Is it hard for you to get Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me, Maybe?” out of your head too? Haha, if you’ve never heard this summer-smash, then you probably haven’t listened to the radio over the last couple of months because this song is constantly on! So love it or hate it, this song is catchy and it’s going to be here for a while. If you have not heard it yet, here is the video… if you have heard it, just scroll down…
This morning I was on my way to a 7:15am meeting when Call Me Maybe came on… and as I caught myself humming to the chorus it hit me: “Call Me Maybe?” is really doing something right… and successful startups are also doing what Carly Rae Jepsen is doing in this song.
You might thinking to yourself, “Bill, how in the world are successful startups doing anything similar to what Carly is doing… and Bill, you’re actually admitting to listening to that song?” Haha, well, yes, I am admitting to listening to it and I believe Call Me Maybe shows 2 things that successful startups practice:
1. Super-Riduculouly Simple Story with a Pickup Line/Sales Pitch that gives the listener EXACTLY what they want: The story in Call Me Maybe describes a girl that has a crush on a guy that she randomly meets… after a bit of conversation, and in flirting manner, she gives him her number and says, “This is Crazy, but here’s my number… Call Me… Maybe?” The story is easy and straight-forward while capturing the emotions around an event that frequently happens… “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, call me… maybe.”
You may be wondering what this has to do with business, well, Freshbooks.com has done the same thing for a somewhat boring industry: Accounting. Their pickup line or sales pitch is ridiculously simple and gives the listener exactly what they want to hear… it goes something like this: “We know your busy and hate keeping track of your financials, but we’ll make it fun and save you money… so try us for free.”
They had me interested and then they said “FREE” It only took 2 days for me to switch to Freshbooks from outsourcing my accounting work and using Quickbooks… and by doing this, I saved between $700-$1,300/month!
This is all because of the idea they told me EXACTLY what I wanted to hear:
1. That accounting could be fun.
2. That it would save me money… and most importantly…
3. I could experience this with a free trial.
And in the end it got me to spend about $30/month for their unlimited package.
2. Creating Experiences to Encounter the Unexpected:
“Call Me Maybe” is all about the unexpected. The typical pickup story goes something like this:
Guy: Hey, I’ve seen you here before. My name is Dave, what’s your name?
Girl: Jill… yeah, I’ve seen you around here before too.”
Guy: blah, blah, blah… so we should get together sometime, what’s your number?
Girl: (gives number) and then waits for him to call.
“Call Me Maybe” however reverses this story in a fresh way and tells the story from the girl’s point-of-view with the additional of one unexpected word that changed everything: “Maybe?” That one word speaks volumes. It’s not normal to add this word to the end of the statement “Call me,” but in this instance, it sure seals the deal! What guy wouldn’t call after that?
Well, Mailchimp.com had been doing this same thing for years! While Carly is describing the dating scene, Mailchimp is constantly creating experiences for their customers to experience the unexpected in the boring world of Managing Email Lists.
Look at every other software in the space of email campaign management… it’s the same type of business model, sales pitch and boring interface. Mailchimp however came into this space with a brand that didn’t look like the competition and peppered humor throughout the interface of the their web application. An awesome example is when a person opts out of your email newsletter: Mailchimp does not send the normal email scolding you for sending a newsletter to someone that doesn’t want it… on the contrary, they send you a humorous email saying something like, “Bummer, someone unsubscribed from your newsletter!” Notice the change of tone?
They took something that everyone knows: Customer Email Lists, and made it fun for the user and worth talking about. While Carly says “Here’s my number, call me… maybe?” Mailchimp is saying, “Let’s have fun emailing together!”
When I started using the free version of Mailchimp for my online custom t-shirt business, CoedMonkey.com, my sales instantly went up and I’ve been telling everyone I know to use them… with the super-simple chorus of, “Mailchimp makes managing customer emails fun!” It’s a super-simple sales pitch or pickup line for Mailchimp that everyone understands… so it spreads.
The 2 action points that we can take away from this are:
1. Is your business model and sales process super-simple and offering customers EXACTLY what they want? If not, how can you make it more direct? What can you cut from your offering or business model?
2. What are you doing that’s unexpected and that draws customers into interacting with you and talking about you more? Do you involve humor? Do you teach them throughout the sales cycle? Do you have some reward that is unexpected once the sales cycle is complete?
I’d love to hear how this impacted you and if you had any other great examples of how Call Me Maybe? can be applied to your business… or just tell me how much you like/dislike the song!