Recently I heard about a phenomenon called “parasocial interaction”.
It was a term coined in the ‘50s to mean:
“a kind of psychological relationship experienced by an audience in their mediated encounters with performers in the mass media, particularly on television.”
In other words, when you interact with a celebrity, through TV, radio, or other media, you begin to bond with them as if you were friends.
Which leads some people to do nutty things like adopting the belief system of that celebrity.
In plain English:
When someone interacts regularly with a celebrity, they begin to feel like they’re friends even though they’ve never met. And in order to feel closer to their ‘friends’, they’ll start thinking, acting, and talking like that celebrity.
Which makes a whole lot of sense. It’s why every Joe Rogan fanboy bowhunts, does Jiu Jitsu and talks about cryotherapy. It’s also why ‘influencer’ marketing is so forkin’ hot right now. Which explains why Flat Tummy Tea — which is apparently just “liquid exlax” btw — has an estimated yearly revenue of over $35M according to Owler.com.
But it’s not just podcasts and celebrities that can “turn on” this behavior.
There’s an aspect of this that can easily be applied to emails. In fact, by emailing regularly and in the way I teach in my book, you automatically “tap into” this phenomenon of parasocial interaction.
Now this is borderline abusive relationship territory… in that you can very well use this knowledge to manipulate people to do irrational things (I wonder if this explains why serial killers get marriage proposals in jail).
So in a way I feel like I’m handing you a loaded gun I found in the backyard… or maybe it’s like I discovered how to split an atom and I’m handing you a nuke.
Either way, know this:
The more you can build a relatable persona into your emails… and the more frequently you email your list… and the more your list feels bonded to you as a real human bean…
The more your list will want to support your mission… and agree with your thoughts… and trust your opinion… and yes, that means buying your stuff.
Again, don’t do this in a manipulative way. It all starts with you actually caring about your market and wanting to help. Otherwise, you’ll attract terrible customers who want to be manipulated.
Which may result in profit… but will likely make you a very unhappy bird indeed.
Instead do this:
The above points are easier said than done. And the best thing you can do to accomplish this is to mail your list often. Ideally daily.
If you struggle with writing emails, you may just need a system to help you get going. I detailed my system in my book “Email Emperor”. To get a free copy and unlock my daily email tips, hop on the wagon below:
Training a dog is an interesting task. There’s a lot it teaches you about human interactions strangely enough.
And because sales is mostly about human interaction and decision making, dog training gives an interesting ‘window’ into successful selling. Whether that be in print, on the phone, or face-to-face.
Take “the dog trainer’s ‘casino trick’ to get people eating up your emails”. This is how it was explained to me:
“Casino’s use ‘variable rewards’ in their slot machines. So sometimes you win a little… sometimes you win a lot… and sometimes you don’t win at all. And the fact you don’t know what you’ll get makes it more addicting.”
In dog training, this means having a few different treats and randomly giving a different treat with every reward. Doing this effectively “supercharges” the reward pathway in the dog’s brain. Making them much more likely to be motivated to listen to your commands.
Which basically comes down to injecting variety.
And when applied to emails this means:
But don’t use this as a “tactic” either. Don’t trick and addict people like casinos do.
Simply understand that humans crave variety. And if you’re the one to give them that variety, they’ll be much more likely to read and buy from your emails.
Which is part of the reason why I’ve added email and subject line templates into the Addendum section of my book. So you can easily inject variety into your emails starting today.
To get a free copy, go here:
When it comes to email marketing, no false idol is worshipped as much as the cult of the open rate.
This cult is everywhere.
From social media guru’s rattling their open rate sabres… to HuffPo infographics… to ESP companies who really should know better.
Because talking about open rates is like talking about weight.
There are healthy ranges and unhealthy ranges… but it differs so much between person to person that comparisons just aren’t helpful.
For some a 10% open rate could be “killing it”. While others wouldn’t be happy with anything below 50%.
These idolaters often talk about “gaming” the system to increase open rates. They do this by putting personalization (like your first name in the subject line) or adding an emoji or remailing your unopens.
All these ‘tactics’ may work at bumping up open rates depending on the list and offer.
But what will put far more sheckles in your coin purse is to focus on writing emails people want to open and read… creating offers people are interested in and want to buy… and positioning yourself as someone they look forward to hearing from.
No the above isn’t something you can do with a few clicks of the keyboard. It takes time and work. You have to understand your market and be able to problem solve.
You have to think outside the burrito and create products and services that solve pain points in wholly unique ways.
And you have to be good at what you do.
So that’s the tough news.
The not tough news is that I can help you write better subject lines. Below are some of my favorite subject line techniques:
1) Curiosity — If I had to rely on one copywriting technique forever, it would be curiosity. That’s because curiosity is such a powerful motivator. We’ll spend hours trawling the web to get an answer when we’re curious.
One way to inject curiosity is to use what I call the “90/10 Rule”. Basically, this is where you give away 90% of the answer, but leave the 10% that makes you go “huh…?”
An example the great Parris Lampropolous gave was a David Deutsch bullet. It said something like:
“Have eczema? Learn the saran wrap method on Pg 67.”
It makes you wonder: What does saran wrap have to do with eczema? I have saran wrap right here in my home? Can I use this method?
So remember, it’s not always what you write about. Sometimes it’s what you leave out.
2) Write Like Rutz — Jim Rutz was one of the best, most creative copywriters of all time. He mentored greats in the next generation of copywriters like John Carlton. He’s known for breaking all the rules and writing winning headlines like, “Read This Or Die…”
Another thing he was known for is subverting expectations. This means knowing what your market expects… then throwing that expectation on its face.
An example I have in my Rutz swipe file is an ad he took out trying to get a date (yes, he was a great copywriter, but not so great with the ladies). The headline of this ad read:
So he took the normal trope of “Damsel in distress” and turned it around to make it humorous and unique.
Another example is an email I wrote with the subject “The Planet of the Apps”.
You see, isn’t that fun?
3) Be Controversial — In a way, this last point uses the two techniques from above. Controversy is inherently curiosity-provoking and it naturally subverts expectations.
Like this article for example. I bet most articles you read by email copywriters talk about open rates as if they were the holy of holies. Hopefully, by subverting this expectation I’ve stood out from the crowd.
But the secret isn’t to do this as a technique. I’m not disagreeing with the industry norm just to disagree. It’s just something I fundamentally feel isn’t accurate. So I’m writing about it with the added benefit of it being ‘against the grain’.
Another thing being controversial does is position you as someone worth listening to. You basically become the canary in the coal mine. The only person speaking their mind while others repeat lukewarm drivel.
All of which makes people want to open your email. And also open the next one.
And if you write good emails regularly, the way I teach in my book, then some on your list will be so bonded to you that they’ll open all your emails… regardless of the subject line.
If you’d like to learn how to write better emails, you can download a free copy of my book. It comes with email and subject line templates you can use to begin making sales to your list as soon as tonight.
Get your free copy here:
A little while back I was working with a client — this is back when I was doing consulting — who was extremely qualified at what she did (both by being educated in her field and by having tons of ‘real-life’ experience).
But she was struggling to take those qualifications and turn it into paying gigs. For context, she was transfering from a Full-Time corporate job and was in the process of making her side hustle her main boo.
She was actually quite peeved about it. Almost everytime we talked she would go off on a mini-rant about how people with far less skills and experience were clearly more succesfful than her.
On one hand, I totally get her frustration. She had a great service that actually helped people (I spoke with a few of her clients and it was some of the most gushing praise I’ve ever heard).
On the other, it doesn’t surpise me for a hot little second. Because it’s almost never the most qualified person who wins. It’s the one who can market themselves the best.
Look at our Demander in Chief, El Jefe Chump. Definitely not the most qualified (neither was Shilary, which further proves the point).
So to win, you have to position yourself as a leader and someone worth listening too. Then just show people the problems they’re facing and how you help to solve them.
And, Yes Geronimo, in my completely biased opinion, email is the best way for most people to do that.
Message me back and we can talk about plugging my email system into your business.
I once heard a story about a Romanian man who was appealing his own death in court. Now I won’t tell you this whole Kafka meets Sawyer tale, but basically he had left his wife and family and she claimed he was dead to remarry.
But here’s the kicker:
When the man tried to rectify the mistake, regain his identity, and get a passport to return to Turkey where he had set up a small company… the Romanian court denied him claiming that he filed his appeal too late.
So here was this man, standing in court, fighting to prove he was alive.
Ahhhhh. The sweet morning smell of bureacracy.
And the truth is, up until this point, bureacrats have largely stayed out of the online world. As far as businesses go, there are way less rules and regulations online than offline.
But this won’t always be true. And in many ways it’s fastly changing.
Which has led some to call this age the dying days of the “Wild West of the Internet”.
So, whether ye be Outlaw or Lawman, soon there may be a bounty upon your head.
So I recommend staking your claim and striking the motherlode sooner rather than later.
And if you have an email subscriber list, “There’s gold in them thar hills.” So message me if you want help digging it out.
In the meantime, I’ll be out west, sharpening my picks and shovels.