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Newsletter #962: The “Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d 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.]

You can have a seriously fantastic product and show it off in some completely non-serious ways. Word of mouth works best when you have something to carry your message fast and far, and the weird and fun topics usually do that better than the serious and heavy ones.

Here’s how an email service, a church, and Netflix do it:

1. Make it photo-worthy
2. Make it friendly
3. Make it nerdy
4. Check it out: Auto Buds

1. Make it photo-worthy

Photo thanks to Flickr.

Photo thanks to Flickr.

To celebrate hitting one million users, MailChimp offered their new customers a pretty weird incentive for signing up: A complimentary hat for their cat. As an email marketing service, MailChimp doesn’t have a lot to do with cats. But who doesn’t want to share a photo of a cat in a hat? That’s the kind of stuff that sparks questions like, “Where did you get that hat?” “Why is that monkey wearing a hat, too?” “Where can I get my cat a hat like that?”

The lesson: Sometimes weird stuff is just the trigger to get your customers talking about your product.

Learn more: Flickr

2. Make it friendly

"Thou shalt not poop" sign

Photo thanks to Creativity.

“Keep off the grass” although common, is a pretty rude way to ask your visitors to help keep your lawn pristine. But one business found a friendlier way to do it with a little humor. On the lawn of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, a sign in Old English font reads, “Thou shalt not poop. Please keep dogs off grass.” It’s a small, yet important detail that makes the church seem less serious and more relatable to its visitors.

The lesson: Every mundane detail has a chance to be something more remarkable — even “Don’t let your dog poop here” signs.

Learn more: Creativity

3. Make it nerdy

Netflix support chat.

Photo thanks to Geekologie.

“This is Cpt. Mike of the good ship of Netflix, which member of the crew am I speaking with today?” That’s how one customer service chat began between an awesome Netflix representative and a customer who was so thrilled he shared the transcript of their conversation with everyone he knew. By using Star Trek references to resolve the customer’s issue, the Netflix employee earned a raving fan. In fact, the customer says he wished he had more problems so the chat would’ve lasted longer.

The lesson: When is the last time you enjoyed talking to a customer service rep so much that you wanted to continue the call?

Learn more: Geekologie

4. Check it out: Auto Buds

Identical cars parked next to each other.

Photo thanks to Auto Buds.

You know that strange feeling of friendship you get when you see two identical cars parked next to each other, behind one another at a light, or travelling side-by-side down the highway?

Check it out: Auto Buds

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