Have You Complimented Your Top Customers Lately?

Got this email from Google Maps. I felt great. Flattery works:

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Have you considered sending a flattering email to your top customers? You don’t have to give a discount, the email could simply be a personal “we appreciate you” note.

People remember unexpected kind gestures way longer than coupon codes.

Also, don’t just contact top customers. You can get creative. For example:

— You may have a customer who placed the one and only order from a particular city.
— Or you might have a customer who is the first buyer of a particular item.
— Or you might have a customer who had the longest gap between their first and second purchase.

Everyone is #1 in a specific way. For example, I’m the World’s best India-born, Michigan-based conversion strategist.

My Mean Boss Wants You to Know About this Sale

Moosejaw.com has done a great job with their email marketing. Check out what they emailed me (the subject line read “My Mean Boss wants you to know about this sale”):


Instead of your typical marketing speak, Moosejaw uses the Likability tactic by adding humor to their messaging, and as a result, their potential customer is now aware of a “big sale”. They might even feel inclined to visit Moosejaw.com and see what that big sale is all about.

If Moosejaw had gone with a more conventional approach, chances are that the email’s receivers wouldn’t have even read their messaging. The lesson? Show your personality, even in your email marketing. People buy from people they like.

Everyone Likes a Robin Hood

I recently came across skiplagged.com—a site dedicated to finding the lowest ticket prices for flights. This site uses a number of conversion tactics and it uses them well. From the screenshot below alone you can see Personality (Likability), Clairvoyance (Serendipity), Confidence (Assurance), and Credibility (Assurance):


What is perhaps more prominent and the most successful is this use of Likability. Skiplagged.com is so likable because they are taking advantage of our association of airlines with aggravatingly high prices. Skiplagged.com is, in a sense, a Robin Hood site as it “exposes loopholes in airfare pricing” at the expense of large airlines. They’ve positioned themselves this way with their subheading: “Our flights are so cheap, United sued us… but we won.” People love to root for the underdog, especially when the underdog’s best interests are their best interests. It’s no mystery that skiplagged.com has had over 1 million visitors in a month. United doesn’t need to be reminded.

All companies should show their authentic self, and the results can be measured. I know it sounds risky.

What if my buyers don’t like my quirky side?

Valid concern. So run an A/B test on a high traffic site landing page (landing page because that’s where new people see you for the first time). On this page show people what you’ve always wanted to say but been scared to. If you’re really nervous set the test to 10% of incoming traffic. You may just discover shoppers like your authentic self way more.

What radical (but mission aligned) idea would you test on your landing page?

If the Survey Request Sucks No One Will Participate

After a recent visit with a local ophthalmologist, I received this Voice of the Customer survey request:


I doubt this survey request was successful for a number of reasons. The heading has no personality and it is visually bland. If any patients decided to continue reading, they would have been met with similar copy that provides no incentive for completing the survey. Next time, L.O. Eye Care should try something more like this:


Notice how the doctor’s image is used in the heading. This is an example of the Novelty tactic because the image of someone the reader knows is unexpected and increases the likelihood that they’ll stop to read the email. Another thing that’s great about this heading is that it is personalized for the receiver. Lastly, the email’s body provides an incentive for the reader to complete the survey—complete the survey and L.O. Eye Care will “create better experiences for you in the future.” Overall, this version of the email incorporates the Likability tactic much more than the control, which in combination with the Novelty tactic can contribute to more patients completing the survey.

The lesson? If you want more Voice of the Customer data, show your customers that you care. Don’t make survey requests seem like a chore for you or the customer.

Lifetime Warranty

Most companies explain warranties in a boring way. Not Red Oxx. Their warranty message is inspiring:

Red Oxx “No Bull” Warranty

As time rolls a ceaseless course, only the genuine guarantee remains. The mountains will persist, the oceans are bound to endure and Red Oxx will continue to be rugged, reliable, and tough.

To the depths of the Amazon basin to the peaks of the Himalayas, Red Oxx Manufacturing is infallible.

Red Oxx Bags are guaranteed forever, be sure to include them in your will.


While crafting a story with personality, Red Oxx succeeds in constructing a warranty message that is steaming with confidence and assurance. Their messaging makes it difficult for the shopper to remain skeptical about the ability of their product to be long-lasting and reliable.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Red Oxx’s messaging wonderfully weaves together confidence and personality with imagery that speaks to their target and reflects their branding.

In a world where consumption of media and entertainment is at an all-time high, don’t be afraid to tell your shoppers a compelling, entertaining story that they didn’t know they wanted to read.

Stories Matter

If you have the ability to tell an amazing story you can mark-up some things 1,200%, even candy floss. And story isn’t just words, it’s also the packaging. Check out Bag of Unicorn Farts:

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Sells on Amazon for $10.95:

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And people who buy it aren’t enraged that they could by the same quantity of cotton candy for 20 cents. No, they’re deliriously excited:


This is the top review rated by buyers of Bag of Unicorn Farts. Not the seller, but the damn buyers:

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You can buy Bag of Unicorn Farts here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E9D0OR2/ref=cm_gf_ss_d_d_p_aH_i0_bt20_p0_qd2

Happy holidays.

Why I Love eCommerce …

… because it allows for an infinite number of interesting business models. My friend Mike Johnson pointed me to something new. Scott Keyes is the Scott behind scottscheapflights.com. Scott’s Cheap Flights is a subscription service that sends out email alerts to subscribers on international flight deals. It’s basically a human powered flight price alert system. But what makes it stand out (for me) is their personality: