We arrived in Phoenix Saturday, December 1st, by way of Cottonwood Arizona. It was a pleasant and uneventful ride. The only issue was ear popping as we went up and down in elevation on our way through the mountains north of Phoenix. Kathy and I were grateful that there were no more mechanical issues to deal with.
We had originally planned on spending four weeks in Cottonwood working on our Christmas CD, but the week-long delay waiting for parts in Oklahoma considerably reduced our scheduled time for working on our Christmas project. We left Cottonwood Saturday morning with an unfinished CD that we planned to release on Monday--Yikes! After getting in to our site in Phoenix, we hooked up our utilities, dialed in the satellite, and immediately set up our gear to continue mastering. Finally, just before midnight on Sunday, we finished.
As you are probably aware by now, Kathy and I thought we would give email marketing a try, offering our Christmas CD, Celebrate Christmas. We are humbled by your response, and would like to thank everyone who bought single copies and multiple copies of the CD. But this writing is not about selling anything--it's just a blog post. We watched a webinar on email marketing and thought we'd give it a try. Although some of the things we did took us a little out of our comfort zone, we had a lot of fun doing it. Here's a rough overview of the process...
- A start date and cut-off date for the sale price had to be determined
- It was decided that a total of four emails would go out, each with a slightly different message. A date was set for each email. The emails were prepared in advance, and scheduled to be sent out on the days we selected.
- We planned on a little video in the second email, so we bought some Christmas stockings and silly things to put on our heads.
- I had to create a special offers page for our website: setting a background, uploading songs, and learning how our online store manages sale items. We had originally thought to offer the CDs for $10 and then every CD after the first one would be $5--sort of a BOGO sale--but our website could only handle percentage discounts. Eventually, we chose 50% off.
- A peripheral issue was updating all of the jump drives we have for sale to include all of the songs on Celebrate Christmas.
- Lastly, we created a discount code, and included it in a thank you note to everyone who bought a CD. It was for 25% off anything in our store--good through 12/31.
This was really a learn-as-you-go process.
- We leaned that folks that we know and love from our travels, that we haven't seen for years, still wish to support us and hear our music. You all still hold a special place in our hearts.
- We learned that all of us are enriching PayPal. Whoever set that system up is a genius.
- We learned to get some of our "money's worth" from PayPal by getting our shipping labels purchased and printed through them, and thus avoiding the lines at the Post Office.
- I learned that I could customize the "thank you" message from our on line store to include the discount code that we were sending out via snail mail. (I'll do this next time, sorry.)
- We learned that we could not automate our emailings to exclude people who had already purchased a current offer. I am looking into different email services for next time. In the mean time, those of you who have purchased any Celebrate Christmas CDs will continue to get the remaining emails. Sorry!
We have begun working with a song writer named Larry Smith. This December, we will be putting 10 of his songs to music. Vocals will be done in the spring when we get home. This process should be the topic of our next few blogs.
That's it for now,