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Today's Red Leaf Tea Special

1471 Replies
devvyleys said

Any chance the top two for this coming week could both be on sale? My wallet will run dry just from the international postage! :)

We can not put all of them on sale or our wallet will run dry :-)
If the top two choices get the same amount of votes, I will put them both on sale. Fair enough?

devvyleys said

In all truth, it’s more than fair! I haven’t come across another tea company that does so much to please its customers. :)

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Might have to bite the bullet and order the caramel matcha!

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ashmanra said

Thank you so much to Red Leaf Tea for getting the gift certificates out earlier than you thought you could so we can order! I am especially happy because I really wanted the caramel matcha and it is on sale this weekend. Just ordered a large tin because I know from the reviews that we are going to LOVE it!

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As we all know, all good things must come to an end, and that includes “FREE Matcha” promotion as well. After adding the numbers, I can not keep it going for much longer.
I have 2 solutions and I will leave it up to you how you want this to proceed.
Option A:
The promo will end at the end of this month. All reviews received by September 30th will receive credit toward future purchase of Matcha.
No changes made to current promotion.
Option B:
We get “lean” and change the way the promo works a bit.
- All reviews must be over 200 words
- Amazon review preferred, or Facebook or Twitter post required.
- Short review on our site required
- There will be one credit amount for the reviews: $15.99
- NEW: No more extra credits for 400+ words review
- NEW: Gift certificate will only work to pay for Matcha product (can NOT be applied to shipping)
With option B, I can keep the promotion live for a bit longer. How much longer? Not sure, it depends on too many variables, but personally I’d like to keep it as long as possible.
I’m working on some special ways on getting the extra credit, but I need to work out the details first.
One hint you can find here:

Weekly votes for weekend special sale will not be affected.
Since it affects you all, let me know which option you prefer and I will apply it accordingly.
I’m very sorry, but I simply can not afford to keep it going at this rate

Babble said

My vote is definitely for option B. I’d rather the credit be lowered than disappear completely.

I also like the idea of extra credit.

No matter what happens, thank you for this awesome opportunity. It has given us all a chance to try flavored matcha we otherwise wouldn’t have :)

Alphakitty said

Yes, thank you so much for this wonderful promotion! It has really opened me up to the wonderful world of matcha. I also vote for option B, less is better than none for sure!

My vote is also for option B. I would rather have a lower credit than to have it disappear completely, because I really REALLY want to try just about every flavor you’ve got, and these credits make it possible for me to afford it … but I also want you to be able to afford it and benefit from it so that you can continue to provide awesome Matcha.

I’m with Rachel – no matter what happens, I thank you for the ability to try so many delicious flavored matcha that I might not have been able to try otherwise.

Cedes said

Id vote for option B aswell. I agree its better to have something then nothing at all. Just a question if I dont have facebook or twitter could I just do the amazon review or would it be required to post on facebook and twitter?

Nik select said

Review-based incentives are extremely resource-intensive. It’s okay to make the customer work for the freebies, but it creates a lot of work for you, too. And if it doesn’t create a lot of work for you because you don’t count every word or evaluate the quality of each review, then it’s too easy to game the system: blah blah blah blah matcha blah blah blah blah awesome blah blah blah blah link x 200. That’s an extreme example, but you get what I’m saying.

I think option B is the better of the two options, but if I were in your shoes, I would also consider option C: a straight-up, purchase-based incentive, applicable to matcha only. Something like buy 3 matchas (not necessarily all at once) and get your 4th free (note: not 4th order, but 4th matcha—this will prevent people from placing 3 x $15 orders and then a $100 4th order!). I believe that this will be a more sustainable approach that will still make your customers happy.

Just a thought. Whatever you decide, all the best to you going forward. Please do what you need to do to sustain your business as well as maintain the quality of service and product you’ve provided thus far. Just going by the Red Leaf Tea reviews here on Steepster, I’ve no doubt that folks would like you to stay in business, even if it means cutting back on incentives. =)

Ninavampi said

No worries! I think all of us understand! Your matcha is still amazing! :)

I vote for option 2. But really, just keep offering amazing matcha and free or affordable international shipping and you will have me forever! I love your tea! Keep up the good work! The promotion is just a happy extra, you are still awesome!

hehe, thats my matcha review I put on my blog!

I like option B, I was kinda surprised the GC`s covered shipping and I`m happy to pay for shipping.

Post matcha promotion, i`d love to see a loyalty program of some kind for matchas or the other teas on the site. Like reviews on the site, purchases, referrals go towards GC for future purchases.

Your matchas are amazing and I’m more than happy to pay for them, they’re completely worth it! I like option B as well, or a loyalty program.

Sil select said

I’d be more than happy to continue paying for shipping and writing the extended reviews for less of a gift certificate. I’m also more than happy to see if there’s another way that we can help promote your matcha while not breaking your bank.

What you’ve done so far is amazing in terms of giving back to your customers. I think everyone is truly appreciative of your offer so far, and even if it does need to go away, we thank you for what you’ve done. :)

DaisyChubb said

I’m with Sil and Nik – I’d even go with option A if there’s a new incentive or loyalty program in the mist! :)

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Thank you for all your input. We’ll go with option B for now. When there is a time to close the promo, I’m sure there will be in place some kind of reward for returning customers or maybe by than we all can figure out a better way to adjust the promo again to make it work all us all.
Monday’s Special – Apricot Matcha :-)

Sil select said

mmm apricots. Can’t wait for the coffee matcha either yay!

Babble said

Sil – there are actually several coffee matchas – Kona, Espresso – it’s so hard to pick. Do you know if one of them will be on sale, or are you just hoping?

Sil select said

Just hoping haha. One of the new flavored is coffee, if I’m not misremembering. I saw the expresso one but figured is start with coffee once it’s out :)

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Azzrian said

I know I am late on all of this but I am glad Option B was selected for now.
Some ideas I have which may have already been stated as I really just don’t have time to read the whole thread at this point and this is all in my opinion of course:

Tins should not be able to be purchased with the GC. If I was running the business I would consider that an extra and the GC would be toward purchase of matcha and tea only.

I would switch to resealable bags as well however making the tins TRULY optional as right now we do have to find a decent way to store our tea. I personally would still get the tins even if I had to pay full price for them.

Also I would not allow GCs to cover shipping, that is an out of pocket expense that you incur and I would not allow GCs to cover it.

I love the free shipping with orders over X amount and maybe that could be lowered once the GCs no longer cover shipping. Perhaps to 50.00 versus 75.00

Reviews are a driving force in any tea business however you may find that reviews are being done mostly only by people who would probably be doing them to some degree anyway. I would make a loyalty program that is review based to some degree but more so in line with total purchases. I liked someone else’s idea that every 5th or 3rd or whatever matcha is free. I also like the idea that this can accumulate rather than have to be purchased all in one order. Like a punch card at your local coffee shop or sandwich shop perhaps. I would set the FREE matcha at a price point however as some of us get a more expensive flavor additive, some of us get large, some small, some of us get a different base. I would set the “Award” matcha at a specific amount allowing the customer to pay overage if needed for their particular choices. I would set the free matcha at 22.00 or thereabouts. Allowing people a little extra money on the CG to try something extra either a better base, or added flavor etc.

I would suggest that reviews be around 300 words – splitting the difference somewhat. But I would not be a stickler on word count as much as what the reviews say. Of course linking to the product, a comment on if the reviewer felt the matcha was true to taste, matcha quality, customer service etc.

I personally don’t know from a tea sellers point of view where exactly sales are coming from – if you get more from steepster, personal tea blogs, or even other blogs not tea related but a new customer is a new customer period. I for one run a pretty successful spiritual blog and I am pretty certain if I were to review your matcha on my blog that I would get you some new business. Of course a blogger has to want and be willing to review your products on their non-tea blog but I would consider opening reviews up to any format a person may feel inclined to post on. Cross sectors in advertising can’t be a bad thing as they get you link backs.

If you want Amazon reviews make that a must for the rewards program, but you have to also be sure you get yourself on board with having as many of your types of tea on there as you can. You need time to get ahead. People are far more likely to review if they don’t have to take the time to add a new tea and ask for photos of the teas, such as your new black bases, 50/50 blends etc. With new matcha coming out you should be sure the matcha you have now are all on steepster and amazon. I had to add Macadamia Nut today which was surprising to me but I didn’t mind doing it – others may. At least there was a photo on your site already for me to grab. :)

On a final note, I would go ahead and release the new flavors all at once instead of bringing them out one at a time when you put them on sale. Sure sales are a great way to introduce a new matcha and get a lot of sales on them but you are also missing out on sales in the mean time. I have a nice sized GC sitting here still to be used and two more reviews not even added to it yet BUT I also want to try SO MANY of the new matcha not to mention several of the already existing matcha on your site that should you release a ton of new matcha my order would most certainly outweigh my CG on hand! Right now I am getting one or two at a time and that means more shipping cost for you which at this time YOU are paying for as my CG is covering it!! Larger orders at once really do reduce shipping fees in the big picture. Not to mention your time in going through the orders, processing, packaging, etc only to turn around and in two days have yet another order from the same person.

Okay those are my ideas, they may be terrible ones or great ones. LOL

Uniquity said

One note – I signed up on Amazon and tried to do review on their matcha to earn my certificate, and Amazon told me I couldn’t review something until 24 hours after purchasing it. I don’t know if this is always the case or somethig they threw at me because I have never ordered (and enver intend to order) anything from there, but it was a lot less user friendly than Facebook and Steepster.

DaisyChubb said

great ones in my opinion!
Great all around. I definitely agree with the points in the last paragraph Azz, I’ve been holding off for a larger order as well, which means less shipping instead of making smaller orders! That’s something that should help in the long run – also I’ve been adding a few new flavours to Steepster as I get them as well, which I don’t mind at all – but with different bases it wouldn’t be possible to find a picture for it just yet :3

Anyways, good points all around!

Azzrian said

Uniquity that must be because you are new to amazon perhaps. I don’t know but that has never happened to me however I have been signed up on Amazon for years so that is the only thing I can think of.

Azzrian said

Thank you DaisyChubb!

DaisyChubb said

Uniquity that happened to me at first as well, I tried looking it up on Amazon.com instead of .ca and it let me review them, maybe give that a try!

Sil select said

I second (or is that third) the releasing of all the flavours! If you’re prepared for that of course. I’m waiting on a few to be released before i place my next order so that I can get a few in one go.

Wow, you sure can write and you have many valid points. I will try to address them from my point of view later today if you don’t mind. I have orders to pack today after the weekends sale and Mondays are always the busiest.
…just wanted to drop a note and thank you for all the ideas. :-)

Azzrian said

Thank you and no rush take care of the BIZ first :)

Babble said

All great suggestions but YES YES to a resealable pouch.

Okay, I just clicked to the last page of this thread and I obviously need to go back and read a bit – I gather Red Leaf was saying the matcha program is becoming too expensive for them? – but:

-A free matcha every 3rd or 4th time on some kind of “punch” system seems like a good compromise to me
-A REQUIREMENT to review on Amazon would immediately drive me away as a customer. I can only pay with Paypal. Sure, I could still continue to purchase all the matcha at full price – the matcha program is, after all, an amazing deal, and I’d have to pay full price all the time at another retailer – but I’d personally be rather hurt at seeing the deals entirely restricted to people who can pay with a credit card.

Azzrian said

I have not bought any of my matcha on amazon but rather through red leaf site itself yet I can still review it on amazon. I don’t think you have to buy on amazon to rate on amazon. At least I know I don’t have to.

Last I checked, you can create an Amazon account, but you cannot actually write a WORD anywhere on the website without entering credit card information.

(Edit here to add: if anyone knows if that’s changed, do let me know!)

Uniquity said

@Daniel – that would explain why I couldn’t do a review.

DaisyChubb said

Ah Daniel you’re probably right
Now that you mention it, I was using my boyfriend’s account to review until I bought Mario Party with an Amazon gift card and THEN I could review on Amazon! Sorry for leading you astray Uni! <3

There’s gift cards? Oooh. That’s how I got around the similar requirement iTunes has…

Where/how do you get those?

DaisyChubb said

You know (get ready for my total unhelpfulness!) I have no idea. haha! I got one as a gift in e-mail format for a poster I designed! So I’m guessing that person already had an amazon account, but it would be worth looking into how you can buy gift cards – perhaps with paypal?! :3

In order to be able to leave a review on Amazon, you do NOT have to purchase this product. All you need to have is existing account and have made any kind of purchase for any product in the past.
For review purposes, I’m asking to leave a review on Amazon if possible, but you do not need to but it there since Amazon price is higher and most of the options you see on my site are not available there.

Review word count: I figured that since I can offer the reward for only 200+ words, it’s only appropriate to stick with that count. It’s mostly about having a good review, score, and a link. Mentioning options available would be nice too.
Reviews on non-tea blogs: While I’m open to having reviews done on food related blogs, I’m not sure if having reviews done on sites promoting computers for example, would help.
3rd or 5th matcha free: While I like the idea (that’s why I’m working on “Buy3 Get 1 FREE”. My issue is that while it’s good for sales to offer this deal, I know that I still make enough money to cover the extra free purchase to make customer happy. The issue is when I offer free matcha for reviews and people would get even more free matcha on top of that. I have free matcha calculated as marketing expense, but there is a limit there. Most likely, once I get the deal to work (still a few bugs there) it will be available once the promo is over. Hope you can understand my position.
Amazon reviews: Amazon reviews are great help, but it looks like, for matcha with other than green base, will not be possible. I know that many suggested simply adding those matches with other base tea options. You may not know that in order to list item on Amazon, you need a UPC code for EACH size. Those are not cheap, and at this moment all my extra money goes towards marketing via free matcha for reviews. :-)
Adding matcha to Amazon: I have a friend that helps me with adding products to Amazon. Unfortunately it’s easier to do it more than one at the time. She uses info from my site to use it for Amazon, and my recent view was to add one product at the time. Since people seem to prefer to have them all added now, I will try to do, but with so many reviews to check, it may take time.
Resealable bags: unfortunately the extra cost for having bags to be resealable is over 50%. I may consider this as additional option for extra charge.
If anyone has any questions, let me know. I don’t mind explaining my view of point.

Sil select said

@red leaf, I think th adding all the matches thing was more in terms of your website than amazon (unless you need to do both at the same time). There are a few of us holding off ordering since we know we’ll want to buy a few of the new flavours in one go to avoid having to make multiple 1 pkg orders. At least that was my thinking.

If you have to have it added to amazon before putting it up for sale on your site, I can totally understand one at a time. If the waiting is just so that by the time people get their orders it’s on amazon for them to review, I know I’d be fine with having to wait a bit to do my review if it meant getting to drink the tasty matcha sooner :)
Also I’m really sleepy at the moment so if I totally misunderstood, think just ignore me. I’m sure inthe morning it will all make sense

At the end of the day I now that I appreciate the transparency from you in terms of cost/options and what it’s like to be doing this from your side :) I should also thank you for having such great matcha and allowing me to venture into matchaland without too much fear of bad tastes haha

Keep up the great work! It IS appreciated!

Azzrian said

Yikes! I knew nothing about amazon and the UPC codes! Uggg that bites!

@Red Leaf = “In order to be able to leave a review on Amazon, you do NOT have to purchase this product.”

But you DO need a credit card to write a review, whether you buy the product or not. That was my point. I’m just sick of seeing people with credit cards always getting the special deals because they are able to enter a credit card number in the first place. I walk away from vendors who ostensibly accept multiple forms of payment, but essentially give credit card owners special deals.

(I should add: it doesn’t appear that you’ve made Amazon reviews a requirement yet, if ever. I was just responding to the idea.)

I understand your frustration with credit cards. As a seller we use PayPal to process both paypal payments as well as credit cards. Credit card are a great way to pay for us, since anyone can get gift card and make fraudulent purchases (trust me, there are ways), but with credit card there is a connection to billing address, name and phone number. A bit more security than accepting gift cards. That’s from a seller’s prospective.

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Uniquity said

Just catching up – are these changes effective immediately?

Azzrian said

I THINK I read that it would be when this promo ends which I THINK also from the thread that is at the end of this month but this is not an official statement lol just what I think I have gathered from the thread.

DaisyChubb said

I tried to place an order just to check and shipping is no longer covered by the gift card, so that’s definitely effective now :)

Azzrian said

That is good to know! Thanks :)

Gift Certificate setting to NOT be able to pay for shipping were done already.
As for reviews, can we say that the old rules and reward amount would end tomorrow evening? This way if you have any in works, you can still submit them and get the full credit under the old rules. Would that work?

Sil select said

I think that’s more than fair since you providing this program has been wonderful!

Uniquity said

I would be disappointed that slow shipping means I don’t have my new matchas yet to review under the old system, but I felt guilty for the one review I put in since it obviously is costing you a lot of money. It was lovely while it lasted! :D

Cedes said

I feel the same Uniquity. It takes everything so long to come to Canada, but Im still happy they are keeping the matcha program for now even though its a bit different.

Babble said

Is it possible to extend the deadline one more day to Wednesday evening?

darby select said

Just me – but I received my order about a week ago intending to fully participate in the matcha program and that is why I ordered so much! Could we make it so that all orders placed before today have a bit more time to review? I would hate to have to rush my reviews but will if I have to since that’s why I ordered so much at one time! LOL

Cedes said

I agree with Darby, Id love to be able to review the matchas I already have coming before the program change over, it just takes so much longer to get to Canada.

I’m sorry, but to make it fair to all, I have to cut it short and make the change for everyone. If I postpone the deadline for some til Wednesday, why not do it for some for orders placed last week, and if I can do it for some, why not all. And we all know, soon after there will be someone asking for something else.

Cedes said

Thanks, I totally understand. Just wanted to say thanks aswell for keeping the program running for now.

Alphakitty said

So reviews that were submitted over the weekend are still eligible for the original promotion? I sent mine in on Sunday and just wanted to make sure!

Please note that the only main change to the program is that we do not offer rewards for 400+words review. We still offer reward for 200+ review. If you have any issues or questions, please contact me via email.

Alphakitty: all reviews submitted by Tuesday midnight will qualify under the old promotion.

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Babble said

Another suggestion – would you consider offering smaller or sample sizes of matcha in the future? There are more unique flavors I want to try, but I don’t want to get stuck with a bunch of matcha if I don’t like it.

this would be cool, or make it a package deal with a 4-6 different matchas in it.

The issue with creating smaller packages is that each flavored matcha is prepared manually especially for that order, which takes time. The smallest size offered now is 30g, so if I offered 15g size, the savings would be small since it only be in product cost. It takes same amount of time to get it done for 30g as well as for 15g. You would not see much $ difference there.

I see your point about the cost benefit of creating each packet separately and how it wouldn’t save money.
What if did something similar to the weekly special, and premake say 10 packets with a predetermined quality/flavour level? (ex. Caramel matcha, distinct flavour, basic grade)
and then once those are gone, they are gone and only the larger 30g size is available for sale? Not sure if that would save time?
The option to customize my matcha is awesome, but there are some flavours I’d love to try without a 30g commitment, and would have no problem compromising with preset features :)
Just a thought, not sure if that’d work!
(oh! maybe these could also be used in your free matcha program? could save you some money there to! ie. the reviews get credit for an XS matcha packet instead of a large one, though this might complicate things more than I anticipated when I first thought of it LOL)

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Babble said

Not sure how you are working the extra credit, but you might want to consider extra credit for being the first one to review a flavor of matcha. There are some matcha flavors I am interested in, but hesitant to buy because the lack of reviews, so I often go with tried and true flavors instead. This would encourage people to take a chance on more odd matcha flavors.

Great idea!!! I will post it.

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OK… just so that I understand (because I have a lot of Matcha that I’ve not yet tried and need to write reviews for), so long as I submit the reviews to you by tomorrow (Tuesday) evening, I can get the original free matcha offer, correct? After Tuesday evening, we start the option B where the GC price is $15.99 for each complete review (including review on your site, review on amazon, and full-length review on my blog) … correct?

If so, I can live with that.


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