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How a radio show made one fan so angry he’s raised £11,000 (and counting) for charity

Are you familiar with The Archers?

It’s one of the longest running soap operas in Britain, a radio show set in rural Ambridge. While its storylines are often bucolic, it is currently running a story about Helen, who is suffering coercive and physical abuse at the hands of her husband, Rob.

It has led real life sufferers of coercive abuse such as Helen Walmsley-Johnson to write about her experiences.

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The (Almost) Perfect Email

This is a guest post from Jessie Scoullar of Wicksteed Works, a direct-to-fan agency, on how to make email campaigns zing.

We’re signed up to a lot of mailing lists. For solo artists, major artists, indie guitar bands, rock bands, dance acts, independent labels, for authors and filmmakers and agencies and marketing consultants.

We’re professionally interested in how people with a message choose to convey it. Whenever we receive a mailer, we can’t help but scrutinise it – does the layout work? Are the buttons “bulletproof“? Has alternate text been used where the email client has images switched off? Is it optimised for mobile? How about the text – is the message clear? Is there too much, or too little information? Clear call-to-action?

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Case studies: the Marvel of comics

When you have seventy-five years of history and over 5,000 characters in your archives, including Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America, you have a lot of potential to experiment with a Curve strategy.

Marvel is in such a lucky position. In 2009 Disney acquired the comic book publisher for $4 billion. At the time, it was the eighth largest magazine publisher in the US, and 4.1 million people read its content every month. That said, even by the time of the acquisition Marvel was far from just a comic book business. Although it made $125 million from publishing in 2008, that represented less than a fifth of its revenue: the bulk was made up from licensing ($293 million, 43 per cent) and film production ($255 million, 38 per cent). It’s a brand and movie business, and since 2000 there has been a Marvel-licensed blockbuster in cinemas every single year. Continue Reading

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Case study: Kaleel Zibe, a wildlife photographer

In November 2013 I received an email from Kaleel Zibe, a professional wildlife and nature photographer. His business has been under pressure for many years. ‘The crash of stock price imagery, and the fact that everyone is now an amateur photographer, means we in the profession need to re-think what we’re doing to make money. For years now the classic ways of earning a living from photography have had eroding returns.’

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Case studies: the B2B challenge, and systems integrators

In late 2013 I spoke to the customers of Peer One, a provider of hosting and related services for the web. Many of their customers are technology consultancies that build e-commerce systems for large retailers using third-party tools such as Magento, and are often known as systems integrators.

The question I was asked most was: ‘How can we apply the Curve when our core product is so expensive to deliver? We can’t afford to keep giving away our services for free, because they have a substantial cost to us. We know that we need to find customers, but the Curve doesn’t seem to help us, particularly those of us in small businesses with only ten or twenty staff.’

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Case studies: Nespresso and the coffee brand

Nestlé have discovered how to turn coffee into a Curve business. And they have done it not with an entry price of free, but an entry price of very expensive.

Nespresso coffee machines start at £130. They are stylish and elegant and the most expensive versions will set you back nearly £500. (US readers can substitute dollar signs for pound signs. That’s not fair on UK consumers, given the exchange rate, but that’s generally how it goes.) The machines are not the heart of the Nespresso business; the relationship with the coffee drinker is.

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