Charles told me a couple of days ago that we send 6.5 million monthly emails. I had absolutely no idea it was that many. But then again, it makes sense.
We have nearly 200,000 active users of Schedulefly, and they can choose to receive emails for all kinds of triggers. Not only do most of them have their weekly schedules emailed to them, but between managers and staff, they can get emails for time off requests and approvals/declines, shift trade requests and approvals/declines, daily crib sheets, schedule changes, inbox alerts, message wall posts, and more. Schedulefly is the forum for, as one customer told me, “a 24 hour conversation” in each of the 4,100+ restaurants that subscribe to our service. The communication continues all day and often through the night, and much of it results in (opt-in) emails.
For me, the best part of that 6.5 million number is that 0 of those emails are for sales and marketing. We don’t buy any lists (Granted, we’ve tried some of that stuff but it never worked very well and, more importantly, its just not something we enjoy doing or feel good about). We don’t have sales people, so there aren’t any email pitches or requests for phone appointments or online demos, etc. And, heck, we really don’t send emails to trial participants accept when their trials are about to end and we send the link to pay, should they choose to continue. Not only that, but we have nothing else to sell existing customers – no “premium” packages or additional products or features, no partnerships with other companies whose products we need to promote, etc. – so we’re never trying to get their attention for any reason.
The second best part of that 6.5 million number is that all of those emails are received by request. Employees don’t have to input an email address into Schedulefly, and if they do they are able to decide whether they want to receive their schedule and other items via email.
We take pride in staying out of the way, so to speak. We don’t want to be part of the noise. We don’t bombard non-customers with emails and sales calls and online advertisements that follow them as the move around the internet, and we absolutely don’t bother our customers with emails they don’t want. We think that in a world where you have to give your email address to nearly everybody you do business with, and wind up getting recurring sales/marketing emails from most of them, it’s better to take a fresh approach and just get out of the way. We’re trying to build a brand that restaurant people love, and banging them over the head frequently with emails is one guaranteed way to prevent us from doing it. So you can bet that when 6.5 million grows to 10 million one day, none of them will be for sales or marketing or anything other than sending along information our users have requested.
P.s. The last sales email I ever sent was in Feb. 2012. Here it is. It worked, and that restaurant is still a customer. But the thing is, we believe they would have become a customer at some point anyway because we solved a problem they had, and had I not infiltrated Brandon’s email with my sales pitch, he would have gone looking for a solution when the timing was right, and we would have been here waiting for him.
Oh, and one more thing. Writing this post reminded me to unsubscribe to a bunch of recurring emails I don’t want. That felt good. I had to laugh when several of them sent unsubscribe confirmation emails to let me know I had successfully unsubscribed. Really?! Then how did I get yet another email from them. I thought that was funny. I like irony.