I do NOT like commuting. Getting stuck in traffic sucks.

That being said, the one thing that I actually do enjoy about commuting is it gives me time to listen to podcasts.

A podcast I listened to recently tells the story of one email that produced MILLIONS of dollars of sales and generated hundreds of thousands of amazing responses online.

…using a simple marketing tactic that you and I can copy in our businesses.

Here’s the story:

Derek Sivers founded a company called CD Baby which he sold in 2008 for $22 million.

In this podcast episode, Sivers talks about the time he rewrote the automatic email that was sent to customers after they purchased a CD.

Initially, the email basically said, “Hey, your CD has been shipped.”

Sivers was looking at that email and thinking that it didn’t really reflect the personality of him or the company, so he rewrote it.

It took him 20 minutes or so to rewrite this email.

Because of the personality and the humour he injected into this email, it became an online sensation, producing millions in sales and hundreds of thousands of great responses.

Here’s the email:



That one silly email was sent out with every order and customers LOVED it. And the buzz and goodwill that this email created generated millions of dollars in sales.

Now, you and I can use the exact same strategy. It’s just a simple marketing idea, right? Make your autoresponders engaging and fun!

Here’s the awesome bigger picture that this story represents:

We have a tremendous opportunity to identify these touchpoints in our business – the mundane, forgettable aspects of the buying experience – and instead turn them into an experience that people will never forget.

We have the opportunity to turn these “boring” aspects of our business into an experience that people want to share with their friends, family, coworkers, and the vast digital public, the same way that Sivers’ email offered such a unique experience that it soon became a viral sensation.

The bottom line is that you and I can have a huge impact with our marketing just by challenging ourselves to take the aspects of our business that we take for granted – such as a purchase confirmation – and transform them into a reason for customers to tell others about us and and our products.

The amazing part of this strategy is that, besides a few minutes of your time, it’s completely free to implement. It’s not a huge marketing play. It doesn’t require a big, expensive campaign.

These minor details and touchpoints in your business are already there, waiting to be improved. It’s a cheap, relatively simple improvement, but if can have a profound impact on the success of your business.



Sivers says, “When you make a business, you’re making a little world where you control the laws.”

I LOVE that thought process.

When Sivers re-wrote that email, he made his little world a more memorable place. The word got out and suddenly everybody wanted to visit!

That’s the beauty of being entrepreneurs… you and I get to control how we do business. We get to control the experience we provide.

Anyways, I loved this story from Sivers. It inspired me and I hope that it will inspire you too.



  • I re-read Derek’s story recently in Ferriss’ new book and it reminded me to go back and look at all our onboarding emails.

    Made some significant updates to them.

    I realized they weren’t “me” enough.

    They said what they are “supposed” to say, but not the way I would say them to a friend.

    It’s the difference between saying “thanks for joining my list” and “you just signed up for adventure of a lifetime.”

    • jkrausert

      Thanks for the reminder Matt…about saying what I would say to a friend, rather than what I should say. I like it!

    • I like the “adventure of a lifetime” angle 🙂

  • kristie

    I absolutely adored that Stu! Makes me think of the little elves in a workshop designing a product with your name on it from Santa’s I’ve Been Very Good This Year! Going to use that principle on my next email. Thanks for sharing !!

  • thanks for sharing, very inspiring

  • Narek Vardanyan

    This is an excellent example of Customer Relationship Management !!!

  • Absolutely love this! Thank you so much for sharing Stu!

  • K. Muir

    That was awesome! He made each and every customer feel so special! As he described the process you could picture it all in your mind…very good!

    • As zany as it was, I could visually see it as well LOL

  • Sarah Hamilton Halberg

    Love it! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • William Bryan

    Awesome! Will bring that tactic to my business as well. Thank you for sharing, Stu.

  • Love it Stu. Being your zany fun self that is totally you is what you are offering to the world. Let it rip!

    • Yup! Time for you and I to “rip” away 😛

  • Paul Schmidmayr

    This is awesome! Thanks for letting us know…
    If this message had such an positive impact, do you think some kind of call to action at the end or in a P.S. would have been counterproductive?
    “If you are happy with us tell your friends (share button), otherwise please tell us :)”
    What do you think?

    • Bonieky Lacerda

      That’s a marketers mind perspective. The client just made a bold move by buying something from you. Just be thankful and honest. Don’t try to make everything a marketing move, because that’s just destroy the intent. My Opinion 😀

    • I do think it would have been counter productive. People certainly wouldn’t have shared it the way they have. My advice is to be patient with the call to action. Sometimes you just need to let a good thing have the space to land… you know what I mean?

  • Thanks for sharing this great reminder that in today’s world of online work we have to be ourselves. Everyone can be a cookie-cutter online marketer, but there’s only one YOU.

    I’m going to have to go back and audit all my points of contact now.

    • Totally agree. Being YOU is your advantage 🙂

  • Maria

    I think we have the opportunity to inject our uniqueness and love for what we do in any venture or interaction we’re part of…thank you, Stu. Love this!!💗

  • Mathew Peachment

    Thanks Stu. I thought this was really inspirational. We take so much for granted in our world today that we don’t think about the small touch points we can use to make someone else’s day.

    • Totally agree. It got me thinking of the “little things” that could be turned into “fun BIG things” 🙂

  • This was a great read. I bought a few CDs from them that weren’t widely available, but admittedly don’t remember the e-mail well.

    This has me thinking of what I can change in some of these aspects of my business that seem more like “details” than something I think of as having much urgency.

    • And it’s the mundane “details” where we all have a big opportunity!

  • Mikhael Star

    Love it ❤️ if it isn’t personal then what is the point? Digging the quote- making a little world where you control the laws- just opened my business account today. Excited to invite folks into my little world!

  • Kirsten Johnson Samuel

    This post really made me think about those auto responders and missed connection point opportunities.

    • Right? We all have SO many of those “automated” responses that could be spiced up.

  • Alan Santana Monteiro


    • Love the Brazilians! Thanks for dropping by.

  • Fay Chapple

    great refresh stu!

  • Paty La Mariposa Hernandez

    Great idea. I’ve been working on that to ensure my emails don’t sound too boring or the same as others. I like his take because it’s so silly that of course you won’t believe it yet it makes it more fun.

    • I loved the “fun” and “silly” side of the emails too 🙂

  • Isabel Drean

    I struggle with writing auto-responders. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to figure out what others are doing and not what I have to say…. This read will have a major impact. Thank you Stu. <3

    • I think the main thing is to just think about what you need to communicate… and then do it in a way that makes it personal and shines a light on your personality.

  • Love this emphasis on Brand touchpoints and the end-to-end experience.

    • It makes you think about all those “mandatory” touch points that we could spice up with some personality. My head was spinning afterwards 🙂

  • jkrausert

    Thanks Stu! Some keepers here!

  • Shelley Hess

    Yessir! Love it, Stu!! Thanks for sharing a great opportunity for all of us!

  • Excellent observation and breakdown of the learning Stu ! Btw, would love to know the podcast/s you’ve been listening to.

    • Thanks man.

      RE: Podcasts – I like listening to Russell Brunson’s “Marketing In Your Car”, James Wedmore’s “Mind Your Business”, Lewis Howes’ “School of Greatness” as well as Tim Ferris’ podcast and Michael Hyatt’s podcast. I also squeeze in the odd one from Amy Porterfield.

      BTW – If you like podcasts, go take a look at http://www.MarketingYourBusiness.com. Some marketing and business goodness coming to ear buds near you 😉

  • Hayley Weatherburn

    I love the personal touches and personality that is injected into those moments. The “Nudie Juices” company in Australia does that on the back of their bottles where it normally says serious stuff …. makes you want to buy all of them just to read what they will say… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/99e853595b5efbf2e08801d9349406ac815ce8fa992f7c85137435519e202ea7.jpg

    • That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing. It’s another great example. LOVE it!

  • This is brilliant! Has really got me thinking how I can make the more drab emails (double opt-in to confirm email, thanks for signing up etc) much more fun, interesting and personable by using my own voice rather then sticking with the generic “Thanks, can you now do this please…” style of writing. Thanks for sharing.

    • I’m with you. My mind was racing after first hearing about this.

  • Paul Jarvis also has an EXCELLENT autoresponder when you sign up for his mailing list, Sunday Dispatches. I highly suggest you check it out!

  • Awesome reminder, it’s time to go rewrite my ‘welcome’ email. So simple idea, but with tremendous impact.

  • Sarah Haykel

    great Stu, awesome juice for me today. Bless King!

  • Kim Springer

    Oooo, love this! Never thought of personalizing the order confirmation email. Time to spice things up!

  • Rebecca Douros

    Awesome! love the simplicity of it! Great reminder to infuse some fun into what we do!

    • It’s easy right? Just don’t forget to take action on it 😉

  • Jonny Cooper

    Glorious thinking!

    I already have some copy tumbling from my head, thanking my subscribers for entering my world!

    Thanks to you Stu. Great inspiration as always.

  • Brenton Torrens

    So awesome! I have thought that I wasn`t getting sales cause I wasn`t doing what others were doing but really you get sales for doing something the way that YOU do it! Great message and yes very inspiring! 😀