Yesterday I heard a sound I don’t think anyone on the face of the earth has ever heard before.
It all started with a song everybody knows:
Greensleeves (the ice-cream van song).
I heard it playing in the distance as I worked.
Then suddenly, something weird happened:
The song became unrecognisable.
The notes all started playing wrong.
I stopped typing and cocked my head to the side. “What the…?”
I went to the door to listen.
It was unmistakably the same song, played by an ice-cream van … but something was … off.
Then I realised what it was:
I was hearing two ice cream vans at once.
And their songs were playing at different points, making it sound weird.
That’s never happened before, to me or anyone I know.
And I thought about why:
I guess they have some sort of ‘Ice Cream Code of Conduct’ about which vans get to operate where.
But maybe, business ain’t good right now, and some other van has invaded my local van’s ‘hood.
I can just picture what would happen if they happened to drive past each other:
They park their vans on either side of the road.
Both drivers step out … Wild West duel style.
The local van driver puts his hand to his hip, where he has an ice-cream cone waiting. His fingers quiver.
“C’mon, intruder boy. Time to get a good old-fashioned Mr. Whippin’,” he taunts.
The intruder isn’t fazed. He coolly meets his gaze and replies:
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you … unless you wanna get creamed”.
And then they’d start slapping each other with soft-serve in the middle of the street, while the neighbourhood kids look on in wonder.
But that’s the problem with ice-cream vans, isn’t it?
They’re all the same. There’s ZERO uniqueness or branding. Just one more pink and white van playing Greensleeves.
That’s not how I’d do it.
If I had an ice cream van, I’d mix everything up:
- I’d keep the same bell tone on my song … but I’d use something like Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer.
- I’d paint my van bright ORANGE. I’d be the most exciting ice cream van in Perth … probably in all Australia. The kids would love it!
- I’d charge more for my ice cream, of course, but people would pay it because it’s the ORANGE van.
- I’d only visit the same suburb once every few months — to amp up the scarcity and make it a big deal.
- I’d diversify my offering by selling orange van merch on the side.
- I’d offer free samples to collect people’s emails. Then I’d send them crazy daily emails about hearing two ice cream vans at once. (Whoa … copy-ception?)
- And I’d use my mailing list to stay front-of-mind with my customers … and alert them when I was heading to their area next.
That’s how you sell ice cream with an email list.
There’s just one problem:
I’m not selling ice cream.
(The wise reader might notice that at this point, I’ve written this email so well that I could sell just about whatever the heck I want, by just saying “instead, I’m selling …”)
Truth is though, I’m not selling anything yet, because none of my products are finished.
So instead, if you want my help selling YOUR thing …
Drive your orange ice-cream van over to my mailing list below.
Only if you’re serious, though. Otherwise I reserve the right to cookies ‘n’ cream ya.