WHY WON’T YOU TAKE MY MONEY?!
I’ve been coveting two tiny little robots. The Piccolo CNC by Diatom Studios and the Adafruit IoT “Internet of Things” mini printer.
There’s no word on a release date for the Piccolo, but you can get the Adafruit IoT here.
Fab.com’s AWESOME unsubscribe page
The other day I got sick and tired of my inbox getting daily e-mails from Fab.com. It’s a fine site, but I don’t need a daily e-mail from just about anyone. Naturally, I sought out the unsubscribe link at the bottom of one of the daily e-mails and clicked. What I found was not the bland “Please confirm this unsubscription action.” page, but rather a “Oops! Perhaps we came on too strong! Sorry about that, how about we dial down the crazy just a tad? Would that do the trick? Listen, baby, we can work this out. Maybe just a few e-mails a week about things you might really REALLY like?” I’ve included a screenshot above, I loved this page so much. Heck, I loved it so much I closed the browser window and didn’t unsubscribe.
What I like about this page is that:
- It isn’t a robotic “confirm unsubscription” link, but a very human and personal sounding page. Unsubscription pages are basically kiss-off pages where a company loses contact with a person. In such cases, it’s easy to write off the user as a lost cause. This doesn’t have to be the case.
- That personal sounding message really made me stop and actually re-think what I had come to that page to do. Did I really want to unsubscribe? Maybe I shouldn’t try to go cold turkey? I really wouldn’t want to miss out on something amazing…
- The first full paragraph of the “opt out” message is particularly interesting. Fab.com suggests that if you unsubscribe, they won’t be able to even e-mail you a receipt for an order. Surely there is a middle ground between marketing e-mails and confirmation/order e-mails. But, by eliminating the line entirely, they ensure someone who was once a customer of Fab.com is unlikely to unsubscribe since they’re more likely to order there again. I’m willing to bet that Fab might have very slightly higher e-mail retention if they gave the option of turning off all-but-confirmation-style e-mails. Even if that’s not the case, such a policy is likely to increase the retention of previous customers.
Here’s what I would do if I were over at Fab.com and helping in their e-mail marketing department:
- Monitor and track the number of users who go to their unsubscribe pages and don’t unsubscribe. If people don’t unsubscribe when they visit that page for the first time, I would make a point of having their e-mails dialed back, with as much as a 75% reduction effective immediately. Later, this could theoretically be increased slowly.
- Do some A/B split testing on whether a playful e-mail marketing dial has any effect on customer retention after they visit the unsubscribe page.
- Do some A/B split testing on how the sheer number of e-mail messages sent affect the percentages of people hitting the unsubscribe links. At the end of the day, you just don’t want a potential customer going to that page – nothing good can come of it.
- Assuming there’s X daily sign-ups for the e-mail marketing, you’re going to want an unsubscribe rate of Y to be less than X. If you never send a single e-mail it is very likely no one will unsubscribe. On the other hand, if you’re pounding your customers multiple times an hour, you’re probably going to lose them all. The optimal result for an e-mail marketing campaign is a difficult thing to pin down. Success for a given e-mail isn’t necessarily a binary thing, but a sliding scale of success from “did not click unsubscribe,” to “did not mark as spam/junk”, to “opened e-mail,” to “visited site”, to “made a sale”, to “made a sale of an item featured in e-mail.”
- Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn send reminders – usually reminding you about your friends and suggesting things you’ll want to see. However, I probably don’t receive more than one e-mail a week from any of these sites. If these older, more established, sites don’t e-mail me more than once a week, Fab.com should really re-think starting with a default of daily e-mails.
Please take all of the above with a grain of salt. I’ve got a web based SaaS B2B business that would really benefit from more A/B testing and e-mail marketing, and I’m not doing it yet. :)
The other day I wondered what people have done with their InkShields. Then I got to wondering what people were doing to mount their InkShield printer heads and move them around. Then I thought… hey! It would be pretty awesome to attach an InkShield printer head to a Polargraph / DrawBot gondola.
I could see how an InkShield might improve a Polargraph. You could theoretically have a small sensor to test the ink levels and pump more ink in from a larger reservoir – and never worry about a pen running out of ink again.
I could see how a Polargraph might improve an InkShield. With a DrawBot string setup, you wouldn’t need a huge or expensive XY gantry – just a lot of string, two motors, and some other bits and bobs.
Posts in the DrawBot Adventure Series
- Wanna make a DrawBot?
- DrawBot, the Adventure Begins
- DrawBots for the slow learner
- DrawBot - Parts Ordered!!!
- DrawBot - The Breakdown
- DrawBot - Parts Shipped!!!
- DrawBot - What would you draw?
- DrawBot - The Plan!
- DrawBot - The Hacks
- DrawBot - Giant Unicorn?
- DrawBot - The Delivery?
- DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
- DrawBot – The Delivery, Part III
- DrawBot – The Assembly, Part I
- DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
- DrawBot – The Delivery, Part IV
- DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
- DrawBot – The Assembly, Part III
- DrawBot – The Assembly, Part IV
- DrawBot – Design Considerations
- DrawBot – Halp!!! No - seriously, a little help?
- DrawBot – The Face Palm
- DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
- DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
- DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
- DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
- DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
- DrawBot – Printed Parts
- DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
- DrawBot – The Operation, Part I
- DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VIII
- DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
- DrawBot – Printing!
- DrawBot – Printing, Part II
- DrawBot – Why are you crying?
- DrawBot – Calibration
- DrawBot – Pen Selection
- DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
- DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
- DrawBot – Pen Selection, Part II
- DrawBot – Onwards and Upwards!
- DrawBot – Another Successful(ish) Drawing!, and an Update
- Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
- TSP FTW!
- Speedier DrawBot Drawings
- Two new DrawBot links! And an update!
- Excellent DrawBot Slides
- Another Drawing Robot!!!
- DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
- The biggest inkjet printer ever
- Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
- All New Polargraph on the way!!!
- Ideas for improving my DrawBot
- DrawBot Aesthetic Re-Design Ideas
- The Eagle Has Landed
- Every Body Needs a Skull
- I think I know what I want to draw next...
- Overengineered Spools
- Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
- Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
- Sourcing DrawBot Parts
- DrawBot - A Tour!
- DrawBot - A Preview
- Arduino Powered Drawing Robot Poll
- Building an Arduino Drawing Robot - On The Cheap
- DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
- Unidentified Foam Object
- Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
- A Study of Drawing Robot Pen Holders and Design Considerations
- Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
- Ideal Qualities in a Drawing Robot Pen Holder
- Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
- DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
- Skipping! How could I forget the skipping?!
- Drawing Robot Penmanship
- PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
- PlotterBot.com - a new site dedicated to drawing robots
Google’s self-driving car
Last Monday I noticed a funny looking Google vehicle while driving back home from Palo Alto. It was a white SUV with a big Google logo on the back passenger side door. Traffic was heavy and I didn’t get to look at the vehicle very long. I’ve seen the Google streetview car before – and this was not it. The streetview car has a tall device mounted on the roof with what appears to be four cameras pointing forward, right, left, and back. The vehicle I saw last Monday had a device the size of a small toaster mounted to the roof with four white pipes – and it was spinning very fast.
My guess was this was the Google self-driving car. When I saw this article the following day, picturing the exact vehicle I saw, I was certain.
I have to admit, when I saw this vehicle I was tempted, for just a moment, to drive slightly recklessly and unpredictably to see what Google’s vehicle would do.
My superego won out over my id, and I just observed the progress of the Google self-driving vehicle. I wish I had seen the vehicle earlier so that I could have observed more of the vehicle’s behavior from behind it. Here’s what I saw:
- I was in the #3 lane on I-680 North and the Google self-driving vehicle was in the #2 lane. Traffic was heavy during the late-afternoon early-evening commute and even though they were in a faster lane, we were probably both going no more than about 35 MPH.
- They must have left at least at least 5 car lengths worth of traveling distance in front of them.
- I didn’t see them switch lanes – except to take an exit.
- Interestingly, with the ebb and flow of traffic, the Google vehicle was at times far behind me and even a little ahead of me.
- Even though Google as a corporation is a person, and Google was likely present in that vehicle, it did not drive in the HOV/carpool lane.
If Google can drive for 300,000 miles without an accident, including travel in heavy traffic, I suppose there’s a few lessons we can learn:
- The ebb and flow of heavy traffic is enough to basically normalize any efforts to “get ahead,” so you might as well drive as slowly, conservatively, and with as much following distance as Google
- When traffic is congested, it might help to be in a lane farthest from the on/off ramps
- Always carry two backup passenger/drivers in your vehicle