I was going to write to you about interpreting pigs today, but that’ll have to wait.
I had a weird experience yesterday as I was dropping my kid off at a party.
(Not to be confused with “dropping your kids off at the pool”. That’s something totally different)
We’d spent a few minutes driving around a housing estate, but were struggling to find the house.
We even did that thing when you turn the radio down as if lowering the volume improves your ability to see.
“That’s their house”, my daughter finally piped up.
(Wow! The “turning down the volume” thing really does work)
And that’s when it happened.
As we were walking to the house… I realised I’d been here before.
And not with my kid either. I’d been here on my own.
“What’s your friend’s last name?”, I ask my daughter, trying to figure out why the hell I would recognise this place.
“Blenkinsopp”, she replied before quickly adding, “But if you’re going to write about this in one of your silly emails, change it to ‘Blenkinsopp’ or something…”
The moment she said the name, the picture became clear.
I HAD been here before… as a magician.
Uh-oh. This could get awkward.
You see, when I know I’m going to bump into someone I’ve done magic for, my brain goes into “GG/BG?” (“Good Gig/Bad Gig?) mode and my adrenal system fires up my ”shite or delight” response*.
* The performers version of “fight or flight”
Fortunately, my body was telling me this was a “delight”, meaning I wasn’t scoping out shrubbery I could hide in, or checking to see if I had a mask to keep my identity a secret.
We knock on the door and the mum answers. I immediately recognise her, but, in the 0.0002 seconds the door’s been open, she hasn’t yelled, “OH MY GOD – you’re John… the magician we hired a few years ago!”, so I decide to nudge things along…
“Hi”, I say. “You don’t remember me, do you?”
She looks puzzled.
“Me and you…” I stutter. Worst clue ever.
Actually, I take that back. My next clue was the worst ever. Because rather than just use my words and say “I was the magician you hired for your Christmas party”, for some reason – and I’ve still no idea why I did this – I decided to take the semaphore route…
This involved me pointing to myself, then her, then me again, and then her again.
I did this back and forth pointing thing just long enough for everyone to feel weird – including me.
Before she could reach for an alarm, I yelled out:
“I’m John Holt… the magician you booked a few years ago!”
“Great to see you again, Blenkinsopp!”, I reply, making a mental note to book myself on a “get better at coming up with random names, dumbass” course.
Magic is weird.
Some people can describe in precise detail every aspect of a trick they saw a magician do at a party, but…
Ask them, “what was the magician called?”, and they’ll look at you like you’ve asked them to name their top 6 Vancouver-based Cellists.
As a magician, I learned very quickly that people might not remember your name, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.
It’s worth writing that down.
(You ARE hand-copying every single one of my emails, right?)
This is one of the reasons I warn business owners about trying to write perfect emails.
(You knew something like that was coming, didn’t you?)
Instead, focus on writing something that makes your subscribers feel something.
In a year’s time, you probably won’t remember the anonymous name I used in this email or whether I said “magic is weird” or “magic is strange”…
But you’ll remember how reading my emails makes you feel.
And that’s important. We do everything in life because we want to FEEL a certain way.
You don’t want a fat bank balance because you like seeing large numbers in your banking app, you want it because a fat bank balance makes you feel secure and safe.
Your customers are the same – everything they do is to help them feel something.
So don’t worry about writing an email that would make your high school English teacher proud…
Write one that’ll make your subscribers feel something…