You press the button on your time-travel remote.
Suddenly, everything goes black.
My lab — and I — disappear from view.
And … you start falling.
Your voice echoes through the emptiness as you tumble through an endless void.
Stars streak past you. In the distance you can dimly make out galaxies billions of light-years away.
“Why … did I join … Daniel Throssell’s … email liiiiiist …” you scream as you hurtle through space.
For what seems like eternity, you’re simply … falling.
And then, suddenly—
In a chair.
In a lab.
With unlocked shackles lying on the floor … and a familiar Australian guy standing in front of you.
“Welcome back,” I say. “How’d your time travel feel?”
But before you can answer, I shove a finger to your lips.
“Hush. That was a rhetorical question. I’ve been waiting here 24 hours, you know. So let’s get into it right away.”
I turn to a whiteboard on the wall and start drawing.
“So here’s how this is going to work. You’re in what I like to call …”
My ‘Parallel Welcome Sequence’.
I write it on the board as I speak.
“Parallel … welcome sequence?” you say.
“What, did I stutter or something? Yes, Parallel Welcome Sequence.”
“What on earth are you talking about?”
“It’s a copywriting concept I invented at the Persuasive Page,” I say, “and for now, as far as I know, I’m the only person in the world who’s doing it.”
I turn back to the whiteboard and draw two parallel rows of boxes.
“Look. You’re currently alternating between two ‘worlds’ right now. The first — I point to the top row — are the emails you’re getting from me. These arrive in your real-world inbox every 24 hours — or sooner, depending on when you tap the time-travel remote at the end of each one. Yes?”
You nod. I keep going.
“Now, the second world — the one which you’re in right now — is a parallel world,” I say, pointing to the bottom row. “Think of it as a little alternate existence, tied into the emails … but separate, with its own storyline.”
I pull out a time-travel remote from my pocket, and hold it up in demonstration.
“In fact, if you don’t press the time-travel remote, you won’t even enter this dimension at all. You’ll just get the regular emails. You will only see these mini-stories — like this one you’re experiencing right now — when you click the remote”.
“So let me get this straight,” you say. “You’re saying to get these extra stories … like the one I’m reading now … I have to click the links at the bottom of your emails?”
“Basically,” I say. “But ‘time-travel remotes’ are cooler than links, wouldn’t you agree?”
You shrug. “Yeah … I guess so.”
Suddenly … I vanish from before your eyes.
And appear bent over right next to your seat, as I say in a chilling voice:
“You GUESS so?“
You look at me — and your blood goes cold. My eyes look … crazy.
“Uh … I mean … yes! Yes! You’re right, ‘time-travel remote’ is WAY cooler than ‘link’! Haha, I don’t know why I didn’t think that!” you stammer.
Instantly, my demeanour relaxes and I stand back upright.
“That’s better. Now, enough of this chit-chat. Let’s get back into the real world … with some of that storytelling I promised you in the first email.”
I look down at my phone and tap a few buttons.
“There. I’ve just sent you an example of how to use stories in your emails. The subject line is:
“Oh, so you liked my welcome email, did ya? Well we’re just getting started.”
“Go read that now and we’ll meet again here later. But remember — you can only return here if you use the
link time-travel remote at the end of each email.”
Well, what are you waiting for?
Go check your inbox.
(Oh, and if that email landed anywhere other than your Primary inbox … like ‘Updates’ or ‘Promotions’ … drag it back into ‘Primary’ and give those geeks at Google a what-for, won’t you? Trust me, I only write two kinds of emails: Primary-worthy and … uh … amazing. And who wants amazing emails in their Promotions tab?)