Well, did it work?
In the interest of transparency and sharing how we are growing and evolving, I said I'd come back and share how we've gotten on with our experiment in giving away our notebooks and diaries which didn't make the grade or were experimented on.
Having started with zero expectations, I could say that it's been a resounding success. The positives have been the engagement and the opportunity to demonstrate that each of our pieces really are made, by hand, to each customer's specification. And of course, we've been able to send 25 notebooks and diaries out to people and save them from being pulped, which is a great thing.
The only thing that I'd not allowed for, was the admin time in processing them all. By asking people to use paypal, we went outside of our usual process - and this meant that I was matching up, names (several differed from their paypal name entirely!), addresses (and chasing them up with people who didn't provide addresses) and requests for different colours, styles and formats. It's taken more than six hours to do this, print address labels and do the packaging and postage. This is a fair chunk of a working day and we have a long list of things to do at the moment, which I've not progressed!
Overall, it's been a great opportunity to engage with our customers - our conversations across Instagram and Facebook have alerted us to requests for our academic diary range to be made available earlier - I'm doing this tomorrow.
So, will we do this again? Yes, but with it set up as product here on our own website, to reduce the admin time!