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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, June 12, 2015

Hallmark Holidays

Apparently Fathers Day is still a thing. This supposed holiday ranks right up there with Arbor Day in my mind; my dad and my father-in-law have been dead for ages and I successfully dodged fatherhood myself, so it's not even on my radar. Oddly, fathers are expected to be more directly involved with their children nowadays than they used to be even though single-parent households are at an all-time high. Go figure.

I'd appreciate the sales opportunities that Hallmark holidays were contrived to create if I were a better retailer. But I'm not. Somewhere around Mothers Day my brain reminds me that Fathers Day is in June. Then, satisfied that its job is done, it forgets about it until the "holiday" is suddenly upon us.

Would remembering make a difference? It's not like I always forget; I've sporadically marketed to enough of these things to know that they really don't matter. Holiday keywords are way, way too expensive to advertise special promotions. Facebook marketing is useless; fewer than 10 of my 200+ followers ever see my posts. Newsletters are time-consuming and reach the same small handful of regular customers; sometimes I get a discounted order or two, but more often they flop. My recent Mothers Day coupon code cost me around $50 in foregone shipping fees without bringing in any incremental sales that I know of.  

Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day...these are occasions for young people. Most of my customers are around my age (which is to say "old") and, like me, got off the fake holiday train a long time ago.

Having said all that, I do pay $16 every month for Constant Contact's newsletter service, so I really ought to produce one when the calendar gives me an excuse. They probably deliver  just about enough sales to pay the Constant Contact bill. Maybe I'll whomp something up for the Fourth of July -- while it's not a gift-giving occasion, it's at least a holiday that even us curmudgeons recognize. 

Speaking of real holidays: I didn't post last Friday because my wife took me to Vermont for a belated birthday getaway -- a "beercation." I hit five breweries within 48 hours and brought home a small supply of highly-prized Heady Topper, believed by many to be the best beer in the world. The Second Fiddle that I also scored gives Heady a run for the money. The weekend peaked with a visit to one of the world's best brewpubs, the Prohibition Pig. And one cannot visit Burlington without having lunch at Al's French Frys.   

Now that, my friends, is what a real holiday should look like.

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