What do we do with all this attention? We convert it, that’s what. How? By getting even more of it – you can’t get enough attention these days.
Every attention grabbing platform is slightly different though. Let’s start with email. After all, we keep being told email is dead, and yet every year it seems to grow larger.
How do we know? Statistics. Here’s my go to platform: https://www.statista.com/statistics/456500/daily-number-of-e-mails-worldwide/
And here’s another one I use for population growth: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.GROW?end=2020&start=1961&view=chart
And finally, a third one to see what’s going on today:
Put those figures together and you can see if email is gaining or losing popularity overall.
Population growth is in decline, and has been since 1988. But the actual numbers are increasing because we’re living longer (at a ratio of around 1.5:1). Estimates suggest there will be 11 billion of us by the end of the century (there are nearly 8 billion today).
So we don’t need to worry about there being enough people, or enough people using email. And if you check the email stats, that doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon either.
This is all good news. Email is free (not quite, but you know what I mean). We can use expensive tools if we want, but it’s not strictly necessary.
If you use WordPress, just plug in Mailpoet and you’re away (the free version). It’s now owned by WordPress itself, so it’s here to stay.
It will use your host’s SMPT mail servers to send your emails, which is great for one reason: if you start sending spam emails, you’re going to be in trouble.
And that means we’re forced to start thinking in terms of how we are going to HELP our audience (not spam them).
If we send out blind emails with subject lines such as: “Don’t miss out, one time only, get this now at a huge discount or miss out forever!!!!” we’re going to get our email address blocked by every known spam blocker on the planet.
Which means we’ll never get attention by sending out a bunch of emails to random people (that also means we’re not interested in buying email lists).
Instead, we research exactly who we want to work with, and when we feel like we really know their business, we approach them. Gently.
I get approached every day by random people. 99% of these I call spam (very few of them are real spam, they’re just from people who don’t know any better – perhaps they’ve bought bad copy courses, or been influenced by the wrong people, who knows).
I never reply to any of them for the simple reason it encourages them to spam more. But every now and again, 1 in a 100 turns out to be done the right way.
And by that I mean I don’t immediately bin it. Here’s an ‘in-mail’ from LinkedIn (not quite email, apologies):
“Hey Quentin, quick question.
Reaching out from San Francisco 😊
Our team built a web app that allows you to search inside any video (just like when you do ctrl+f in your text editor). So now, You can do this on code showing inside a video AND copy that code from inside a video and paste it into your text editor.
We’re onboarding new users this week on invite-only. Want in?”
This isn’t too bad in that I didn’t bin it immediately. But I didn’t reply to it either.
The start is short and snappy (that is, it took a millisecond to read). Someone is ‘reaching out’ to me – and they’re using my name.
The main para kept me reading (in that it’s interesting – to me). It made me think about video tech. Luckily, my ‘reasoning’ mind kicked in fast, and I couldn’t think of a single use case for this in my business.
But the point is, it got read and not spammed (having said that, the last line about ‘invite-only’ nearly made me throw up, so maybe I should have hit the spam button anyway).
Check through your email and pick out every email you chose to open, and ask yourself why. Then check if you read it, and then what you thought when you did.
This is a great way to understand what it takes to get attention using email.
More in part 7