How to reach out to peeps & not be Spammy Sammy

Before I even get into the content of this post I want to give homage to the Zurb Soapbox which featured Joe Gebbia, co-founder of AirBNB, with his vital, timely and relevant message to all techies: Do Things That Don’t Scale.

Now on to our show. One of my peeps has armadillo fever. What’s that? So glad you asked, otherwise, that would be a really tough segue…! Armadillo fever is a made-up medical condition for peeps who Never. Show. Any. Emotion. Ever. They could be next to death and not only do they not show any signs or symptoms, you’ll never hear a peep (double entendre intended) about it.

The on-line equivalent of armadillo fever is pretty much most business emails. So as a way of lighting a candle (this week, think Tenebræ) rather than cursing the darkness, here is an actual, satisfactual prospecting email that we’re going to walk-through step by step, to explain why doing things that don’t scale can be so much more effective than listening too much to your bean counters and your techies.

TO: Their Name <them@theirdomain.com>

As a minor screed, do I need to point out for the thousandth time, that if something is free-to-signup, you are most likely the product being sold? I know that you dear reader would never fall for such an obvious ploy, yet you probably know people who would. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

Do your business peers truly fail to understand that Google does not provide all these services out of the goodness of their non-existent corporate heart? Yes or Yes? That’s actually not a swipe at Google. No corporation has a heart, they are a paper construct to ease business dealings across multiple jurisdictions. So the next time you hear some wild & wooly mainstream journalist or other rapscallion (and in homage to Mark Twain: but I repeat myself), carry on about heartless corporations, understand that they’re not voicing an opinion, they’re merely giving witness to an inability to fact-check basic definitions. Some of today’s most vocal media figures have minds like concrete: all mixed up and permanently set.

Now corporations do have boards of directors and last time I checked, having a pulse was a key criterion for board membership. Q.E.D. This board member has a heart! But do they have character?

Why did we go down what appears to be a rabbit trail? Because dear reader, all that glitters is not gold and in order to make a difference we must first be able to define a difference in currency. Most of the currencies of the world are not money. Most of them involve means of exchanging love, time, food, clothing, shelter, prestige, pride and so forth.

Achieving Business Intimacy

On with our marketing lesson on how to construct effective, human-sounding emails, so that peeps who know you smile and say “I can hear you talking when I read this.” That is a significant milestone on the path to achieving business intimacy.

Subject: WSJ article confirms tips in your ‘Be Human’ post

Dear Their Name,

Reference Person recommended your article, which I read with great interest. It echoes my work in our Language Leverage™ series on how each one of us can claim as our own, some of the attention-focusing power that singer Adele displays through the gift of her voice. A Wall St. Journal article covers the way that the brain processes “grace notes” or in music geekspeak, appogiatura:

http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdictionary/texta/Appoggiatura.html

As you’ll read in the article below (link tested Sun eve 24Mar13), the brain is genuinely transfixed by these shifts and it seems to just rivet people to the speaker | performer.

Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577213010291701378.html

Why does Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ make everyone cry? Science has found the formula

Let’s find a window of opportunity in our schedules for a Skype call to discuss the possibilities of collaborating on these topics so vital to the business community at large.

Kind regards,

Matt

Leaders are Readers

I am continually amazed at the well-meaning, often financially successful people who say, “People don’t read.” when what they mean is “my attention span is so frittered from surrounding myself with senseless trivia, that my ability to focus is limited to one superficial topic expressed in no more than five lines of text.”

It’s true that because leaders are readers they are among the most demanding of what passes their filter of “worth being consumed” yet they are the most avid information consumers outside of infants who are literally experiencing a new world day by day.

Subject: WSJ article confirms tips in your ‘Be Human’ post

Here we have tied a major news authority to something Their Name has just written. Timely, relevant and appeals to their self-interest.

Dear Their Name,

Reference Person recommended your article, which I read with great interest.

It’s vital to know with whom you are speaking! MailChimp, Constant Contact & others deny positional emails for this same reason. If your reader opened your email based on the address or on the headline, great! Give them a reason to keep reading in the first few words. Drive home your conclusion in successive steps, with “why it’s worth reading” in every paragraph.

This used to be one of my biggest mistakes and it’s something I have to work on continually: because of people’s frazzled attention these days, few have the discipline or mental focus to follow a college professor’s narrative style exposition of facts leading to an exquisitely developed conclusion.

(It’s not lack of time. They have all the time there is and never will have more than they have right at this instant.)

Practically speaking, when most people say they are busy, what they mean is “I hopelessly mismanage my time” yet a vital few mean, “I don’t yet know how to read fast enough to manage the genuinely worthy information presented to me, in the time allotted to deliver decisions.” For them there is Photoreading, Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Dynamics and the like.

Your pitch

It echoes my work in our Language Leverage™ series on how each one of us can claim as our own, some of the attention-focusing power that singer Adele displays through the gift of her voice.

Make your pitch obvious and don’t deny it’s a pitch. You are writing to propose something of mutual benefit, yes? In pitching, make it lyrical, make it more than just a mere recitation of facts. That is what makes it sound human! Tying in those discrete details that show you know and respect your reader is what drives marketing savants like Williams-Sonoma to gather literally hundreds of demographic variables about their customers.

When you have developed a distinctive persona, intimacy can scale, to a degree. When others see themselves in our work, or align their goals with ours, that is proof positive that we have created a connection.

It’s the goal for which most marketing organizations shoot and miss, because they fail to “Think Lightly of Yourself and Deeply of the World.” (from Miyamoto Musashi’s Dokkōdō.

As you’ll read in the article below (link tested Sun eve 24Mar13), the brain is genuinely transfixed by these shifts and it seems to just rivet people to the speaker | performer.

Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577213010291701378.html

Why does Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ make everyone cry? Science has found the formula

Give ’em the real deal: include the link rather than make them sign up to get the link. Making peeps sign-up to get the “bait” just encourages them to fill your forms with fake data because you haven’t built trust before asking. The quickest way to lose my trust is to ask, ask, ask, before giving.

Let’s find a window of opportunity in our schedules for a Skype call to discuss the possibilities of collaborating on these topics so vital to the business community at large.

Call to action

Make it clear what outcome you propose. If they agree, they’ll set up the time, make the call, etc. Rocket science is simple compared with understanding and managing human relationships, yet far too many exploit people and leverage tools, rather than the just purpose for which each was created. Tools are designed to be exploited, consumed and treated as objects of commerce. Recognizing that Musashi was a roaming warrior, without a family to raise, I set aside the direct application of several of his precepts. People are designed and created to be loved and valued for their own sake.

If that message resonates through your communications, others will join you to help spread the wisdom it contains far and wide.

Habemus Papam Franciscum!

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