Welcome to Curious Business
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.
Friday, May 06, 2016
When Doves Fly
The story this week was dove kites. Many Christians will celebrate Pentecost on May 15. The sect that I was raised in didn't observe that holiday and it isn't noted on my calendar, so Pentecost sneaks up on me. This year I decided to read up on what all the fuss is about.
The Internet says that it's a big deal in "liturgical churches," meaning those based on Catholic rituals. Originally a Jewish holiday of thanksgiving held 50 days after Passover (says the Internet), the Christians believe that 40 days after Easter the Holy Spirit descended to earth to possess the disciple Peter and his followers, literally inspiring the Christian church. Largely ignored in North America, Pentecost is a major feast day in traditional Old World sects, second in significance only to Easter and ahead of Christmas. Although that descent was in the form of possession, the Bible assigns the form of a dove to the invisible Spirit on some other occasions. So there: You learned something.
What's important is that churches buy lots of doves -- more, even, than they buy for Easter. Before I figured out the Pentecost explanation, I thought Prince's death might have sold some kites since he had used them in his 2006 Superbowl halftime performance -- presumably a lot of Prince fans were watching video of that last week. Prince and football are less obscure than Pentecost to most Americans...but I have zero evidence for a Prince connection.
On the downside, most of those dove sales were dropships, meaning that I had to buy the merchandise. The resulting revenue won't reduce my debt by a whole lot more than buying the kites increased it. But if it's all about cash flow, as I keep saying, a lot of cash flowed this week.
Apart from that, this was the week before Mothers Day. I didn't market to that at all and have no reason to believe that it drove any sales.
It's almost time to give up on Bing ads again. Assuming that their tracking code is working -- it says that it is, but I'm skeptical -- I spent $74 there last month with no conversions. Since then I've paused everything except my new "shopping campaign." Those few clicks cost me less than $1 per day, but it hasn't recorded a single sale yet. If it doesn't show some results in the next couple of weeks I'll bag that, too.
That $250 chargeback hanging over my bank account delayed Monday's payday until I could raise enough money to pay myself on Wednesday. Thanks, thief! I wish PayPal would just take my money away and get it over with. I hate unresolved conflict.