How 20 minutes invested in one email added $22m in value.

Grow your small business using a fun culture in your marketingWell, almost.

Derek Sivers and his team at CDbaby did a lot of other hard and smart work before he sold out for $22m in 2008 after 11 years in business. I just listened to this great Duct Tape Marketing podcast between John Jantsch and Derek Sivers. It’s the main marketing podcast I follow.  In the cast, at around 7:30 minutes, Derek talks about the 20 minutes he invested in re-writing an automated email that is sent to a customer after their CD is shipped to them.

He says:

…the single most powerful thing I ever did, that one single email…It set the tone for what kind of company we are…we’re like a little record store. A fun-loving little place that doesn’t take itself too seriously…that one email did more for CDbaby than I think, anything else.

With your marketing hat on, what he did here is interesting.

As he says, he simply added a personality to the company – his personality.  He said the dry, boring, fact-based words of the original email are not how he’d speak with his friends.  So, why should he speak with his customers that way?  A 20 minute spruce-up and sales took off.  It entertained people, they forwarded to others and set the tone for what kind of company they were dealing with.

Does your marketing reflect the true personality of your small business? If not, why not let it out.

What a small business owner / manager can tweak in their marketing to add value:

  1. Set your company culture – with your vision statement, mission statement, core values and using a fun budget
  2. Audit your marketing, ensure it reflects the company culture you have set
  3. Have some fun with your business


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