Let’s play 2 truths and a lie.
- My first job ever was detasseling corn
- I’ve read every book in the Harry Potter series 7x
- I actually enjoy getting emails from a bunch of brands
Think really hard about it, because there will be prizes involved.
Well…mainly just the prize of knowing you were right. And the prize of now knowing that there is an actual job out there where kids walk through cornfields wearing trash bags at 5 AM picking tassels out of the corn.
And that I did it.
If I had a cell phone back then, I’d be showing you proof. But unfortunately you’ll just have to imagine young me emerging from the corn to collect my $8/hr paycheck. (Instead there’s another great photo of “Drive your Tractor to School” Day for your enjoyment)
Okay, so I guess I spilled the beans on #1.
2 is also true. I was a huuuge HP fan?♂️ . Until Dumbledore died (spoiler alert, although if you haven’t seen Harry Potter yet, I’m inclined to believe you never will), and I had to reevaluate my relationship with the series.
So yes, number #3 is the lie, and although I love marketing, I still don’t enjoy getting emails from most brands. My inbox is my digital kitchen. I feel the same way about clutter there as I do my actual kitchen – meaning I don’t tolerate it well. (Someone please let me husband know?)
About 75% of all emails go ignored, and if an email gets opened – 50% of the time people find it useless.
When I saw this stat, I took a second and thought about my behavior with emails. I thought about the ones I religiously open and why, and I tried to see if there were any common threads (outside of the best practices we already know, like personalization and using people’s first names, and yada yada).
These were some of the newsletters that came to mind first –
- The Morning Brew (the only news I consume because it’s short & witty)
- Thursday Thread (insights and trends in organizational culture, which I don’t work in, but I find the writer – Shereen – hilarious & I love the psychology of anything)
- Jen Olmstead (co-founder of a Website Design company who is a great storyteller & website design is highly relevant to me right now)
- Harry’s Newsletter (fabulous and concise marketing tips and examples)
- Medium’s Version of the “fyp” (collection of articles it curates for me daily)
Each of these each sells different things. They have different formats, lengths, style of copy, and design.
Okay…so if none of those things are common denominators, what is it?
General advice says share value, but no one says what’s actually valuable. Many of us are natural teachers, so we think that giving people information MUST be how we give value. But that’s not true. Lots of newsletters give me information…so why do I read some but not others??
The answer? These newsletters align with MY values.
- I love stories because I learn best through examples.
- One of my values is joy. I like to laugh, and I appreciate wit.
- Relevancy. The news, marketing examples, and curated stories are relevant. There is a sense of urgency to reading because they’re based on the now moment.
So0o0o0, how do you take all of these nuggets and use them to transform your email?
Reflect on what you love consuming + sharing to find out what your values are. If you value research, simplicity, freedom, structure, or accountability, build those values into your emails. I care about storytelling, snackable insights, and things that will make me better at my job. So that’s what I try to do for you.
Make it relevant to the people you want to open. Once you lay the foundation with your values, think about what’s relevant to your audience.
Think about their experience, what’s currently on their hearts and minds, and what’s going on in the world.
For example, if one of your values is spaciousness and you love cooking…share that new crockpot recipe you found that saves you time AND is perfect for healthy digestion during Fall season.
xo, Rachel Jeffries Murphy