A few days ago my son invented a new game.
He runs into my office, where I’m reading. In his hands is a small box with a lid.
I then get instructions for my part of the game:
“Daddy say, ‘What’s that?’”
It’s 6:30am (I wake up at 4:45), so I’m feeling pretty fresh and willing to play.
“Okay … what’s that?” I ask him enthusiastically.
He pulls off the lid from the box, revealing a silver truck inside, and holds it up to me expectantly.
“WOW!” I say. “A silver truck!”
He grins, pleased with himself. And then he puts it back, and replaces the lid.
I return to my reading. But twenty seconds later, I’m interrupted again:
“Daddy say, ‘What’s that?’”
“What’s … that?” I ask, a little less enthusiastically.
Off comes the lid and he proudly shows me the contents again.
It’s … still a silver truck.
And he’s looking at me with wide-open eyes, waiting for me to react.
“A … silver truck.”
He nods, pleased. And then closes the lid.
This is going to be a fun morning.
Fast forward ten minutes:
“Daddy, say ‘what’s th—’”
“IT’S A SILVER TRUCK.”
(I’m no longer even looking up at this point — I’m trying in vain to stare at my book, while my right eye twitches uncontrollably.)
This game has persisted for the last few days. And predictably, it’s become less and less fun each time I play (although Eli seems to think it’s a riot).
I know he’s only three years old, but I just want to say: “Buddy. Please. I know what’s inside. I don’t care. Just STOP asking me to look at it.”
And so it is with most companies and their emails:
They’re always serving up the same old silver truck.
Every post or email is the same old, boring copy, with no intrigue.
Marketing campaigns get recycled with few changes.
The ‘ask’ is always the same thing, presented in the same way.
And predictably, customers just get sick of it after a while.
Every time your customers ‘open the box’, make sure they find something new inside.
The stories I tell in my emails are just one of many ways to do that.
Whatever you do, just make sure your customers don’t get sick of finding the silver truck … and eventually stop opening your emails altogether.
You get that valuable lesson for free today.
In return I’m asking a favour:
I’m looking for a few more podcasts to get booked on (at the moment, small ones suit me just fine, so long as they’re taking guests).
Preferably, they’re based around marketing or copywriting — but if it’s something you listen to, that’s great, since you’re clearly the kind of person who studies email copy after all …
Anyway, in lieu of asking you to click a link, today I’d love you to hit reply to this email and let me know if you know of any such podcasts (bonus points if it’s your podcast, or you can introduce me to the person who does it).
As for me, I’ll have to end this one here. Someone’s just walked into my office with a box …