Whether you are young, old or somewhere in-between one thing that people of any age enjoy is a good story especially those that leave us on the edge of our seats. This is certainly true in the case of TV mysteries, but what, you might ask, does this have to do with email marketing?
Good question and we will reveal the answer at the end of this article. Only kidding…we’ll reveal it now, but make sure you read to the end to get the full story.
This is a tactic that all the very best TV shows employ to keep their audience waiting in suspense for the next episode. You must have seen those programmes where each episode ends in an exciting climax, but just as you are about to see how the hero gets out of what seems an impossible fix, the titles start to scroll. You are told to tune in next week to find out what happened and if the producers are being especially mean you get a sneak peek at next week’s episode, without them revealing how our hero escaped, if or even if they escaped at all.
This is a classic technique, and the great news is it is one which you can use to great effect when crafting emails to your subscribers. It is based on a psychological phenomenon that exists whereby people do not like having situations or scenarios which are not resolved. in other words, when we have a puzzle or a story which has no conclusion or finish, we strive to find one and are impatient to do so. This is why TV producers end episodes with cliffhangers because their audience will be so desperate to see what happens next, they are certain to tune in the following week.
These scenarios which have no conclusion are known as open loops and they can be used both within the body of your emails and especially at the end. You could relate a story of how one of your customers used your product to solve a problem, but instead of telling the whole story in one email, you do it over two or three. This has your subscribers looking forward to the next email you send so they can find out the end of the story.
You can also seed in little phrases throughout an email that ensures your subscribers read the entire email. Although we were playing with you a bit earlier in the article when we said read to the end to discover the answer, this is in principle how you do it. You start talking about a subject, but leave your point incomplete, and mention that you will come back to it later. This opens up another loop that your reader wants to close so they feel obliged to read on.
At the end of your email you must give your readers a reminder to ‘tune in next week’ as it were, so that they can read the next piece of the story. Your PS is a great place to reinforce this with a further reminder. It may not get you to the level of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, but using open loops will keep your email subscribers coming back for more.