It’s marketing! It’s the presell! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, wait . . . it’s the free DVD from the The Texas RV Professor (otherwise known as Terry Cooper, TSTC RV maintenance program instructor) about proper propane use on RVs . . . and not just one part, but TWO! (Some of you may remember Terry from the absolutely hilarious “Thirsty Guy” video he and his partner Bruce Carbonara did that I posted here last August.)
Anyway, more pertinent info includes:
On this free DVD learn about the proper use of propane on recreational vehicles from Terry Cooper, TSTC RV maintenance instructor, and Bill Russey, Texas Railroad Commission instructor in the Alternative Fuels Research Education Division. Cooper is also well known as “The Texas RV Professor,” making appearances and teaching seminars at RV conventions around the country as well as through his Web site www.everythingrvtv.com. In spring of 2009 TSTC Publishing will be releasing the first in the Take Home Technician series by Cooper, which will focus on different topics relating to RV maintenance and repair.
I’m very curious to see how many copies of the DVD we give away. We’re having some interesting results lately with free giveaways, discounted sales, and new product releases. Roger Bowles’ new book TechCareers: Biomedical Technicians got a nice blurb in the November 4, 2008, 24×7 Weekly Jolt newsletter that lead to several hundred visits to his book’s page at our e-commerce site and generated a fair amount of sales since then. This also seems to have translated into Amazon ordering more copies to have on hand and B&T having a documented demand for orders that will be filled at some point in the near future.
So, after that I was pretty eager to get some more Web exposure for our books. You know, some bulk email blasts to get the word out on the streets. So a couple of weeks ago I sent an email out to everyone in the TSTC System—about 2000 addresses—pushing Tom Duttons’ The Hand Tools Manual by way of a hand tool tip of the week with info about buying his book at a discount. It did not get the same response: three requests to take particular folks’ names off the distribution list, two who said they thought it was cool, and one email from someone higher than me by a couple of levels in the org chart who recommended that I find another way to get this info out. Oh and most significant: negligible traffic to the book’s product page at our e-commerce site with no resulting sales. I mean, go figure! That hand tools book is good. It does what it’s supposed to do. It’s unlike anything else on the market. It’s becoming my pet obsession to breathe life, success, and sales into.
Anyway, then the free RV DVD. First we added it to our e-commerce site and out of the blue a couple of folks ordered it. Then, there was blurb about it in the campus e-newsletter this week that generated a fair amount of hits on its product page with half a dozen or so ordered. Not at the level of the biomed TechCareers but not down around hand tools either. There some key metrics to take a look here to see what kinds of useful realizations can be drawn. Certainly something to consider over the coming holiday break.
(Oh yeah, and for anyone wanting a free TSTC cookbook, there’s still the the gauntlet I threw down in this post way back when I offered a free cookbook to anyone who could identify the band and album cover embedded in the post. Hey! It’s not too late for that off-the-wall Xmas present!)