I started my day today with an email from a parent cursing at me because we disappointed his child by promising a birthday shoutout and not delivering.
Every Monday evening on our paid subscriptions and Tuesday morning on our public feed, we give shoutouts to kids whose parents have supported us from around the world. The reason this has proven so popular had initially eluded us, but we’ve found that kids love to hear their names and the names of others before we get to our bedtime story.
This started as a small token of thanks to our few subscribers at the time but has now morphed into one of the main drivers to convince parents to subscribe. It’s also become a 3-minute long list of over 20 names for Sleep Tight Stories alone. We manage all these interactions manually, by email and cut and paste to a spreadsheet, which I initially thought was a good strategy as I like to interact with our listeners as much as possible.
But we keep making mistakes due to Google Sheets issues or sloppiness. Other pods put a larger monetary value to this, of around $50US, which might make the list more manageable. That pricing seems rich to me. So it’s either hiring someone to manage this interaction for us or somehow automating the collection of this data.
I’m not interested in hiring, so I guess we will create a form of some sort. It’s hard to keep this kind of engagement personal as it scales.