I fucked up recently.
Nothing that put any lives in danger, fortunately.
You see, I started doing a re-engagement campaign to reach out to all of my
users that weren’t currently on my semi-monthly product update newsletter list.
This is actually something that’s come up quite a few times over the last year
or so with some of my peers. Sitting on these emails was probably a gold mine.
Low hanging fruit, they’d say.
It’s just that easy.
Well, maybe it could have been, if I didn’t fuck things up.
I thought I had crossed all of my T’s and dotted all of my I’s. I scrubbed my
list with my own script. I paid to run the list through a cleaning service. I
made sure to space out my sends and kept a close eye on my bounce and complaint
Where I dropped the ball was on my copy.
I threw a post script in the email letting folks know that if you responded to
the message I’d hook you up with a discount.
I completely failed to qualify the discount as only being available to users
looking to upgrade from free to paid.
And of course I was hit up by a handful of already paying customers looking for
their discount, most of which were already on grandfathered in pricing.
I sat on the requests for a short bit of time before starting to field the
inquiries. A loss of revenue can really fuck with a small company, but if I’ve
learned anything from my wife’s blog, negative press can be even worse.
Channelling my inner Jocko, I went full on with the Extreme Ownership and
decided to honor the requests.
With that, without making things too difficult for folks, I explained how I
fucked up and tried to find some concession that got them their discount, but
also helped me out in the process.
For any customers that were on monthly, I offered up the option to switch to
yearly in exchange for the discount.
Obviously this only works on folks already on monthly, so there were some folks
that I couldn’t make that pitch to. For them, I hit them up with a customer
survey with the 5 brilliant StoryBrand questions that easily translate
Not everybody filled out the survey, but nearly everybody I offered the switch
to yearly to, took it. There was one lone
individual saint that after I laid
out the discount for going to yearly, felt their current rate was solid and
didn’t want to take advantage of a small business owner like themselves.
The obvious lesson learned is that I absolutely need to qualify any future
discounts, or the more likely scenario, never discount the brand like that ever
The less obvious lesson is that I should probably be trying to up sell monthly
customers to yearly more often, especially since we’ve moved away from even
offering up monthly plans anymore.
Even with a loss of annual revenue this week, by owning the mistake and trying
to make the discount mutually beneficial, I was able to close out one of the
highest revenue weeks of the year.
No more fuck ups for a while though, seriously.