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A Series of Fortunate Mistakes

By May 30, 2016 No Comments

Everyone loves biting into a warm chocolate chip cookie with melted chocolate chunks, so it’s surprising to discover that the treats were invented by accident. While attempting to make chocolate cookies for her inn, Ruth Wakefield ran out of baker’s chocolate and substituted with a bar of semi-sweet chocolate. Instead of melting into the batter in the oven the chocolate chunks stayed intact, and chocolate chip cookies were created. Ruth’s inn became famous for these baked goods and also made a deal with Nestle.

A few weeks ago the KIDOZ team experienced our own series of fortunate mistakes. Despite planning, a few marketing campaigns had hiccups, but instead of crashing the campaigns actually performed better than expected.

What happens when you send out a newsletter without a subject? Not what you expect.
An email title is an essential part of an email campaign. Countless articles outline the psychology behind crafting the perfect wording to encourage people to open your emails, and sending out a campaign without a title would seem like a disaster. Several weeks ago that was exactly what happened with The KIDO Journal, our weekly newsletter. To our (delighted) surprise, subscribers didn’t just open the email, we had an open rate 20% higher than average, which was a 3 month record.

What’s the lesson here? The research is true, titles are important. And through having a single dash as the subject line readers’ interest was piqued. Most people get 147 emails a day, and when they saw a subject line that was out of the ordinary, recipients were curious to get the scoop. In the end curiosity wins out.

What’s In a Name? A lot of course, but nobody ever said it has to be the right name.
While setting up an email outreach campaign a system glitch created a file with incorrect corresponding emails and app names. After the campaign was sent out to 4,000 recipients something became clear to our team – people were getting emails referencing apps that did not belong to them in the subject line and throughout the email. Our team went into disaster mode, preparing a cute email to send out in case we received angry responses.

Again, the results were surprising. Even with fumbling the app names we received 5 times more responses than an average campaign. Yes, a few of these were from upset recipients, but most responses were genuinely curious about how they could utilize KIDOZ to generate revenue for their kids’ apps.

There are a few possible reasons people opened the emails: curiosity, and, if we are honest, people like to point out mistakes. Also, by poking fun at ourselves and admitting we were wrong, we were able to initiate discussions with serious potential clients.

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Plan for the best, but always be ready for changes.
Of course, it is important to plan and carry out initiatives according to best practice, guidelines exist because people react better to certain approaches. Mistakes don’t have to lead to disaster. Sometimes they can push you outside of your comfort zone and lead to unexpected results. People respond to things that are out of the ordinary, and by taking advantage of unexpected results, new opportunities can be explored. Who knows, your next mistake could lead to a new favorite dessert, groundbreaking medicine, or best-selling toy.
Image from timlewisnm via flickr

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