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Newsletter #803: The “Open Up” Issue

Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Good things happen when you open up, when you embrace transparency, and when you invite fans behind the scenes. A few ways smart marketers are doing it:

1> For pizza
2> For membership
3> For baseball
4> Check it out: The Eyeballing Game

1> For pizza

Anyone who’s ever cooked a TV dinner knows food photography is often very different from what you actually get. Domino’s is changing this — they’re inviting fans to send in photos of their pizzas. The result is hundreds of un-edited, un-altered photos from true fans — photos that include kids, pets, families, and, as Domino’s calls it, “real, honest-to-goodness pizzas.”

The lesson: When everyone around you is blurring the ethical boundaries or cutting corners, you’ve got a chance to earn love from fans by opening up and demonstrating genuine transparency.

Learn more: Show Us Your Pizza

2> For membership

If you’ve got something fantastic that only members can experience, you need a taste-test that can entice new members. Sam’s Club can seem like a secret fraternity to outsiders, so they host open houses to invite in the public. For a few days, non-members get a sneak peek at the experience — and can buy as many 8 gallon jars of peanut butter and pickles as they can haul. With all of these new visitors seeing this otherwise exclusive experience, Sam’s Club has a great chance to sign up a whole bunch of new members.

The lesson: Opening up otherwise exclusive benefits — if only for brief periods — can be a great way to meet new customers.

Learn more: The Houston Chronicle

3> For baseball

If you’re trying to meet new fans, sometimes you’ve got to open up and go to them. When attendance at Minnesota Twins baseball games was hurting and fan loyalty was low, they went on the road and brought the team to fans. This now annual “Winter Caravan” brings players and coaches to small-town high school gyms, meeting halls, and hotel ballrooms throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. By opening up and removing barriers between the fans and the team, the Twins are today one of the most successful franchises in all of professional baseball.

The lesson: Open up and remove the barriers between you and your fans. Bring them behind the scenes, let them meet your internal superstars, and show them how much you appreciate their loyalty.

Learn more: Entrepreneur

4> Check it out: The Eyeballing Game

Are you great at geometry? Need to prove it to the world? The Eyeballing Game tests your skills at creating perfect squares, rectangles, parallelograms, etc. — and scores you on exactly how close you are with each shape.

Check it out: The Eyeballing Game

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