After you’ve read this sentence, you’ll know I don’t have a catchy opening line for this email.
I have no idea what this email’s going to be about.
You might think mentioning “Endless Emails” was a mistake seeing as I just admitted I don’t know what I’m going to write to you about.
“If you have ‘Endless Emails’, John, why have you run out of ideas?”, you might say. You might even put your hands on your hips and add a passive-aggressive “eh?” as a sarcastic suffix.
Ah. I didn’t say I’d run out of ideas, I said I didn’t know what I was going to write about.
Those are two very different things.
I still use “Endless Emails” to stock my Trello board with daily nonsense.
Why just this morning, I added:
“Sole Jenn Its sun* memorising 12,000 lines”
“That’s not my dog’s turd”, and
“Why do I like this golf ball?”
* Give Siri a break. Voice notes on windy golf courses are sketchy at the best of times. He had no chance with “Solzhenitsyn”.
Even with quality source material like that in my idea holster, I’m still improving the heck outta this email.
I’ve talked about the power of “winging it” before.
I used to do it as a radio presenter and magician whenever I felt my boredom level creeping up to “I wonder what would happen if I smashed this guy’s head in with a chair?” or fancied living dangerously.
As a radio DJ, I’d usually turn up with so much prep, it looked like I was carrying an early draft of the Braille edition of the Bible.
Same with magic. Some gigs, I’d cram so much stuff into my pockets, I could hear my tailor crying. Audience members would ask if they could push in my hernias.
But when I fancied living dangerously, I’d go in with the bare minimum and see what happened.
For radio, that meant ZERO prep. For magic, I’d just take a pack of cards.
The first time you fly by the seat of your pants – still a better choice than Ryanair – relying on your sharp wit and killer skills is scary as hell. But once you manage to do it without dying…
A wave of joyous confidence washes over you, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.
It’s like a bubble bath where all the bubbles are positive, happy emotions.
Realising Dorothy’s dream of “You always had the power, my dear” is one of the most liberating things you can do.
AND I’M DOING IT NOW!
Wow – I guess there is going to be a takeaway to this email after all…
If you book me as a magician and I don’t resemble the shape of a knobbly massage ball…
… I probably won’t be thinking about caving your head in.
^^^ That’s the advice given to anyone who asks the “How can I start writing?” question.
It’s the same with email marketing.
“How do I start emailing my list?”
Don’t worry about the story or hook…
Forget about the turn or adding a delicious, clickable call to action.
Just sit down and write to your customer.
See what happens.
You don’t have to send it.
No one’s watching. No one has to know. I promise not to tell.
Who knows? You might end up with the perfect email.
About 80% of what you write will make your eyes want to reach for a copy of “101 Raw Recipes for Cannibals”, so they have something less grisly to look at, except…
… for the 20% that’s still butt-ugly… but has the seeds of something awesome.
You’ll never know unless you give it a shot.