The book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Caldini is a revered book, and rightly so.
It’s impactful and really makes you think… especially if you are a Marketer.
One of the sections in the book talks about “Commitment” and “Consistency”.
I am paraphrasing here, but the lesson is simple.
We human beings, want to appear consistent with our public image (how people perceive us) and private image (how we perceive ourselves).
Understanding this human psychology can really transform our email marketing.
We will come back to this. But for now, let me share my observation. I have been looking at the “Welcome email series” of various brands and there is something that has had me worried. I was not quite sure what it was… until I did.
I realized that the emails in the welcome series are not very clean, concise.
We try to do too much in our emails. Especially in our welcome series.
When a subscriber enters our list, we are delighted. We are overwhelmed and excited. It’s similar to how a boy feels when a girl that he has been crushing on, finally says, “Yes, I will go out on a date with you.”
The guy is excited and attempts to impress the girl with everything he has got. He will talk about how sensitive how he is, how he is good at his work, and so on. With this approach, there is a danger of him overwhelming the girl.
Perhaps, this is not a great analogy, but I don’t think it’s too far from the truth.
When a subscriber signs up for the welcome series, many experts bombard him with information. They feel that they have a short window to make an impression, and they want to make the most of this opportunity, by throwing in everything that they have got.
I don’t think this comes out of desperation. It mainly comes out of generosity. Most experts are teachers; they have an innate desire to help others.
The problem with this strategy is that it overwhelms the subscriber. You see, the subscriber has just entered your sphere of influence. Your world is new to him. The trust level is not that high.
When the trust level is small, it is perhaps not a good idea to overwhelm the subscriber. Thus, we cannot have 5 clickable links in the first email that we sent.
The aim of your welcome email series should be simple – Make this subscriber the kind of person who opens my emails.
I am going to repeat that.
The aim of the welcome series is to build a deep relationship. It is to transform a person. It is to change him from’ just a subscriber’ to a ‘subscriber who would regularly open my emails’.
Now, let’s go back to Caldini.
According to Caldini, human beings have a deep need to be consistent. Once they make a commitment (public and private), they are more likely to honor that commitment.
So how do you earn this commitment through a welcome series?
How do you change a subscriber to someone who would open all your emails? How does he become committed to you?
The answers could be many. But an easy, short answer is – Give them a small win.
“Every successful piece of nonfiction should leave the reader with one provocative thought that he or she didn’t have before. Not two thoughts, or five—just one.”. – William Zinsser
Rather than bombarding them with 10 links to open, give them a very small actionable step that they can take, that will give them a quick win. Give them insights that they can apply and get some results immediately.
Rinse and repeat.
If you are an expert copywriter, who is looking to work with fitness coaches, rather than giving them 5 links in your email, or rather than giving them advice on revamping their overall strategy, just give them a tip, on writing better headlines.
These small actionable insights would ensure that the subscriber keeps coming back to read your emails.