Funny and relevant communication by Revolut

Revolut has become a shining star on the Fintech scene. The innovative and customer-friendly product speaks to a wide audience and their customer base is growing massively every month. Their communication is also spot on as highlighted by this newsletter related to Brexit. Hey Revolut, give your copywriter a raise.

Hi Jonas,

You’re probably Reesly sick of hearing about Brexit by now. We understand. It’s all very Merkely and confusing.

We’re sorry to Boris you with more Brexit stuff, but please don’t send this email to your Juncker folder. We have an important message you May want to hear.

For now, all our politicians have stopped having a Barnier about what deal to sign. This is good news. It means that you’ll stay as part of our UK entity for the foreseeable future, and that you don’t need to do anything on your side for now. There’s a Chancellor this will change in the future, but we will keep you up to date as developments continue.

We suggest that you celebrate by using your Revolut card to go out and buy a sweet treat. Maybe a strawberry Macron.

Louis CK’s newsletters

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If you like comedian Louis CK you really should subscribe to his newsletters. They’re not only funny to read, but they actually have some great learnings for marketeers.

  1. Be personal.
  2. Let your personality shine through.
  3. Transparency is your best friend.
  4. Humor can soften the most aggressive sales pitch.

Just read these two newsletters around his new series “Horace and Pete“.

Newsletter 1

Hello friend guy lady or other,

Some of you are aware that, last Saturday, I launched a new series on my site louisck.net called “Horace and Pete”. I’m writing now to tell you some stuff about it….

Horace and Pete is a new show that I am producing, directing, writing, distributing and financing on my own.  I have an amazing cast: Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco, Alan Alda, Jessica Lange, Aidy Bryant, Steven Wright, Kurt Metzger and other guest stars.  Also Paul Simon wrote and performed the theme song which is beautiful.

The response to episode one has been great so far and there are more coming.  We are making them now and having a lot of fun doing it.

Part of the idea behind launching it on the site was to create a show in a new way and to provide it to you directly and immediately, without the usual promotion, banner ads, billboards and clips that tell you what the show feels and looks like before you get to see it for yourself.  As a writer, there’s always a weird feeing that as you unfold the story and reveal the characters and the tone, you always know that the audience will never get the benefit of seeing it the way you wrote it because they always know so much before they watch it.  And as a TV watcher I’m always delighted when I can see a thing without knowing anything about it because of the promotion. So making this show and just posting it out of the blue gave me the rare opportunity to give you that experience of discovery.

Also because we are shooting this show in a multi-camera format with an emphasis on a live feeling, we are able to post it very soon after each episode is shot.  So I’m making this show as you’re watching it.  

Okay so let’s talk for a minute about the five dollars of it all.  If you’re on this email list then you’re probably aware that I always make an effort to make the work I do on my own as cheap as possible and as painless as possible to get.  That’s why my specials are five dollars and that’s why I sold tickets to my last big tour here on the site, with our own ticketing service at a flat price with no ticket charges and we have worked hard to keep my tickets out of the hands of scalpers.  

So why the dirty fuckballs did I charge you five dollars for Horace and Pete, where most TV shows you buy online are 3 dollars or less?  Well, the dirty unmovable fact is that this show is fucking expensive. 

The standup specials are much more containable.  It’s one guy on a stage in a theater and in most cases, the cost of the tickets that the live audience paid, was enough to finance the filming.  

But Horace and Pete is a full on TV production with four broadcast cameras, two beautiful sets and a state of the art control room and a very talented and skilled crew and a hall-of-fame cast.  Every second the cameras are rolling, money is shooting out of my asshole like your mother’s worst diarrhea.  (Yes there are less upsetting metaphors I could be using but I just think that one is the sharpest and most concise).  Basically this is a hand-made, one guy paid for it version of a thing that is usually made by a giant corporation.

Now, I’m not complaining about this at all.  I’m just telling you the facts.  I charged five dollars because I need to recoup some of the cost in order for us to stay in production.  

Also, it’s interesting.  The value of any set amount of money is mercurial (I’m showing off because i just learned that word.  It means it changes and shifts a lot).  Some people say “Five dollars is a cup of coffee”.  Some people say “Hey! Five dollars??  What the fuck!” Some people say “What are you guys talking about?”  Some people say “Nothing. don’t enter a conversation in the middle”.

Anyway, I’m leaving the first episode at 5 dollars.  I’m lowering the next episode to 2 dollars and the rest will be 3 dollars after that.  I hope you feel that’s fair.  If you don’t, please tell everyone in the world.  

Meanwhile, we’re going to keep making Horace and Pete.  We’re going to keep telling you the story.  

I sincerely hope that you enjoy it.  I’ll write you again later and tell you more about it.  It’s fun to talk about.  But for now I want to shut up and not ruin the experience of you just watching the show. 

Here’s the link for the website.  Enjoy episode 2 of Horace and Pete.  We’re shooting it now.  You’ll get it on Saturday morning. 

This person, 

Louis C.K.

Newsletter 2

Hi there people and dogs who watch tv.

Horace and Pete episode 2 is available for download.

This episode is $2.

Warning: this show is not a “comedy”. I dunno what it is. It can be funny. And also not. Both. I believe that “funny” works best in its natural habitat. Right in the jungle along with “awful”, “sad”, “confusing” and “nothing”.¨

I just think it’s fair this one time to warn you since you have every right to expect a comedy from a comedian. I will not warn you again. Anyway it’s 2 dollars this week. Take a shot.

Go here to buy Horace and Pete.

Go here to read all about it.
Go here to read a New York Times review.

Go to your mothers house if you want to see a smile. No matter who you are, you don’t go see her enough.


Have a great weekend.


Louis CK.

More than one purpose

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Really love this thinking from James Altucher. Another inspirational writer, Jeff Goins, calls it the “portfolio lifestyle”. What they mean is: don’t stress. You don’t need to settle for just one career. Keep growing and stay creative and things will happen.

Amen to that.

Everyone thinks they need to focus on one thing. To be good at “their purpose” and that’s it. This is a myth perpetrated by the beginning of the industrial age when factory owners wanted workers to just do one thing all day long, 12 hours a day. Hitting the same hammer against the same nail.

There is no one purpose. The average successful person has 14 different careers in their lifetime. If you stick with one thing, you never get a chance to have “idea sex” – to become the master of the intersection of two totally different areas.

This is how change is made; this is how innovation happens.

Is content creation a waste of time?

There are only 24 hours in a day. The amount of time we can spend consuming content is obviously limited. Still, more and more people and companies produce more and more content because we believe this is the most efficient way to reach people.

It can look a bit like this:

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This means shitloads of content if you excuse my plain French. Shitloads of content that never gets read. And that’s the game we’re in right now.

Social media application company Buffer wrote a refreshingly honest post about their “social media failure” on Medium where I borrowed the above pic.

I was immediately drawn to the headline “We’ve Lost Nearly Half Our Social Referral Traffic in the Last 12 Months”. Most content marketers say headlines should be something like: “8 ways to improve your blog traffic” but here we have a headline that is centered around the company and how they have failed.

It’s so honest that I’m sure this will be their best social media campaign so far.

But is it enough to engage?

Buffer sourced Mark W. Schaffers blog post Content Shock which says that the demands on the quality of our content is increasing every year and that forces us to pay more and put more effort into reaching the same number of people.

Sounds pretty negative doesn’t it? But in a way it just shows us how we evolve and how our requirements (and lives) constantly change. People need to prioritize their time and look for the easiest way to consume information. A lengthy blog post is usually not the answer.

So how does Buffer propose how to tackle their social media/content issue and create better and more engaging content to satisfy our increasingly demanding tastebuds?

There are a few ideas on their table:

1. Pay for reach. Paying for social media reach can be very effective if you do it right. Believing in the viral super hit isn’t feasible. Which I also write about here.

2. Connect better with their audience. You do this by creating engaging content and opening up for dialogue. Many companies are trying to create awesome content but a lot of them forget about inviting and inciting conversation. It’s social media.

3. Make it easy for people to share content. This is basic stuff, but every improvement in the “share journey” can make a difference.

4. Design beautiful, shareable visuals. They’re saying Instagram is the most “positive” social media and for sure the most growing the last few years. Pictures are easy to scroll through and consume. And everybody likes puppies.

These four suggestions are all good and will help, but you also need to make sure you bring something new to the table. Most internet content is just regurgitating old stuff, with the idea of hopefully improving it and putting your touch on it.

Sort of like this post.

Are you content with your content?

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If you’re working in some form of marketing or management role you’ve probably heard the word “content” so many times your ears bleed and you go to bed crying with visions of click baiting videos of cute puppies or a person doing something strange to get the goldfish attention of the ever more demanding internet audience.

It’s the one buzzword to rule them all – content.

But what is content? Nothing? King? Everything?

It’s simple. Content is content. There’s good content and bad content, good being great and bad being everything not great. If you want to make content that a lot of people see, it better be excellent on many levels or you just need a huge load of luck.

Everybody wants to “do” content. Being a content manager is not the same job it was five years ago. Then it was basically managing images and text on a website. Today, if you’re working with content, you better know what you’re doing. You better have a solid understanding of social, viral, buyral, copywriting, blogs, and new trends in web development. Some years back people used to talk bad about “jacks of all trades”, today you need to have a swiss army knife of skills to make it.

So the take-out is that content needs to be good. It needs to have a clear idea and a clear target. On brand and strategy.

Don’t believe in the viral super hit. Most viral stuff already has a platform for other reasons (like celebrity accounts) or are really buyral, meaning someone is paying for it to be shared. Focus on producing high quality content for the right audience and chances are you’ll be fine. You can always hope for a one click wonder, but in the long run it isn’t a good strategy. Better opt for a steady delivery of greatness to be able to meet the high expectations of today’s internet audience. Over-promise and over-deliver.

Content is definitely not everything, but it can be king and it can be nothing. You decide.

The new marketeer

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There’s a lot of talk of what’s required of marketeers these days. Since we’re increasingly diving into a more technical world where coders are king and a successful startups are the new rockstars – marketeers need to add a slightly different set of tools than before.

If you really want to be successful as a “new marketeer” or “e-marketeer” you need to be more of a growth hacker. Now what the hell is a growth hacker?

The Wikipedia definition sounds nice but could be clearer:

“Growth hacking is a marketing technique developed by technology startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure.”

Why is it called growth hacking? Because it’s all about growth, nothing else. Growth hacking is about finding new ways to improve reach and get more customers. It’s quantity, not quality or brand building which would be something a traditional marketeer would also be thinking about.

Here’s a great post about growth hacking and here’s one on growth hacking tools.

Growth hacking is about creatively driving people to your product and that’s definitely something that should be in the tool box of any aspiring e-markeeter. These are some of the skills you need to have as a growth hacker and e-marketeer (depending on the setup in your organization you might only need an understanding of them, but that’s the minimum – being completely clueless in some of them is simply not good enough).

SEO – web and copywriting
Databases, MySQL – you need to work with your data properly.
Web development – even if you’ll never be a developer you need to be able to gauge what is possible and not possible.
User experience – UX is a major buzzword (buzz abbreviation). You don’t need to be a master, but you need to understand the psychology behind it and how important it is for your business.
Analytics – you need to know what’s happening to your business and to understand why it’s happening.
Copywriting – being a good writer is being a good communicator. This is key not only for startups or tech companies but almost all leadership roles.

Here’s a good presentation from Technical Marketing on what skills you need as a e-marketeer.

Companies Without Managers – Holocracy or Holocrazy?

photo-4Could you trash the standard company hierarchy and build a company without managers? That is the question put forth by Zappos, Medium and a few other companies when introducing a structure called Holocracy. Is it exciting or crazy?

I think it’s exciting (but slightly crazy), please comment what you think! Check out these articles:

Zappos says goodbye to bosses from Washington Post

Making sense of Zappos and holacracy

How Medium Is Building a New Company

Zappos is going holacratic

Started as a One-Man Band…

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One of my closest friends is running Bannerflow, a revolutionary web editor for creating online banner ads. The company has been doing huge strides of late, building a new product, expanding their pool of corporate customers, and now also signing an interesting chairman of the board in mobile operator 3’s CEO Nicholas Högberg. Here is the press release for this signing:

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (Jan 9, 2013) – Nordic Factory Solutions AB, the creator of one of the first cloud-based banner production platforms BannerFlow, announces Nicholas Högberg as its new Chairman of the Board of Directors.

“We are privileged to have one of Scandinavians best executive leader as Chairman of the Board. He joins with an exceptional track record and a strong experience within the IT sector, which positions our company for rapid growth. He brings a wealth of both industry and market knowledge of our future challenges in our efforts to further strengthen our competitiveness and strategic position to become a well-established global player,” says Daniel Fahlén, CEO at Nordic Factory Solutions AB.

Nicholas Högberg, CEO at the Swedish mobile operator 3, has previously held executive positions at Vodafone, Campuz Mobile, Kanal5, Spray and Bottnia Internet Provider.

Nordic Factory is a rapid growing Swedish startup-company with offices in Stockholm, Sweden and New York City, USA. The company’s innovative cloud-based banner production platform BannerFlow has been very successful within the online advertising industry in Europe.

”BannerFlow is a very unique and game-changing platform, which can get a new standard for online ad production, especially now when the HTML5-technology is getting more and more important. I am really looking forward to working with this exceptional team. They have shown impressive results in a very short period of time, and I look forward to sharing my experiences and contributing to the growth of this future global leader”, says Nicholas Högberg.

Nordic Factory welcomes Nicholas Högberg as the Chairman of the Board from the 1st of January 2014.

About Nordic Factory and BannerFlow:
Nordic Factory Solutions AB was founded in 2010. The product BannerFlow is one of the first cloud-based banner production platforms for creating and managing ads online. The platform allows businesses, advertisers, agencies and designers to create and manage large volumes of interactive ads, in different languages, in a very short time and reduces the banner production time by up to 95%. Headquartered in Stockholm and a sales office in New York City, USA.

For more information, please visit www.bannerflow.com

Experience First – Lessons From SOL Republic

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Design products with passion and put the experience first and you shall succeed.

Is it that easy? Well, of course not. But if you start there it seems like you improve your chances drastically.

This constant talk about user experience is not just business blabla or a trend – it’s sense. I was sent an interesting video today talking about passion and experience from a product point of view. It’s Brian Solis interviewing SOL Republic‘s co-founder Seth Combs. Watch it below:

Just listen to how passionate Combs sounds about his product and its users. Makes you want to buy it straight away.

Check out SOL Headphones on Amazon or their official website