“Anyway… when Mahatma Gandhi FINALLY wrestled back control of the futon, we hosed down the back wall, released Shania Twain from the bouncy castle and transported the alien back to his home planet…
… we kept the lip balm though.”
If you miss enough of a story, it makes no sense.
If you’ve never experienced this, try watching the TV show “Lost”…
… starting episode at episode 8 of season 3.
Good luck following that journey.
You’ve got no chance.
It’s the same with your customers – they’re on a journey too.
Take, for example, the first rule of copywriting club:
If they sound like they’re going to be a fucking nightmare, stick an extra zero on the quote…
Sorry, wrong rule. Let’s try that again…
The OTHER first rule of copywriting club:
Join the conversation the customer is having in their head.
Between the two points of them first realising you exist and the point of them handing you some of their hard-earned money…
… there’s a journey.
Between the two points of them identifying they have a problem and then being in a position to want to pay someone to solve it…
… there’s a journey.
You need to find out where they are on their journey and then be there too.
The person you’re talking to…
Where are they? What’s going on in their mind? What are they thinking right now?
Here’s where this comes in really useful…
You know how you’re terrified to email your list because you haven’t done it since 1875 and you’re panicking about getting a mass of unsubscribes?
… that’s where this comes in useful.
If your first contact with a deserted list is a “Hey guys, this week we’ve got…” type email…
… you know, chatting to your customers as if you meet them for coffee every week…
… well, yeah… you will get a load of unsubscribes, as the Mexican wave of “WHO THE HELL IS THIS?” hits.
“Hey guys, this week we’ve got…” is a fine and dandy opener to folks who are used to seeing your name in their inbox every week, but if you’re starting back with email after a long break, you need to do something different.
You need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
What are they likely to think when they spy your name in their inbox for the first time in months?
What’s their reaction going to be?
I did this recently for a client who will remain nameless (not because I’ve signed an NDA, but because I want you THINK I did…)
They wanted to start a weekly email but hadn’t emailed their list in aaaaggggeeeessss.
How do you start an email in this situation, without being either too negative (“I’m soooooooo sorry…”)…
… or without having to write an entire novel, explaining your absence?
By saying exactly what your customer is going to think when they see your name in their inbox.
Here are a few examples:
“An email… from David Beckham? THE David Beckham? What the heck…”
“I know what you’re thinking… You’re thinking… ‘George Clooney? That name rings a bell’. I’m the chap that sells Nespresso while looking a bit tasty. It’s all coming back now, isn’t it? Anyway, you’ll be pleased to know I found my MailChimp password…”
“‘Who the hell is Orlando Bloom?’ you say? Don’t worry, you don’t have memory problems. It’s me – the guy whose list you signed up for but never heard from. Let me make it up to you…”
If you’re sat on a list of names that you haven’t emailed in yonks…
(Yep, I’m bringing that back)
… think about what your customers are going to think when they see your name in their inbox.
Don’t ignore it – call it out.
Play with it. Exaggerate it. Have fun!
If you don’t, you’ll come across as pushy and rude – like that friend who only calls you when they want something.
Don’t be that guy.
Show your customers that you know what they’re thinking and that you care…
… and have some fun as you do it.
Do that and they’re far more likely to give you a chance to earn back their trust…
… and far less likely to hit the dreaded “unsubscribe” button.
Hope that’s useful.
Have a good Monday!
John “Crossing his fingers and praying you don’t all unsubscribe” Holt
I’m not boasting when I tell you it’s far more effective at building a responsive email list than eating jelly whilst wearing swimming trunks, or learning how to say the alphabet backwards in Urdu.
Yes… it’s THAT good.