Tea Journey helps consumers make informed tea selections, properly prepare fine tea and better appreciate the artisans who craft it.

Just days ago enough tea enthusiasts contributed to successfully fund Tea Journey’s Kickstarter campaign. Tea Journey is now the third most funded (of 1,098) periodicals in Kickstarter history. That’s right a new magazine with a digital and print start defied the odds and launched with backers in tow.

Some useful tidbits: 564 backers from 35 countries. In the last few days donors from 17 countries contributed $25,000 to put Tea Journey over the top. The @urbanmommies #MyTeaJourney #TwitterParty earned 300,000 twitter DMs and 5 million impressions from retweets.

So how did Tea Journey do it?

I’ve had the honor of getting to know Dan and his team during their new Tea journey and here is what I have observed:

  1. They filled a void: An english speaking tea publication for high end tea enthusiasts didn’t exist
  2. Access to great writers and experts: Chinese tea literature exists for the Chinese market but little has been translated to english, until now
  3. A large niche: tea is consumed by approximately half the planet and the high end tea consumers makes up over 5% of that market… it’s a big niche. The average annual spend of the top tea tea drinkers in the world is over $1000 per year
  4. Long term industry connections: Dan has been in the tea and coffee industry for decades, been involved in several publications, and knows many of the major players in the industry… from tea experts to tea vendors… this attribute was key to the success of the launch
  5. Rewards were critical as some rare teas (1998 Menghai Factory Red Ribbon Pu-erh Cake) enticed donors to contribute $1000 for a magazine subscription
  6. Dan and his crew kept an eye on their promotions and discovered what worked

One to one works best

mobile-subscriptionPersonal emails that reached out to individuals involved in the industry worked best. Rented email lists and blast campaigns were not as effective as the humble personal email. Tea Journey found out that the effort of writing one email to a friend in the tea industry created more interest and exposure than anything else.

That’s right… single, personal, time consuming emails worked best.

And it makes sense… if you are familiar with Kevin Kelly’s 1000 true fans you will understand this works.

To raise your sales out of the flatline of the long tail you need to connect with your True Fans directly.  Another way to state this is, you need to convert a thousand Lesser Fans into a thousand True Fans.

Social media comes into play here… even just a handful of supercharged fans can influence 100s or 1000’s of others to consider your offering. It’s about reaching personally and deeply to a small group… and letting that small group work their magic on Facebook, email, forums, and the rest of the social network of today.

It’s time to go find your true fans.