I actually wish that email was not an advertising medium.
Now the fact that it is works out excellent for me, but in the long run, it would be so much more efficient as a communication form if it was explicitly for personal messages.
Marketers take advantage.
I feel like I’m using email like a light to draw in swarms of flying insects. Just because I can find so many people from anywhere, who I can contact simply because I have their address (legally, let’s hope). Now of course they signed up for it. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best system out there for communicating.
If email wasn’t such a quick way of sending messages to people anywhere on the planet, I think that it would actually motivate many marketers to perform a little better. Because you can still make money with it without the greatest pitch. Because in many cases even a small response rate can pay for itself and more.
It’s easy to think that as long as my message offers something desirable or fascinating to enough people than it’s inevitable that some of them are going to be drawn in. So less tiresome wordsmithery and research is needed to still make bucks. As long as you know your base offer is irresistable. And maybe it is irresistible, but without really eking out a good blueprint for your email sequences, you can’t expect anyone to really take your word, because they’ve seen so many “irresistibly” offers that went wrong. Many of them have experienced the regret of falling for an offer that truly would be irresistible had it been clear and true
Email was invented to make our lives easier. And let’s apply the rule here that every invention is also an experiment. Anything done for the first time is an experiment. I like having email. It’s a great way to send personal messages. But I want to look into some secondary consequences of email’s existence. Because it has it’s own forms of communication. Interacting with someone on email is different from interacting with them by instant messaging, Facebook, or mailing directly. It has it’s own distinctive tone, because it’s generally used to communicate different kinds of information. It’s meant as a convenient way to send someone relevant information. Whereas instant messaging has a more personal jist. And Facebook is most often used for having fun. These are all just fluid tendencies. But they affect how we relate.
Even when you’re not emailing to a list, but to a friend, you are still competing in their inbox. Because the inbox turns on our “get things done” instinct. Even if they read your email the whole way through, they’re mind is probably still complaining about all the other emails they have to read. They’re juggling your message with all the other stuff in their head. So, no matter what you write to them, or how personal it sounds, they’re mind only has so much space at the time, to deal with what you’re telling them. Whereas if you sent them the exact same message in the mail, It would consume their attention, because mail is more scarce and thus more valued. When you sit down to open a letter your attention is heavily sunk into it.
So obviously email is limited.
I need an analogy for email. Let’s go with fishing. Using email is fishing. Weather your trying to generate mass response, or if it’s a friend you’re trying to catch. Either one has its own fishing secrets. Personal message to friend: you are trying to show trust and love, and intrigue them. So the bait you are using is your own personality, and character. Mass response: you’re trying to make your audience connect to a stranger-yourself. You need to make a message that doesn’t act like it’s from a stranger. Even though you personally will still always be a stranger to them. Yes you form a type of relationship, but they only know what you decide to tell them about yourself. So the fish you’re trying to catch need to stay in your net so you can keep emailing them, but they only stay as long as they want to. They can jump out at any time. So really you want your audience to be the fishers, as in fishing for value in your emails.
You want them to view your emails like a pond, that they can always cast a line into and hook something within seconds. They may not know what they’re going to hook, but they know that it’s a pond that’s stirring with fish, at any given time. It’s not a maybe, or a good chance. It’s every time. Every email has something they can get out of it.