I like CD Baby. They sell quite a lot of interesting music, and orders are confirmed with a great bit of e-mail marketing.

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 finest 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, Thursday, September 1st.

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!!

Lovely. It’s genuinely silly, rather heart-warming, and gives the company an unexpected human face. You tell your friends. Hell, if you’ve got a website, you probably share the e-mail online. As a result, more people talk and read about the company, and they end up with more business, both new and repeat. All because someone spent twenty minutes writing an e-mail instead of two. Great stuff. Perfect viral marketing.

PodZone are a company I know next to nothing about. I’m sure they’re lovely people. They sell an accessory or two I’m considering purchasing. If I did, they’d also send me a confirmation e-mail. It would read as follows:

Your accessories were carefully taken off our shelves with white, kid gloves and placed on a gold, silk cushion.

Our team of 25 highly trained inspectors examined each item carefully to ensure it was it the absolute best condition before we mailed it.

Our packing expert placed your goods into the finest available jewel encrusted box and sealed it with a kiss.

Your box was then rushed to the airport in a specially hired red Ferrari 550 Maranello. (No speed limits were exceeded, by the way).

Our private 747 jumbo jet then took off with your order sitting proudly in seat 1A of First Class and is currently winging its way over to you, super fast!

Back at the office, all of us are having a massive celebration, complete with champagne and chocolate cake! At the party, we voted you CUSTOMER OF THE YEAR! Please send us a picture so we can put it on our wall!

Thank you again for shopping at PodZone – we can’t wait for you to come back so we can throw another party!

Hmmm. Do I detect a small amount of plagiarism at work here? Surely not…


  1. I think by way of the Trade Descriptions Act you can sue if it doesn’t arrive in a gold-lined box.
    PS: I would!

  2. Second one comes accross as slightly desperate and creepy—or is that just me?

  3. CDBaby are fab. Everyone should use them.

    That is all.

  4. Hmm, yeah, I agree with Ant. The second one doesn’t seem half as charming as the CDbaby version. Not sure why – it could be the use of exclaimation marks and CAPITALS towards the end, or it could be because an anonymous company asking for your photo tends to give the wrong impression. Like they want your soul type of thing.

    Dunno, could be just me.

  5. My problem with the second one is that rather than emphasise the effort and care that had gone into the process it was more interested in giving the impression of financial expense gone to.

    “the whole party marched down the street to the post office” vs “rushed to the airport in a specially hired red Ferrari 550 Maranello”

    I’d say PodZone had room to streamline their delivery process and could then pass those saving on to you.