You know that sinking feeling?
That sinking feeling you get when you sit through a rubbish movie, like The Hangover Part III, having munched all your popcorn, and are left wondering why on earth you sat there groaning with disdain right through to the very end of the movie?
Or what about the feeling of wonderment when a long movie grips you spellbound – so a 178 minute movie like Avatar seems to whiz by in under an hour? (Does paraplegic Jake Sully get to have his cake and eat it too – will he get to keep the use of his legs AND stay with the beautiful blue Neytiri?)
And did you use to watch any the American adventure TV series “Lost” which aired between 2004 and 2010? Compelling wasn’t it? There’s a reason why it’s listed in the top ten telly series of all time. But didn’t it annoy the crap out of you at the time?
So there’s something pivotal to be learned from these ‘viewing’ experiences to apply in your email marketing.
But more about that in a minute!
Often Asked Question
First, let’s consider another question – because it’s one we get asked a lot in our two-on-one coaching sessions.
Loads of learner affiliate marketers ask us:
“Greg and Fiona, how do I build a better, trusting, relationship with the people on my email list?”
Now this is, unfortunately, one of those questions which doesn’t have a simple, straight forward, one word answer 🙁
It’s best answered by starting with an explanation of how we humans are wired.
That is, how we store stuff in our memories.
And how we don’t like having gaps in our memory or in our knowledge so we want them to be filled in (because we all hate not knowing what we don’t know)!
Why does this matter to you?
Because as a marketer, you want to be memorable, right?
You want the people on your email list to remember you as the go-to person for help.
Using Our Brains
Our brains hold a staggering amount of information stored in differing “filing cabinets”.
As an example, think about your childhood home – as soon as we mention it, you instantly visualize it, smell it, hear it, feel it, taste it – it has millions of pointers or hooks in your memory, stored in various filing cabinets labelled for each sense.
A friend’s phone number has about one hook – if that (especially nowadays we store numbers in our phones so we don’t have to commit them to memory).
The number of hooks in your memory for a Hollywood movie ranges somewhere in between your childhood home and your friend's phone number, depending on how crafty the screenwriters are.
So our memory banks aren’t a single filing cabinet. They’re more like Velcro – where one half is covered with thousands of tiny hooks and the other is covered with thousands of tiny loops. Press the two sides together and a large number of hooks get caught up inside all the loops, and that’s what causes your marketing and your messages to stick in your readers’ minds.
Great marketers, story-tellers, and teachers develop a knack for multiplying the number of hooks or pointers in a story, teaching, or idea.
The more hooks, pointers and knowledge gaps you use in your emails and blog posts – the more memorable they’ll be. And the more memorable you are, the more people will relate to you and grow to trust you.
Make sense so far?
So, how do you include hooks in your writing?
How To Seduce Your Email Reader
Curiosity comes from gaps in our knowledge.
To create curiosity you create open loops which keep readers itching to find out how they work out in the end. Open loops are much more compelling to keep reading (or watching/listening) than closed ones.
Just like in movies!
That’s why “Lost” was listed in the top ten telly series of all time – it kept opening loop after loop after loop – to keep you guessing – and to keep you curious.
“Lost” is a brilliant example to prove that our brains hold a staggering number of loops. The more hooks a story has, the better it will stick in our minds.
Applying Open Loops To Your Email Marketing
Begin by opening a loop in your subject line or blog post headline. Hook your reader in with curiosity by starting with an intriguing thought — but then make sure you promise to close the loop in the email or post itself. (we all know how frustrating it is to be promised something and not to receive what we were promised – remember “Lost”!)
For example: The Hollywood Secret to Seducing Your Email Reader
Just what does Hollywood have to do with email marketing, and what’s the secret?
Movies use this method when they open with a dramatic or action-packed scene, then backtrack in time to ‘paint the characters’, and eventually circle around at the end to close the loop.
Open questions also work too, particularly ones that trigger an emotion in your reader.
As does: “But more about that in a minute!” (Grrrr – hate being kept waiting!)
Do you get the picture?
When you open a loop by using intrigue or curiosity, you leave your reader wanting to know more as they have a gap in their knowledge they want to fill. You create the impetus to carry your reader through your email or blog post as they’re now hungry for the answer or the information. And, as we mentioned above, when you open loops — you need to close them and provide a payoff for your reader.
We noticed this in Episode 1 of a new series of a TV period drama “Downton Abbey” – they opened a load of loops in the characters’ lives – to keep us watching not just that episode, but the entire series.
So the next time you’re gripped in a movie or TV series, think about what ‘sucked you it’ and how you can use that same affect in your writing so you can seduce you reader into remembering you and trusting you.
Work out for yourself how screenwriters, teachers and marketers use the same techniques to build an emotional power?
We could tell you directly, BUT . . . you’ll have to wait for part two to find out 🙂
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