Or you can please none of the people at all of the times... (2 of 2)


Part 2 of Community Update - see Part 1

… part 1 ramble ends on the 8am Release


Change #1B: VMP Release at 4pm Eastern

Given our need to build the circuit break feature, we are also taking the opportunity to benefit our long term VMP customers by holding a token reserve of product to be launched in a third daily segment at 4PM Eastern. On occasions where the 8AM release of product outpaces demand, a final circuit breaker will blow and our last teeny reserve of product will be released at 4PM Eastern ONLY AVAILABLE TO VMP WHO WERE MEMBERS THE PRECEDING DAY.

“GEEZ Ok not so simple then. That’s all, right?”

That’s it for the circuit breaker launch changes. If we’re going to change something sacred like our launches then why not go all out, right? How about we change email too!

Change #2: Daily Stats Email

When recreating the Classic Daily Deal model here at Meh, many of you will remember our hatred of email. The Daily Email update was introduced at Woot because it had always been popularly demanded and I couldn’t come up with enough reason to explain to Amazon why I resisted. It was resolved that we would do our best to make it valuable and people could unsubscribe if they didn’t want it. Simple enough.

And sure enough, many people loved it. We had statistics tell us how many units of things were bought by people directly from email and we saw that many of those were folks who hadn’t bought from us in a while. It flat out increased sales. My past resistance was damned by those who fought for the program, and even those who reluctantly built it came to see it as a success.

Why didn’t I allow it again at Meh? Because I still don’t like it. I think it does long term damage. I wanted to have the site as the hub of community again. Over the past few years at Woot, the site itself has stopped having much meaning as a daily place to visit. Email recipients make their decisions via marketing email from within their email client—it even sounds gross. There is zero community value generated or consumed unless you go to the site.

If you visited Meh in our first 6 months, you know we didn’t even do transactional emails. It wasn’t an oversight. We had no sign up verification, no order confirmation, no shipment notification or tracking updates. The only email you would have gotten is if you specifically wrote in to customer support.

Of course, we now have those and admit that all email isn’t bad. It’s nice to get order confirmation from your email system that sits in a searchable database in the cloud for later retrieval. Adding these didn’t cause our community to shrink away from the site. So as we begrudgingly accept email utility, our Woot experience blame must shift to actual email content. Basically we delivered too much of the reason to visit the site with the email. We needed shittier emails in order to maintain our community!

Meh Daily Emails will start with VMP beta releases as our circuit breaker schedule rolls out (next week). As it turns out, they might not have to be shitty while meeting our goals. We have a nice side effect of our circuit breaker program and its guarantee of 8AM inventory. We can now send a morning statistics update email that you can still respond to even if the sale sold out at 12am. We’ll work with our VMP members to build in some stat ideas before full release. BUT HERE’S THE CATCH: The email will not contain the actual item name of the day’s event. There will be clues and stats and you might be able to guess (half the time it’s knives or coffee mugs right?) but we want to keep the enjoyment of the daily visit intact.

Here’s your local time helper schedule!

Eastern Time Central Time Mountain Time Pacific Time
Premier Launch 12 AM 11 PM 10 PM 9 PM
Email delivery of launch stats and teaser 7AM- 8AM 6AM- 7AM 5AM - 6AM 4AM - 5AM
Relaunch 8 AM 7 AM 6 AM 5 AM
VMP reserve 4 PM 3 PM 2 PM 1 PM

As I said way back on part one, I’m posting this in advance of the email for discussion and opinions. If you’re on the site seeing this tonight and tomorrow morning, you’re seeing it first.

Thanks for reading my forum breaking ramble!

aka Matt Rutledge, CEO or something
a mediocre corporation