on me this year that due to the shift of the marketing world to full screen vertical videos we had begun to build up a library of vertical shots that would be ideal for a catalog. I also realized that while a big full lineup catalog would be cool, it was also unreasonable from a time and technical perspective. Better to do something accomplishable and grow from there than to never start on something that is too much.

So I did a bit of research and settled on a simple format. 8.5"x5.5" is a nice little brochure size that is a full sheet of paper folded in half. If you take two of those sheets and staple them together you get a nice little 8 page spread. With a front cover and back cover that's only 6 pages to fill. You can get 2,000 of them in nice cardstock printed and cut to full bleed (where there is no white space around the edge) for less than $0.30 each.

That catalog is a much more reasonable target, and once I really dove into it, I had it done within a few days. The first batch should be arriving sometime middle of next week.

Now what to do with these catalogs. Well to start we will include one in any of the boxes that go out our door until they run out. My hope is that when people open their boxes, look at the incredible quality of the product, they will be inspired by the catalog to get something else to go with their collection.

We may take a small subset of the 2,000 catalogs and try our first mailing. I'm very curious how it would go, and more importantly how it would compare to our other advertising platforms and methodologies.

That possibility opens up additional areas for testing. What would be the ideal list for us to use? We could do a random selection from our customer list. Depending on how large the sample was, that would theoretically provide the best indicator for how a larger mailing would go. Another idea would be to create specific subsets of the lists that we think would be ideal targets. One example would be people who have bought multiple times from us in the past, but are unsubscribed from our email and text message marketing. Another would be people who have bought an item or multiple items that are a percentage over the average order value.

Both those lists would likely have higher than usual response rates. the first would be good because of our inability to market to them in the usual channels may mean that they don't know about our newer product launches. The second could be good because these are individuals who are "big spenders" compared to our usual.

Those are just two of the possible sublists.

There are many ways to slice and dice our customer segments after being in business as long as we have. There are tens of thousands of mailing addresses we have from past customers so the prospects of what we could pull off are exciting.

This doesn't even begin to touch on the world of renting mailing lists or using the USPS marketing mailing program which can allow us to target specific zip codes and other parameters.

It all starts however, with this first small brochure. More importantly it starts with using this brochure to develop a method by which we can generate new catalogs in the future, eventually building up to a full lineup catalog.

Time will allow us to fine tune this process.

Stay tuned for more letters in the coming weeks and be sure to go subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you like and watch the videos it helps us get promoted more by the algorithm to people who may never have heard of us.

Ever your servant,

Colin MurdyCEO/Owner

Murdy Creative Co.

Cell: 414-434-9001



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