Below is an except from Derek Sivers’ bestselling book, Anything You Want. Sivers founded online music store CDBaby, which he sold in 2008 for $22 million:
When you make a business, you’re making a little world where you control the laws. It doesn’t matter how things are done everywhere else. In your little world, you can make it like it should be.
When I first built CD Baby, every order resulted in an automated email that let the customer know when the CD was actually shipped. At first this note was just the normal “Your order has shipped today. Please let us know if it doesn’t arrive. Thank you for your business.”
After a few months, that felt really incongruent with my mission to make people smile. I knew could do better. So I took twenty minutes and wrote this goofy little thing:
Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the best gold-lined box that money can buy.
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 6th.
I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!
That one silly email, sent out with every order, has been so loved that if you search Google for “private CD Baby jet,” you’ll get almost twenty thousand results. Each one is somebody who got the email and loved it enough to post it on his website and tell all his friends.
That one goofy email created thousands of new customers.
When you’re thinking of how to make your business bigger, it’s tempting to try to think all the big thoughts and come up with world-changing massive-action plans.
But please know that it’s often the tiny details that really thrill people enough to make them tell all their friends about you.