Update on updates at AbibitumiKasa.com
Well, it's been a while but I've been meaning to post an update for a while.
As you may have noticed over the past few months, we've been pushing the products we offer here at aK via email and I have to say it's been a huge success thus far. In the past, sometimes we could go 2 or 3 months without a single purchase or donation and just be suffering in silence. Now if we go 2 or 3 days without one it's like "what's up?"
What was the turning point? Well, one was getting down to my last $500 with a wedding coming up. The other was that I finally stopped assuming that Afrikan people who come to this site by the thousands each month were trifling and considered the possibility that maybe we (I) weren't doing enough to let people know what we have to offer and that maybe if we (I) let them know, some - at least some - would support their own selves in reAfrikanization/dewhitenization by supporting us.
The response from the end of July through August to now has been nothing short of a spectacular turnaround.
In retrospect I think about why I didn't do this before. Well there were a couple of reasons but most of them could be distilled down to one main reason and one thing: fear.
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[*]Because the classes have always been the mainstay and biggest money-earner, I was fearful of flooding inboxes with product stuff making people unsubscribe before getting emails about classes
The main thing in getting over this was being too busy to run the classes. That took away the "well what if people don't get the class emails" thing. The other thing was the cash flow generated vs the unsubscribes that we've gotten. Let's say from a product email, people buy $100 worth of products and 2 people unsubscribe. That means that I've exchanged two strings of letters and numbers called emails for $50 each. If somebody asked "if I gave you $50 in exchange for a string of letters of numbers removed from your list, would you take it" most likely, if phrased in this way, I would take it. That's essentially what has gone on. In this hypothetical example, during that same day we could have 4 people sign up to the forum and of that 2 could agree to receive emails from us, thus replacing the two who just left. It's really been a no-brainer. The biggest fear that people would unsubscribe is now "okay, let them go". After all, it's a mailing list, not prison.
The next piece of the puzzle was automation. We have two payment processors, one for credit cards and one for payenemy. Up to this point, or two months ago, when someone would make a purchase via either method, the storefront system would go to "Processing" and it would require me to go in manually and enter the credit card number to process the charge or manually switch to "Delivered" for payenemy before a person could download their products in either case. Two things changed with this.
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[*]I recalled that there was an add-on for Zencart (the software we use for the storefront on abibitumikasa.com main page) that allows for automated processing of credit cards
[*]I realized that rather than having payenemy default to "Processing" I could have it automatically default to "Delivered" and be done with it before getting started so people could download without me having to be the bottleneck in the equation
The main reason I didn't do the (1) option was because I was like "well what if someone does a chargeback, I would need to have their credit card details to process a refund". That happens like once every two years so to endure 730 days of needless hassle for a hypothetical refund request really didn't make sense. The main reason I didn't do the (2) option was that the idea of automating to make my life easier just hadn't occurred to me and somehow I equated busyness with business.
Another thing on the point of automation was batch creating emails at the beginning of the month. For August, I created most of those emails in a 2 hour or so period at the beginning of the month and then created a scheduling whoosywhatsit to make them go out once every 3-4 days roughly (avoiding weekends since our online attendance is better Monday-Friday).
Another change just in perspective has been less focus on numbers of people on the site and more focus on results in terms of what those people are doing when they get here. The same day that I stopped using cloudflare services, site traffic went down about 50% but cash flow has increased exponentially. Basically we went from focusing on competing with huge c.i.a. funded social networking sites to focusing on what only we can do and what only we have. Our niche.
The other piece of the puzzle has been spreading the work on this new initiative by enlisting help from our newest admins @ManiKongo and @Kala Kambon. They've really been putting it down on the email campaigns. We can track the change in google analytics campaigns to see what a difference a helper or two can make.
From here, where do we go? Well, what we've (I've) been delaying in doing for so long and focusing more on content creation and promotion. I have a few recording sessions scheduled for existing lessons where I'll be enlisting the assistance of some Linguistics students to record dialogues. Apart from that, the vision is diversifying marketing and pushing a few flagship products in ways other than email campaigns since, well, we may end up going to that well too often.
All in all, the change in thinking of how aK can/should work has been most fruitful and, hey, it paid for our wedding entirely so that's something. I'm able to give Kala a salary and ManiKongo commissions (however small in each case...hey, gotta start somewhere).
I know it's been a minute but this is home base all the same. Keeping you informed and maybe some brainstorming for ideas in light of what I've just shared can make this thing work after all.
Take care and stay BlackNificent!