Are you using this powerful but weird-sounding technique?
👉 it's irresistible
One of my favourite techniques for getting and deepening attention is something I discovered back in 2015 when I sent out an email entitled "My WORST sales meeting ever".
Open rates on that email were sky-high. Way higher than I expected.
A little while later I tried something similar with "My worst performing email EVER".
Same result: sky-high open rates.
It turns out I'd stumbled across a powerful way to create intrigue and curiosity: schadenfreude.
Actually, it's perhaps not schadenfreude exactly, but it's related.
As you probably know, schadenfreude is an 18th-century German word meaning to take pleasure in the misfortune of others.
In this case, I don't think people were exactly taking pleasure in my misfortunes. But they were absolutely interested in them. Fascinated even.
If you think about it, the vast majority of storylines in popular soaps and novels are about people's misfortunes rather than their successes.
Even when you know the hero is going to triumph in the end, they have to be in peril first for it to be exciting. Nobody's interested in seeing someone stroll through success after success. It has to be a struggle.
I guess that's why Batman has always been more popular than Superman. It's more of a struggle for him.
In the business world, we have a tendency to want to cover up our failures and struggles and just crow about our successes instead. We think it gives us credibility.
But mainly, I think, it just makes us uninteresting.
And a bit show-offy.
People are far more likely to open an email where you reveal what happened in your worst sales meeting ever than your best sales meeting ever.
Using schadenfreude like this to harness the inherent curiosity of your audience is incredibly powerful.
But...you have to be very careful how you use it as it can backfire too.
I'll explain more on that soon.
PS - a special Stan Lee-esque "no prize" if you spotted the attention-getting technique I used in the subject line today :)
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