Postcard Sample Pack Fiasco

Hello Postcard Friends –

We hope your week is going better than ours started. You may find this newsletter update rather humorous – though it certainly didn’t start out that way for us. Read on for a good laugh.

Full InboxThis email graphic…yeah, that was our inbox early Sunday morning!

Both confused and bewildered, we checked our email to discover thousands of people requesting our Postcard Sample Pack. The requests were coming in one to two per minute!

At first we thought it was a spam bot spoofing our request form. But that’s hard to do with the site security we have in place.

Soon thereafter, our automated email was overloaded. In addition, our customer survey soon exceeded capacity too.

Amidst the explosions going on around us, we paused to read some of the survey results. It was very clear people were filling them out – not a bot. As you may recall, one of the questions is “How did you hear about us?” The answer: free sample websites!

Without our permission, our sample pack (which was only intended for the Postcrossing Community) was being announced across dozens of freebie-type websites, newsletters, and Facebook pages.

Here’s a screenshot:

Freebie Screenshot

Realizing these were real people requesting a real product – WE PANICKED! Already, thousands of requests had come in. We quickly knew that fulfilling all these requests would 1) deplete our entire postcard inventory, and 2) cost more to give-away and mail than the profits we’ve made to date.

We were in BIG trouble!

We quickly turned off our form, and asked Postcrossing to pause our advertising campaign (so legitimate Postcrossers didn’t get lost in the hoopla).

Once the floodgates were closed, we took a few days to assess the damage and come up with a battle plan without bankrupting our little company.

Oh, to make this even more exciting, this all happened while some key family members were away on business.

Well, when life throws you lemons – make lemonade!


Instead of looking at this as a catastrophe, we began looking at this as an amazing opportunity to share the love of Postcrossing with a whole new group of people. What fun!

So here’s how we plan to meet our obligation:

  • First, we plan to keep our word. Sure, we didn’t plan for this to happen–but in the age of the internet we should have anticipated and planned for this. The people who requested our sample pack had no idea this offer was an accident.
  • Second, by faith, we will begin sending out our first 100 sample packs next week. Our hope is once they receive it and see the beauty of our postcards – they will want to buy more. This “pay it forward” will provide the necessary funds to print more sample packs. We will continue to repeat this process until all the thousands of sample pack requests are fulfilled.

So as we head into this festive Memorial Day weekend, we continue to be grateful for you, your interest, feedback, suggestions, ideas, and ongoing support of our little postcard business.

And who knows – this may end up being the best thing to happen to our little company! Either way, we’ll enjoy sipping on the cool lemonade. Cheers!

– Christopher

Christopher Arndt