Another dinnertime story from the other night that I just had to tell you (you’ll see how that subject line makes sense in a moment):
It’s 6pm and we’re all at the table, eating dinner.
Well, three of us are.
9-month-old Esther has gotten a bit bored and started fussing, so we’ve put her on the ground to crawl around while we eat.
But Hayley, Eli and I are still sitting there, finishing our roast beef and sweet potato.
Eli in particular is enjoying it.
He LOVES roast beef. So I’ve given him a generous serving.
Yet being a three-year-old, he’s just about finished the beef … before even touching his sweet potato.
But then — as he goes to eat his precious last piece — the unthinkable happens.
He lifts it to his mouth …
… and accidentally drops it.
No harm done, right? We can just pick it up.
But … no.
Because it just so happens that at this exact moment, Esther is crawling by.
The meat tumbles to the ground …
… and — slap!
It lands right in front of Esther.
And naturally, Esther does what 9-month-old babies do with new small things they find in front of them:
She pops it in her mouth.
It all happens too fast for me to even react.
But for a horrific micro-second, I can see what’s coming in slow motion.
My eyes dart from Esther, sucking on her tasty new prize …
… to Eli, whose eyes start going wide in abject horror.
And then slow-mo ends, and real time begins again.
And … the screaming starts.
Eli throws his head back and explodes into an agonised howl.
He literally sounds like someone’s whipping him. Long, deep gasps of intense pain.
Esther, on the other hand, is unfazed.
She looks up, chewing casually.
I get up to intervene … but I already know I can’t win.
Because as I rush over to Esther and pluck the choke-hazard-sized morsel out of her mouth …
It’s HER turn to start bawling.
I put the meat back on Eli’s plate, but it doesn’t console him.
… and for good measure, I’m considering screaming.
And then, it happens:
Someone taps me on the shoulder.
I spin around to see …
… a … salesman?
He flashes me a smile, and says:
“LAST CHANCE! My Broke-to-Business Blueprint Closes Tonight!”
I look at him and just … blink.
The kids keep howling in the background.
He grins and continues: “Daniel, this is just a courtesy email to remind you about the sale I’ve been having this week on my Broke-to-Business Blueprint, now fully updated with ALL-NEW videos …”
My eye starts twitching.
I take one more look at the tone-deaf salesman:
And then I glance over to my steak knife, sitting on the table next to my plate …
Okay, we’ll wind this tale up here before someone ends up becoming … er … roast meat.
A salesman in my house?
Okay, relax. You’re too literal.
Yes, the part about the salesman was made up.
(Though I assure you the traumatic scene about the meat was very, very real.)
A salesman didn’t actually rock up and start trying to sell to me at the worst possible time.
But … it happens virtually a million times every day.
Hurried, worried, flurried people are busy with their problems.
They’re checking their inboxes for an escape from all the stress and worry and craziness of real life.
Yet dopey, self-absorbed marketers come in with emails that talk about “Here’s 5 NEW videos we put in the course!!!”
Here’s a tip for anyone who does that:
People are not going to their inbox to hear about your 13th launch of your flagship course on becoming a copywriter.
They’re there to see things about THEMSELVES.
Messages from friends.
Updates on things they care about.
Things that entertain them and make them feel good.
HINT: Your course probably does not fall into any of those categories. Which is why you need to market in a way that people actually want to be marketed to.
Take this email for an example.
You probably know I’m going to pitch my copywriting services. But I started with a fun story that you wanted to read.
“Oh cool,” you say. “So I just put a story at the start of my sales email?”
It’s nowhere near that simple.
There’s a whole lot of back-end strategy in the way I do my emails that might backfire if you just try and copy it.
So if you want to get access to my secret knowledge as I build a proper sales campaign for you …
I mean, c’mon now.
You wouldn’t want to sell like a meat-headed salesman …