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The 4S Model for Powerful Conversational Emails
👉 why it works and how to do one
I sent out an email newsletter recently that got more replies than I've had for a very long time.
So I thought "let's analyse why that was, so I can reproduce it".
The email replayed a story from David Bayles and Ted Orland's book “Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” and applied the lessons learned to creating online courses.
The first thing insight was the simplicity of the email. It just makes one point rather than trying to cram in a whole bunch of info. And it used one story to illustrate that point.
The story was an important component too.
I could have said something like "studies have shown that focusing on producing a high quantity of output leads to higher quality...". But by using a Bayles and Orland’s story about a ceramics tutor doing an experiment where he found that out, it just becomes that bit more interesting and memorable to readers.
And the fact that the story had a twist - a surprise ending - was important too. When I first heard the story I was expecting a "you get what you measure" type lesson. The fact that the lesson was different and counterintuitive made it much more interesting and worthy of a reply.
And, of course, the lesson was useful. There was a "so what" that you can apply to your own business and in particular to creating courses.
A Simple email with Surprising information told as a Story with a So What.
If that sounds familiar, it's because it's the 4S model for engaging emails I created years ago and have taught many times since.
A model which - inevitably - I haven't thought about or properly applied to my own emails for a good while. (－‸ლ)
So that email was a rather good reminder to myself that the cobbler's children really should have decent shoes. But that it doesn't happen unless you actually apply what you already know.
So two lessons from this email:
1. The 4S model really does work. Use it for your own marketing.
2. It’s worth thinking about what other useful tools, ideas and strategies you know inside out but have stopped using. Maybe it's time to revisit them.
Of course, conversational emails are not the only style of newsletter that works well. I explain the other types in this fledgeling taxonomy of email newsletters. But it is a style that’s particularly effective for people want ing to produce engaging emails that build more of a personal relationship with their subscribers quickly.