What Game of Thrones Can Teach You About Email Marketing
You’ve built up an email list, and you’ve written out (or at least considered writing out) an email autoresponder sequence.
Now, you just have to sit back and watch the conversions roll in, right?
Well, not so fast…
You quickly realize that you’re not getting the type of open rates you hoped for, and your click through rates are even less…
Something is wrong, but you can’t figure it out.
The problem may be that your emails aren’t compelling enough. But there’s a simple trick that can have a big impact on your open rates and conversions…
But most people either get this trick wrong, or they don’t use it to it’s full potential.
The trick is creating a cliffhanger through an open loop.
You might remember cliffhangers from back in grade school, when the author would write something dramatic, and have you on the edge of your seat, only to end the chapter right there.
And if you’ve ever watch Game of Thrones, you’re certainly familiar with this cliffhanger style as well – it’s how they end every episode.
Then, all week, Game of Thrones is on the back of your mind…
Unless there’s some sort of emergency, you’re practically guaranteed to tune into the next week’s episode. You need to find out what happens so you can close the open loop in your mind.
It’s powerful stuff, right?
Now, for the awesome part:
You can do the same thing with your emails.
Most email sequences look something like this…
- Email #1: Intro and overview
- Email #2: Topic/Idea 1
- Email 3: Topic/Idea 2
- Email 4: Topic/Idea 3
- Email 5: Topic/Idea 4
- Email 6: Offer email
- Email 7: Offer email
(Note: this is just a general overview and there are many other ways to structure an email sequence, too.)
Ideally, your topics and ideas are structured in a way that poses a clear challenge, and positions your offer as the solution.
Here’s where most people get it wrong though: Either they don’t make any coherent connection between one email and the next, or they make a weak connection.
For example, if an email is about “3 ways to get more Facebook fans,” and the next email in the sequence is about “how to convert Facebook fans into subscribers,” they might end the first email with:
“These tips will help you get more Facebook fans. In the next email, we’ll tell you about how to turn those Facebook fans into subscribers.”
Yes, that’s a connection, but if you’re the prospect, you’re not that excited about the next email. Sure, you’d like to know how to turn Facebook fans into subscribers, but it doesn’t seem like essential information.
In other words, you’re not hooked.
So, what can you do instead?
Well, there’s one big piece that is missing from that last example. And this “piece” can drastically improve your open rates and email engagement… to the point where prospects will even email you asking you to resend an email in your sequence, because they’re scared they missed it.
And I’ll tell you all about this secret “piece” in the next blog post.
Okay okay just kidding.
But in a second, you’ll see what I did there.
You see, you don’t want to just give a simple glimpse into your next email. You want people to be anxiously waiting for it to arrive in their inbox.
How do you do that?
You briefly start to expand on the next topic, ask the right question, and then cut it abruptly short.
In a famous scene of Game of Thrones, one of the royal families is surprisingly murdered, and it happens in the last minutes of the episode. Then, before you get to see the reaction and what happens next, the episode ends abruptly.
“AHHH,” you think to yourself. You absolutely NEED to know what happens next…but you’ll have to wait to the next episode.
Let’s go back to the Facebook email sequence example and see how you can put this concept into action…
“By using these strategies, you can immediately start boosting your Facebook audience and get more engagement.”
[Briefly start new topic] “Now, if you can convert those Facebook fans into email subscribers, you can grow an even more dedicated audience and drastically increase sales.”
[Create fear] “But here’s the thing: Most businesses waste tons of money trying to convert Facebook fans into email subscribers with Facebook ads.
That’s because they’re missing these crucial three steps.”
[Ask the right question] “What are these three crucial steps?
[Cut it short abruptly] “I’ll tell you about them in the next email. Stay tuned…”
BOOM. Now you have them hooked – they want to convert fans into email subscribers, but they don’t want to waste money on Facebook ads like everybody else.
The “three steps” you promised hook them in and get them anxious and excited for the next email.
To recap, here’s how you create an awesome Game of Thrones style cliffhanger to increase excitement for the next email:
1. Briefly start a new topic
2. Create fear (This one is optional, but do it if you can)
3. Ask the right question
4. Cut it short abruptly