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More for Less

The Curse of the Unopened Email

May 14, 2019
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Roughly three weeks ago, I came across a webinar announcement that featured Tony Robbins and some other, lesser-known figure in the MarTech industry. I thought to myself: why not? Robbins has been a celebrity in his own right for decades, and I haven't seem what up to recently, so I wanted to find out what tricks the giant was up to lately. I didn't expect much.

The webinar announcement itself was as vague as you can imagine. The object of the webinar? A big disclosure, a revolutionary scheme that was going to change my life and that of everybody in attendance. On that faithful day, I wiggled into the webinar room and watched as a pair of hyperventilating announcers provided a seemingly endless introduction to yet another online course along with some group coaching scheme. There was absolutely nothing remotely revolutionary about the scheme: the offer was for the exact same online course scheme that everyone and their brother is peddling nowadays. I was a little disappointed with the lack of innovation by the life coaching celebrity and a waste of some precious minutes, yet not overly surprised, so I left the webinar mid-way.

That's when the problems started. As you know, whenever you register to a webinar, you end up in at least one email list. Oftentimes, your identification data is subscribing to multiple lists at once. It's as though everyone who's involved in putting together the event feels entitled to add you to their subscription list. So I landed on the list of the webinar provider, on Tony Robbins' own list, on that of his acolyte, and finally on the list of their ad hoc partnership company. Thus the carpet bombing campaign started. Relentless. Loud. Obnoxious. Unstoppable. Day and night. For days on end.

  • Why didn't you buy the course?
  • Here's more bonuses (little nothings wrapped in big words).
  • Let use explain it again.
  • You're going to miss on the greatest life-changing deal of the 21rst century.
  • How about some more bonuses?
  • Only a few hours left. Don't miss out.
  • Sorry, but here's your last chance.

All these emails were signed with different names, using different layout. Each and every email -- 22 at last count -- is trying to sneak in my inbox and get me to open it. In the end, it only worked in getting me to hit however many unsubscribe links were needed to get this flood to end. At the time of this writing, I can't yet be certain that I have blocked everything, but at least I tried.

If you want people to open your emails, you can either act desperate -- like Tony Robbins and his crew -- or else be genuine and real. You can throw every trick in the book at the effort, or you can use basic psychology mixed with honesty. You can forcefully enter people's inboxes, or you can use simple strategies that nobody will hate you for. You can be Tony Robbins, or you can be yourself. In the end, you can do better than the likes of Tony Robbins, because you already are.

The Mailman

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