Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Not-So-Great Gob Easter Egg Hunt, Or Flying Turkeys & Other Marketing Mishaps

First allow me to start by apologizing to everyone who tried to order a Gobba Gobba Hey Easter Box in the past few days only to get caught in a tech tangle of bad links and "out of stock" notices! I felt your frustration, and the blame is ultimately mine. If you're wondering what happened, I can start by answering "A lot!" But allow me to say that it all seemed like a good idea at the time. (Cue flashback swirl and dramatic musical interlude here. Might I suggest "harp flourish number 5?")

Easter was fast approaching, and my latest gob box was in need of a theme, so turning the monthly Gobba Gobba Hey sale into a high tech Easter Egg Hunt not only sounded clever, I also decided it was a good way to effectively reduce anxiety for everyone on Team GGH. Besides, with the Giants back at home plate and with tax time looming, there were too many things competing for my clientele's attention. I figured that in order to get my customers to act I had to give them more incentive to buy, or at the very least I had to entertain them in the process. So, what if, I thought, in the spirit of the holiday's most famous game, I created an online treasure hunt? The Easter Gob sale would, like a classic Easter Egg Hunt, have an element of surprise, and even an air of adventure! People always love a good game, right? Right...?


It all started off well enough. After a few promo emails, I sent out a message alerting my customers that the Easter gobs were finally available, but - and here was where the "game" came into play - I added that it might take a little extra effort to find them. Orders began coming in almost immediately. In brisk succession, email confirmations filled my inbox, one right after another after another after another and so on.... only to stop as quickly as they began. Silence followed. I hit refresh and made sure my mail program was working properly. Nothing. I logged into my gob mail account. Crickets chirped. Tumbleweeds rolled through. No signs of orders, anywhere. After a few hours of puzzling inactivity, first one, then two, then three, then four emails arrived from rightfully-frustrated customers who were a little irked at initially being unable to find the Gobba Gobba Hey Easter Gob Dozen. Adding to their irritation was the fact that once their browsers successfully loaded the link to my gob store, they received notification that the box was no longer available. "Out of Stock!"

As I quickly worked to right the wrongs, I thought of what a text book example I had created in how not to sell one's wares. Not only did I make it almost impossible for my customers to order from me, I led them into a store that was also filled with other products to purchase when their attempts to support my business no doubt failed. I couldn't help but think about the classic "WKRP In Cincinnati" Thanksgiving Day Turkey Drop episode.

Lesson learned!

Again, my apologies to you all, and thank you for your continued support!

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