Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Ink Drop changes are coming!
Today we're letting you know about some changes coming to the Ink Drop program. Long story short, we're revamping the infrastructure that supports the Ink Drop program to support its growth, and with that comes a few changes.
History of Ink Drop and the need for change:
Our Ink Drop program started over four years ago in September 2010. It's a monthly ink sample subscription - we pick 5 colors, all related to a theme, and ship out the 2ml ink samples out to you automatically each month. It's a great way to try out colors you might not have considered before, and you also get discounts on the full bottles and other stuff too.
Historically, we’ve always shipped all Ink Drop packages on the first business day of the month. This allowed for subscribers to have a "surprise" in their mailbox, and we'd reveal the theme later in the week.
As we’ve grown, it’s become increasingly difficult to process the Ink Drop volume in this timeframe. Our web infrastructure has been very limited – it’s an incredibly manual process to manage the billing and the membership enrollments. It's also a strain on our shipping process, and we’ve stretched our systems to the max.
Fortunately, we’re seizing an exciting opportunity to completely overhaul the website infrastructure that supports the Ink Drop program, which is slated to launch in just a few weeks. This will allow us to more effectively manage our growth without sacrificing efficiency or service.
October Ink Drop:
Because of the infrastructure changes, we need several weeks “off” from Ink Drop to get a clean fresh start on the new billing system.
Tomorrow (September 10) will be the last day to sign up to get the September shipment, and then we'll be disabling the Ink Drop signup on our website temporarily. The prepaid option has been limited to one month for this reason.
There will be NO Ink Drop shipment in October, and we’ll resume again in November. We'll invite everyone to sign back up then!
What changes you'll see in November and beyond:
Timing. Ink Drop shipments will be spread throughout the entire month, instead of all going out on the 1st. Whatever day of the month you sign up, you’ll automatically get a shipment on the same day each month. So if you join on November 18, we'll prepare to ship your November Ink Drop package on that same day. Then your following shipment will be automatically sent out on December 18, January 18, February 18, etc. There will no longer be a mid-month cutoff date; now you can join all month long and still receive that month’s shipment.
If you love the element of surprise, sign up closer to the 1st of the month before the colors are revealed. If you don’t care about the surprise, join whenever you feel like it. We’ll reopen the Ink Drop subscription product on our site starting on November 1st, but of course you can sign up any time after that.
Order confirmations & tracking. You’ll get a fresh new order confirmation via email for each new month of your membership. This will enable you to receive shipment tracking information, which is something we weren’t able to provide you with before.
No more prepaid memberships. We’ll only be offering the ongoing billing option, but fortunately you’ll be able to tell us for how many months you want to be billed. You can select just one month, three months, six months, a year, or simply go indefinitely until you tell us to stop! We’ll just bill you each month until your expiration date.
Self-service portal. You’ll be empowered through access to a new customer self-service portal to easily manage your subscription. You can update your future Ink Drop billing or shipping address, update your credit card information, extend your membership, or cancel your subscription with ease.
Credit cards only. Unfortunately, PayPal will not be a supported payment method for recurring payments. We’ll need you to use a credit card on our website for Ink Drop. We’re sorry for the inconvenience; it’s just a limitation with PayPal and the integration to our new billing system that we can’t overcome. PayPal does offer a debit card directly linked to your PayPal account, though, so if you're a PayPal die-hard then that may be one option you could consider.
Otherwise, it'll be the same price, same quantity and volume of samples, same great value. You'll still get member discounts on the bottled inks and other great products. We're still building out the new system, so there's a slight possibility that some of this information could change, but we're doing our best to give you everything that you all deserve, because we think you're awesome. We've really taken your feedback to heart and have planned out some great themes for into the upcoming new year.
As for the November Ink Drop shipment itself? It’s gonna be awesome! In fact, because of all the hassle we’re putting you through in asking you to sign up again, we’re throwing in an extra surprise something that will make the shipment worth far more than you’re paying for it. So you’re just going to have to trust us, and re-join to find out what it is!
We realize this was a LOT of information, and we thank you for reading all of this! If you have absolutely any questions at all, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below and we’d be happy to help you out.
We really hope that you’ll join (or re-join) our Ink Drop in November. Thanks again for your continued support.
Brian, Rachel, and all of us at Team Goulet