Friday Digital Roundup
The Friday Digital Roundup is a witty take on the weird world of the internet. With fun stories from around the globe, it’s the only email newsletter you’ll actually read and enjoy!
We do love writing it, but clearly not as much as people like receiving it - just look at the response we got when a technical hitch meant it wasn’t sent out on time!
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Email Marketing Doesn’t Work… …The Way YOU Think It Does
Every day I spend a ridiculous amount of time deleting emails from companies.
It’s a total waste of time (mine and theirs).
I get email after email that I somehow subscribed to and I somehow have no time to unsubscribe from… so I just keep on deleting them.
I get many spam emails too.
Emails from web developers wanting to re-develop my website… a website that was completely redesigned in May at great expense.
I get offered SEO despite the fact that we offer SEO as a service.
I get offered print, social media management, branding, guest blogs, advertising, PPI, magic beans, get-rich-quick-schemes… the list goes on.
So email marketing doesn’t work, right!?
Email marketing just makes people delete, delete, delete – and they’re not making them or me buy anything.
But here’s the thing.
Did you ever stop to think about the emails you get and the ones you send?
Did you ever wonder why it doesn’t work?
Did you ever stop to think about the person on the other end of the email?
You know when you’re swiping right or reporting for spam? Yeah?
Someone is doing that to you, too.
Someone is annoyed at your emails and they’re not unsubscribing either.
Email marketing (like that) doesn’t work because no one ever reads the content and no one ever buys the stuff.
But here’s a thought…
Why don’t you stop looking at email marketing as selling something?
Why don’t you use email marketing in a totally different way?
Why don’t you help, educate, listen or build relationships with your email marketing?
Why don’t you just realise that on the end of this internet connection is another human being.
“Hi, my name’s Todd and I’m a real, flesh and blood, human!”
Do you know what? Apart from all those automated crappy emails you’re getting each day, there’s a human on the end of those emails?
Amazing isn’t it?
In all the fun of the internet fair we kind of forget that.
Start looking at emails like networking, conversations or relationships and you’ll soon see this.
I’m going to let you into a little secret: I’m crap at selling…
In fact I’m awful!
I never ask for the sale and I’m pretty bad at going and getting it. Lord Sugar would hate me… but I’m not keen on him either, so screw him.
Selling is not something I’m good at so I don’t do much of it.
Are you good at selling?
If you are, then hats off to you. If you’re not but you try to in your business emails then I shake my head at you.
Selling is something we all have to do, but unless you’re Amazon or Groupon then I’m suggesting you stop doing it in your emails.
In life you need to be different.
In life you need to be a Purple Cow like Seth Godin taught us.
In life, in business, and in marketing you need to be something unique, something exciting, and something that’s not like other people. (There’s a reason I go to Black Tie dinners dressed as a cowboy.)
Your email marketing is probably boring and it’s probably getting deleted, unread or reported for spam.
How about you try and be different and see if you can change that result?
A few years ago I thought email marketing was dead…
I was convinced it didn’t work and the reason for that thinking was that no one was buying my stuff.
No one was buying the things I put in my emails. No one.
So email marketing didn’t work.
But then I realised something: if the goal wasn’t sales but just open rates and interest I could win.
If I promised some amazing free stuff or gave value over and above anyone else in my emails then I would do better.
I wouldn’t sell any stuff… but I wouldn’t fail either.
So I stopped selling in my emails and I started giving value instead.
My entire outlook on email marketing changed and my mark of success was shifted.
But, Todd, (I hear you say) aren’t you interested in making money and selling stuff?
Of course I am… but I’m not great at selling, and neither are you really.
In fact – no one is!
Let me ask you this: Where is the ‘Skip Ad’ button on a YouTube video?
I bet you know without looking at YouTube. I bet a small percentage of people who read this moved their right arm in a poking motion.
Because we hate being sold to so much, we hate ads so much, that our natural instincts have recorded a cognitive reaction to the very thought of an ad on YouTube.
We hate being sold to.
This isn’t the 50s anymore. You can’t put a sexy model with some cigarettes and sell them to me based on the fact I want to be like them.
We’re clever in the 21st Century and we have the internet.
We know stuff and we know you’re just trying to sell stuff.
You don’t care about us and we now no longer care about your stuff.
That’s why I don’t sell in emails anymore and that’s why your emails don’t work – people don’t want to be sold to anymore.
Don’t believe me?
Next time you go into a shop to buy something. Next time you go to a store to buy something you absolutely know they sell in that store and an assistant comes up to you and asks “Can I help you with anything today?” … just pay attention to what your reactive brain wants to say.
But you went in to buy the exact thing they have?
Your mind is preconditioned to lie to sales people to avoid being sold to and you don’t even know it.
So that email marketing then…
How can you make it work if you can’t sell?
Maybe you can sell value.
Maybe you can sell ideas.
Maybe (and here’s a radical thought) you can just make someone’s day better by giving them some great content or making them laugh?
For over a year now we’ve been sending the Friday Digital Roundup to our email list. If you get it then you’ll know all about it.
The FDR is a roundup of funny stories that we find on the internet in the week interspersed with content to help people with their marketing.
We tell stories about us, and our business, at the top and tail of the email and we wake people up on a Friday morning.
It’s a bit of fun and I really enjoy writing it. Jo and Laura enjoy finding the content for it.
I think I’d still write it if no one ever bought anything from me.
I think I’d still email people on a Friday if I didn’t have a business.
I think I love writing it so much it shows in the email… and that’s key.
Do you like being sold to? No.
Do you like selling to other people (really)? No.
So when you write those emails you feel bad.
You hate yourself for it and when you hit send it’s all like “Well here’s goes nothing”.
Now, I’m not saying that the FDR is the most amazing email you’ll ever get.
I’m not saying it’s the driving force behind our business… but it’s pretty important to us.
The Roundup wakes people up on a Friday morning (our readers tell us that).
It WAKES PEOPLE UP! (that’s a powerful thing to do!)
People look forward to it. They tell us they do!
One Friday a little while back the Roundup didn’t send due to a technical fault. People who were subscribed to the email tweeted, emailed, texted and stopped us in the street (really) asking us where the email was!
(When was the last time someone emailed you to ask you to send them some spam as they really missed it?)
The Roundup starts conversation on email, on social, in the street, at networking and on the phone.
This email, this ‘fun and entertaining’ read, starts conversations with people.
Does that sell anything? Yes – it sells us!
People buy people, right?
People buy into you and what you do.
People buy your ‘why’ not your ‘what’ and we make sure there’s enough storytelling and ‘why’ in there with all those funny stories from the internet.
Now the problem for you is you need to be a purple cow, right?
The problem for you is we’re already doing this format.
People have tried to copy the FDR and they’ve failed because a) we’re already doing it and b) they forgot that the format is about our readers.
We get an email in a very similar format from a company in our industry but all the links and content in that email are about the company themselves.
Remember: no one cares about you… they care about themselves and what you can do for them. Even if that’s just make them smile once a week.
Don’t forget that people know how to skip a YouTube ad and they can smell a hidden sale like a fart in a lift.
So email marketing works when you change the success parameter
Email marketing works if you decide that all you want is some interaction.
Email marketing works if someone does something at the end of it… but that doesn’t need to be buying your stuff… not directly anyway!
Be different. Stop selling and start sharing content, ideas and value.
People buy people, not stuff in emails.
Need more help?
We’re running Mailchimp and email marketing bootcamps. For the next date just head on over to the campfire right here>>
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