In order to rise above the inbox din, every single email you send must do one (or all) of the following:
2) Make the reader consider a different perspective, or turn inward and reflect on what you’ve said. Either way, they’ll think about it looooong after they’ve signed out of Gmail for the day.
3) Make the reader laugh. Or at least smile. Readers are so much prettier when they smile! 😏
4)Deliver a story so powerful and compelling, they can’t wait for the next installment.
And in order to do all THAT, you have to be thoroughly zeroed-in on who your readers are, how you serve them, and what they care about at any given moment.
You also have to remember that YOU are not YOUR READER. You have a verrry different relationship with your inbox than they do.
Image courtesy of targetmarketing.com
(I know; it hurts my eyes, too.)
The Cult of Personality™ method has been honed over years of working with industry thought leaders, personality-driven brands, and companies with a socially responsible mission.
It’s founded on a single, uncompromising principle:
Excellent writing above all.
A-HA! But one reader’s “excellent” is another’s “watching paint dry.”
So how does one determine what to say to whom (and when, and how)? And how can we incorporate effective calls to action that still feel sincere?
The Cult of Personality™ Secret Kool-Aid Recipe
Brand personas that bust through walls
Before I even think about writing, I take the time to understand the relationship between who your customers are, what they value about your brand, and how you need to speak to them in order to connect the two.
This phase takes about two weeks to complete, and includes the following assets:
CUSTOMER INSIGHT MAP
A 3-D picture of your ideal person, including pain points, concerns & objections, daily experiences, and a few other tricks I like to do.
A clear-eyed comparison of your competitors (or whoever else is engaged with your audience) and what you offer that they don’t.
MAIN VALUE PROPOSITIONS
In which we lay out the things your customer gets from you that they can’t get anywhere else—and why they should care.
The guiding principles for all your content, including voice, personality, style guide, and the infamous Word Sh*t List (my favorite!).
Every new client starts with the full Kool Aid treatment, which I like to think of as my “research montage.”
(Me, in a darkened library. Towering stacks of books surround me. Maps, spread across the table. Scrolling through microfiche, drinking vending machine coffee, figuring! shit! out!)
After the research montage, we move into a detailed planning phase.
This will vary depending on the project; this is what it looks like for content planning and weekly nurture emails.
(PS—all this preliminary work means that my “first drafts” are like, 90% there. I rarely, if ever, have to do more than just a quick round of revisions for accuracy.)