8 (More) Marketing Lessons Learned from My Spam Folder

Email spam – while annoying, unethical, sexually graphic and a colossal time waster – IS quite entertaining.

It’s also a consummate example of smart marketing.

Recently, I spent some time perusing the 1,385 messages in my spam folder.

Not surprisingly, patterns began to arise.

I extracted a collection of subject lines and headers that either grabbed my attention, made me laugh, or caused my body to react in ANY kind of way. After all, emotion is the final arbiter of truth. And your body never lies to you.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: As you read each of these subject lines, set aside your distaste for spam. Forget about the fact that you (probably) don’t need Viagra.

Turn on your marketing brain to learn eight more powerful lessons (read the first eight lessons here!) from the masters of capturing attention and piquing curiosity:

1. Help her blast off with your meat rocket. Out of the sixteen examples on this list, “meat rocket” is one of my faves. Sure, it’s raunchy. And by no means should your marketing reflect such adolescent verbiage.

But you HAVE appreciate the sheer poetry of this headline. Not to mention, it’s hilarious. Plus, what guy wouldn’t want his girlfriend to experience the sexual ecstasy of Apollo 13? Well done.

SPAM SECRET: People want sex. How are you helping them get more of it?

2. I haven’t heard from you. Ah ha! More cognitive dissonance for people who place high value on approachability. Now, admittedly, this headline has tricked me several times over the years. I’ve even clicked through once or twice, only to find myself at a website that gave my computer a virus. Dang it.

I blame my inability to experience myself as being an unapproachable, distant jerk. The other half is, I’ve actually received REAL emails from REAL people using this very headline. It hurts.

SPAM SECRET: People don’t like being perceived negatively. How can you tempt them?

3. Maintain your weight – amputate. Holy Slim Fast. This is, by far, the most absurd, disgusting and embarrassing thing I’ve ever read in an email. Which is exactly why it caught my attention. Now, I’m not suggesting you start telling customers that self-mutilation is the secret to success.

Your challenge is to think about what this headline says about our culture. Yes, it’s ludicrous. Yes, it’s disgusting. But would it (honestly) surprise you if you turned on CNN and the top headline was, “Man amputates leg to lose weight”? Wouldn’t shock me. People will do ANYTHING to lose weight, especially if the strategy requires no work other than locating the chainsaw. Eew.

SPAM SECRET: People want to be thin. Are you helping them get there quicker?

4. That with stirs of feet and wings. This headline sounded so poetic, I just had to google it. Sure enough, that line comes from a poem called The Kitten and Falling Leaves by William Wadsworth.

Too bad the email tried to subscribe me to an online gambling site. Jerks.

SPAM SECRET: Wadsworth was a genius. Are your words that strong?

5. Make her shout like an alarm. Excellent use of simile. Paints a vivid picture. Plus, this headline puts the company’s product in the customer’s future by describing the benefit of the benefit of the benefit. Well done. The only way to improve this headline would be to make a comment about waking up the neighbors. That’s the ultimate.

(Oh, don’t act like you’ve never been on SOME end of that situation before).

I don’t care if you’re male or female, straight or gay, passion is passion. And there’s nothing more gratifying than when the stunningly beautiful Brazilian model that lives in the unit below you knocks on the door one day to shyly tell you that you and your girlfriend should try to, ahem, “keep it down” at night. Hypothetically.

SPAM SECRET: People want sex. Did you forget that already?

6. Your friend, Peter, thought that you would be interested in this album. First, the headline uses a common name. Most people probably have a friend named Peter. Second, the headline implies that Peter took the time out of his busy schedule to recommend a record JUST for you.

Wow. Good ol’ Pete. What a guy. And you wouldn’t want his precious time to go to waste, now would you? Finally, let’s say you delete the email. Then, three weeks later, you run into Peter and his wife at McDonald’s.

“Hey Scott! Long time no see! Say, how’s that album I recommended to you a few weeks back? Did you listen to it? Wasn’t it great? That was the debut LP of my wife’s new band, Death by Marshmallow. They’re huge in Bulgaria!”

Woops. Sorry Pete. Tell your wife I’ll come out to their next show. Just let me go find my passport…

SPAM SECRET: People like recommendations. Did you know that’s how Amazon makes billions?

7. Wrong. Unbelievably powerful. ONE word and I was hooked. Wrong. And the cool part is, this headline appeals to various personalities. First, if you’re the type of person who always has to be right, your ego will be triggered immediately. And you’ll go to the end of the earth to prove that you were NOT wrong.

Or, if you’re like me and enjoy being wrong to stimulate learning opportunities, this headline would entice you to open the letter immediately and excitedly discover where you screwed up.

SPAM SECRET: People cherish their egos. Are you speaking to them?

8. You didn’t even think about it. I saved this one for last. Personally, I think it’s the most powerful, most effective and most emotional headline on the list. First, by using the past tense, it forces the reader to immediately begin traveling back in time, questioning her own reflection abilities. Wait a minute – was there something I should have been contemplating that I forgot? Oh no!

Second, the word “even.” As if something as simple and effortless like “thinking” was the minimum requirement, and you couldn’t even satisfy that. Jeez. Way to be an insensitive jerk.

Lastly, I admit that I’ve been guilty of this mistake before. Hey, I’m not perfect. I get lazy. And I’ve had people (whom I LOVE) confront me in person, via email or over the phone and say, “You didn’t even think about.”

It hurts. Badly. Cuts deep down the core. So, while effective marketing (shouldn’t have to) resort to making customers feel like wretched human beings, your challenge is to pinpoint the self-interest of the people you serve, and speak to it.

SPAM SECRET: People don’t like being jerks. Are you calling them out?

Now that you’ve been schooled in the ways of spam, here’s your final exercise.

1. Take five minutes to peruse your spam folder. You might want to do this at home so your boss doesn’t look over your shoulder and wonder why you’re reading emails about “meat rockets.”

2. Record your reactions. Any time a subject headline makes you smile, laugh, roll your eyes or become nauseated, write it down.

3. Extract the lessons. Look for commonalities among all the headlines. Democratize and genericize the centrals marketing themes. Then, write out a list of “spam secrets.”

4. Apply. Execute those strategies in your own marketing practices in an ethical, professional manner.

REMEMBER: This is the best way to help her blast off with your meat rocket.

Hee hee. Meat rocket.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you as savvy as the spammers?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “88 Questions Every Marketer Should Ask,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

Are You Guilty of Succumbing to These Six Seductive Disguises of Success?

1. Ambiguity is opportunity in disguise. Love it. Welcome it. Embrace it. And know that NOT knowing paves the way for glorious and unimpeded progress. How do you act when faced with ambiguous situations?

2. Art is infection in disguise. That’s your job as an artist – to infect people. To approach your canvas as a syringe, pumping all who see it full of 300 cc’s of your truth. Interestingly, the word inficere literally means, “to put in.” What does your work put into people?

3. Failure is education in disguise. Getting a big fat F is underrated. We all need to fail. Failure is the great fertilizer of growth. Failing leads to flourishing. As long as you intelligently reflect upon the lessons learned and don’t make the same mistake twice. Therefore: If it’s been more than 48 hours since your last failure at something, you’re not risking enough. How have you made losing a regular part of your experience?

4. Selling is solving in disguise. Before your next sales call, ask yourself three crucial questions: What problem do you solve? What are you the answer to? What were you designed to cure? You’ll never treat customers the same again. What unique aspects of your personality could you enlist to help you sell (solve) better?

5. Simplicity is sophistication in disguise. Ever “tried” to make something simpler? It’s hard as hell. Simplicity requires more energy, more brainpower and more courage that complexity. So, here’s my suggestion: Stop being fancy. Stop complicating your message. Stop creating riddles that take too long for impatient readers to solve. That’s a good start. Are you brave enough to be simple?

6. Success is mediocrity in disguise. Sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes. Just watch American Idol. Or read any New York Times bestseller. You don’t even have to be that good. Not anymore. That’s why it pains me to write the following sentence: Even though the cream rises to the top, mediocrity often hitches a ride. Now, personally, I couldn’t do it. Average isn’t acceptable in my world. On the other hand, if you’re at peace with mediocrity, more power to you. In fact, I admire you. Sometimes insisting on awesomeness is a huge pain in the ass. Is average enough for you?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are you being seduced by?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “22 Questions to Sidestep Entrepreneurial Atrophy,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

How to be a Harder Act to Follow than a Playboy Fashion Show at Folsom State Prison

PICTURE THIS: You just watched somebody give a speech.

Or present an idea. Or share a story. Or tell a joke. Or voice their opinion.

And it was so good, so interesting, so engaging and so entertaining, that your immediate response was to whisper to the guy sitting next to you, “Man, I’d hate to have to follow THAT…”

Have you ever wondered HOW people do that?
How they command the energy of the room with grace and gusto?

Me too. Today we’re going to talk about how to be a hard act to follow:

1. Be a consummate provocateur. Your job isn’t to educate or entertain people – it’s to disturb them. The word “emotion” derives from the Latin emotere, which means, “to disturb.” So, it’s not bad, it’s not good – it’s just a disturbance. A breaking of patterns. A shaking up of things. Making your words piercing and disquieting.

So much so that people squirm in their seats. Sure, it might be uncomfortable for a minute, but that’s part of the adventure. The reality is, some people NEED to have a little disturbance “breathed into them.” Focus on evoking emotion instead of creating sensation, and you will win. How provocative are your words?

2. Don’t “use humor” – just be funny. It’s not a tool or a thing or a trick or a technique or shtick. It’s a way and a style. You don’t use humor like you use hair gel. Humor is something you embody. You don’t “do” humor – you ARE humor.

That’s why people laugh. Your inherent funniness activates, animates and aggregates the humorous part of their being. And if you don’t think you’re funny, you’re wrong. Everybody is funny. Don’t fall victim to that trap of laziness. You don’t need ventriloquize other people’s humor and pawn it off as your own original material.

As I learned in the book Throwing the Elephant, “You don’t have to be particularly funny. The attempt to provide amusement is more important that the quality or validity of the amusement itself.” Are you trying to use humor or allowing your natural funniness to shine?

3. Don’t let them catch you acting. Oscar-winning actor Michael Cane once said: “The art is hiding the art.” Therefore: It’s not about manipulating people. Or fooling them. Or hiding something. Or misrepresenting the facts. It’s about discovering your voice. Your thing. Your sound. Your domain. Your territory. Your signature style. Your unique delivery of creative material.

And if you want to be a hard act to follow, your goal is to speak in a manner that’s so natural, so conversational and so unique to you that people don’t even know you’re doing it. You might try a few of the exercises in this module called How to Brand Your Language. Remember: It’s method acting, and the character you’re playing is yourself. When will the Academy award your performance?

4. Don’t prove yourself; express yourself. Proving is striving for approval; expressing is allowing for refusal. Proving is proclaiming your superiority; expressing is embodying your fabulousness. Proving is demanding your rights; expressing is deploying your gifts.

Proving is talking smack; expressing is doing acts. Proving is playing to the crowd; expressing playing for the sake of playing. Ultimately, the big difference between the two is that proving is DOING and expressing is BEING. Period. Which one do you practice?

5. Give your audience something useful. Not recycled wisdom. Not a steady stream of self-glorifying garbage. And not a collection of quotations and words of wisdom from old dead white guys. Speak with MCI, or, Meaningful Concrete Immediacy. First, speak to self-interest. Ask yourself: Whom this audience needs to look good for? Ask yourself: What are these people’s success seeds? Ask yourself: What is the key to these people’s hearts?

Second, be concise. Get to the point quicker. Learn to speak in soundbites. Human attention span resets after six seconds. And finally, and be actionable. Show people HOW. Deliver ideas that can be put to use the minute you’re finished talking. Are you all keepers and no fluff?

6. Fire goes a long way. Most people spend all their time, money and effort memorizing the message when they should be mastering the medium. Look. I don’t care if you’re discussing colon hydrotherapy best practices. If you speak with enthusiasm, passion, articulation, wisdom – in other words, FIRE – and people will listen. Guaranteed.

They’ll be so engaged that they’ll forget they’re even listening to you. All because you gave your audience permission to be taken over by your performance. Remember: The medium IS the message. How well do you embody energetic availability?

7. Help people get lost. July 19, 2009. Phoenix. It was a keynote speech that changed my life. Scott Halford, author of Be a Shortcut, told an audience of 1,300 professional speakers, “I don’t use GPS because I can’t imagine living in a world where you can’t get lost.”

Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to send people on mental journeys. Drop some fertilizer on the audience and let them challenge and inspire themselves. They’ll get lost in the best way possible. They’ll trudge down the trail for themselves. And when they come back, caked in sweat and dirt, they’ll be glad they don’t have to follow your act. Are you willing to rip up the map?

8. Hit the ground running. Whether you’re telling a story, giving a speech or conducting a meeting, be mindful of the VERY FIRST sentence out of your mouth.. Take George Carlin, for example. He became well known for delivering opening lines that received standing ovations. My personal favorite was, “I’d like to begin tonight by saying, ‘Screw Lance Armstrong!’ Aren’t you tired of being told who your heroes are?”

Lesson learned: Don’t waste people’s time. Leave out the parts people skip. Just go. Are your first words unexpected and interesting enough to make people look up from their Crackberries?

REMEMBER: It’s hard to be a hard act to follow.

I challenge you to plug yourself, your meetings, your stories, your pitches and your presentations into these eight equations.

In conclusion, I’m reminded of the wise words of the great philosopher, Mitch Hedberg, who once said, “I’m a hard act to follow because when I’m done, I take the microphone with me.”

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you unfollowable?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the ebook called, “234 Things I’ve Learned about Writing, Delivering and Marketing Speeches,” send an email to me, and you win the ebook for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

6 Ways to Remember Who the Heck You Are

Today is day 3,367 of wearing a nametag 24-7.

That’s going on ten years, just in case you were doing the math.

Anyway, while drinking tea at Starbucks yesterday afternoon when I should have been working, something occurred to me.

One of the most common reactions to my nametag is, and has always been, the following joke:

“Hey Scott, do you wear that nametag to remember who you are?”

I know. Everyone’s a comedian, right?

And the best part is, everybody thinks that’s, like, the funniest joke on the planet.

Now, admittedly, that is kind of funny. It still makes me chuckle, even after ten years.

But what’s fascinating is that it wasn’t until recently – 3,367 days later – that I finally realized the poignancy of that comment.

“Hey Scott, do you wear that nametag to remember who you are?”

Well, YEAH.

In fact, now that I think about it, that’s exactly why I wear a nametag every day.

Because sometimes it’s easy to forget who you are.

Sometimes you get SO wrapped in:

Who you think you are…
Who other people think you are…
Who other people want you to be…
Who you want other people to think you are….

…That you overlook your own truth.

This is not good for business. This is not good for anything.

What I’d like to share today is a series of practices to help you remember who you are.

The cool part is, you don’t need a nametag.

Only your willingness to get very honest with yourself paired with the knowledge that taking this step toward your truth will ultimately make your – and the lives of the people you touch and service – better.

1. Never miss your daily appointment with yourself. I attribute 83% of my overall life success to the following practice: Since the day I graduated college, I discipline myself to spend thirty to forty-fives minutes a day … just on me.

No matter how busy I get. No matter how tired I am. No matter whom I’m traveling with. Never miss it. My daily appointment combines breathing exercises, self-hypnosis/guided imagery, goal setting, journaling, affirmations and other personal development components.

It’s a ritual revisitation of my values, personal constitution, theory of the universe and belief system. Your challenge is to design a practice that suits your preferences, passions and schedule.

Remember: Don’t use your situation as an excuse to NOT do it. Doesn’t matter how you do it – only THAT you do it. When was the last time you took time, every day, just for you?

2. Act expressively, not instrumentally. On of my favorite writers, Parker Palmer, defines the distinction between these two modalities in his book The Active Life:

“Acting instrumentally means taking action as a means to an end or to achieve an outside goal. This diminishes your capacity to take the risks that yield growth. Acting expressively means taking action to express a conviction or inner truth. This produces outcomes that are true to the field of action.”

Your mission is to allow expression to flow unhindered and unencumbered. In whatever capacities work best for you. For example, I constantly ask myself, “What did you write today?” as helpful self-reminder. Do you have the discipline to act with unrelenting single-mindedness?

3. Remember who you AREN’T. Deciding what you want by the process of elimination is less threatening and intimidating. I call this “Defining the Whitespace.” In the same way that an illustrator examines the area around his drawing, your mission is to explore your boundaries. Where you end.

The red line that, if crossed, means that you are no longer you. Ultimately, by becoming aware of all the places in your life in which you’re NOT present – and by becoming aware of how you inhibit and resist your natural state – you’ll come into greater truth about your identity. Who (aren’t) you?

4. Rely on your intuitive faculties. Sometimes remembering who you are means opening yourself to bring forth inner guidance that will help you understand yourself with greater clarity. This is easier said than done, of course. And in my experience, the best practice for doing so is to put yourself in situations that demand total presence.

Personally, I use yoga, writing, meditation and guitar playing. Find what works for you. The point is: Total presence allows you to stop and listen to the voice of your true self. Even if you don’t like what it has to say. You listen anyway.

After all, listening is a form loving. And as George Washington Carver once said, “There is nothing that will not reveal its secrets if you love it enough.” Who murdered your intuition?

5. Travel back in time. Kids rarely forget who they are because they don’t have a “backstage” yet. Somewhere around adolescence, however, most people develop two separate selves: Their onstage performance (based on what their ego thinks they should be) and their backstage reality (based on what their core already IS and has always been).

In order to be the person on the outside that you are on the inside, think back to when you were a kid. Ask yourself:

*What have you (historically) done when you noticed stress in your life?
*What did you used to do for hours with absolutely concentration and enthusiasm that your mom had to drag you away from to come to dinner?

Assemble a preponderance of data. You’ll remind yourself who you are in no time at all. Where is your territory?

6. Stick yourself out there. George Carlin once said, “You’ve got to get up in front of people every day of your life or you’ll never learn who you are.” Also, as Sidney Jourard explained in The Transparent Self:

“No man can come to know himself except as a outcome of disclosing himself to another person. When a person has been able to disclose himself utterly to another person, he learns how to increase his contact with his real self, and he may then be better able to direct his destiny on the basis of knowledge.”

So, what you are shows up in everything you do. Your mission is to look for it AND be proud of it when you find it. Like Jeff Buckley sang in Mojo Pin, “Be not ashamed of what you are.” When you stick yourself out there, do you spy on yourself as you do so?

REMEMBER: It’s easy to forget who you are.

Apply these ideas into your world and start remembering today!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What processes will you use to return to your truth?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “24 Ways to Out GROW Your Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

10 Unconventional Insights Your Dumbass Boss Desperately Needs to Read

1. Do as I say AND as I do. Life your life of zero distinction between the two. Where the message you’re preaching is the dominant reality of your life. Where your footsteps are in line with your mouthsteps. And where your onstage performance is congruent with your backstage reality. In what areas of your life are you forgetting to partner with integrity?

2. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, but make sure that’s not the ONLY step you take. Otherwise it’s not a journey – it’s a game of hopscotch. The world doesn’t need another one-stepper. We need people who step, step daily and step firmly. Are you one of those people?

3. Don’t play it by ear – play it by BODY. Through the filter of your ego, your ears might betray you. But your body will never lie to. It is the final arbiter of truth. What’s more, if your body is your temple – and a temple is a house of God – doesn’t that mean listening to your body is listening to God? Just a thought. Are you listening where you need to be feeling?

4. Don’t march to the beat of a different drummer – BE the drum. Your music. Your tempo. Your rhythm. Your instrument. Your life. Accept nothing less. Be not cajoled into conformity. Be not conformed to some external template. Be not limited by the rules of a game you don’t even need to play. And be not oppressed by those who try to silence your individuality. How loud are you willing to let your Truth sing?

5. Fake it till you make it, but be sure you eventually get around to making it. Otherwise you’re still a faker. An amateur. A minor leaguer. A greenhorn. A wannabe. A never-GONNA-be. And that’s the problem: Some people spend so much time and money and energy faking it that they have no time left to (actually) make it. Are you (actually) successful, or just successful at looking like you’re successful?

6. If your hand sucks, don’t resign to playing the cards you’re dealt. Be bold: Fold. Get up and go play another game. Quitting is winning in disguise. Quitting is the constant companion of winners. Especially if you do so at the right time. Are you being fair to yourself by continuing this relationship?

7. Off the top of your head usually means from the bottom of your heart. First thoughts, best thoughts. Don’t edit yourself. Slice open a vein and bleed your truth all over the page. And if you find yourself saying, “Oh, but I couldn’t publish THAT!” then that’s exactly why you do it. What do you risk in presenting this material?

8. EVERY side is the bright side. Silver linings are for pessimists. Train yourself to treat every experience with deep democracy. Maintain an attitude of is quoque mos vultus mihi, which means, “This too will shape me.” Remember: Whatever you’re going through, the whole damn thing is shiny and brighter than you could ever imagine. What are you converting your problems into?

9. The early bird doesn’t get the worm – she gets the IDEAS. That’s why getting up early is critical to creativity: It’s quiet, it’s dark and most of the world is still asleep. That way, you have nothing to listen to but yourself. And it’s amazing what you hear. What time did you get up today?

10. You’re only as good as your last delivery. Disagree. You’re only as good as your ability to respond quickly and effectively to your last WRONG delivery. As such, part of your job is to calculate the cost of the customer having to process your mistake. Then, use that number as branding component of your service philosophy. And guarantee it. Customers won’t switch. How swiftly and economically do you recover?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Did you show this to your boss yet?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “6 Ways to Out Position the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

Have You Pierced These Six Veils of Success?

1. Writing is blood in disguise. Sit down, slice open a vein a bleed your truth all over the page. That’s my official definition of writing. And after publishing ten books and a thousand articles, here’s what I’ve discovered: Writing in blood is a huge time saver.

Think about it. If you approach the writing with that mindset, you don’t have to waste valuable hours editing. Because you can’t edit blood. All you can do is stain the page with it. Are you writing with a pen or a scalpel?

2. Positioning is gravity in disguise. Pull baby pull. Save pushing for pooping. Instead, invest your efforts in elevating visibility, earning credibility and enhancing desirability.

Get your smiling face – and shining brand – in front of the people who can say yes TO (and write a check FOR) your unique expertise. Ding! What did you write today?

3. Quitting is winning in disguise. As long as quit at the right time – not the hard time. Nothing wrong with that. Especially if you were playing the wrong game. Or playing a game that reached its point of diminishing returns.

Or playing the game that robbed you of being the best, highest version of yourself. Sounds like three hash marks in the W column to me. How can you make quitting a regular part of your repertoire?

4. Complacency is bankruptcy in disguise. You’ve never arrived. You’ve never “made it.” There is no finish line. Ignore that truth at your own (and your company’s own) peril. Or, try this: Don’t be self-satisfied with past glory. Get your ass out there again and go make your life stronger.

Because when you receive regular injections of divine discontent, the money will come. Either that, or your arm will swell up. In what three areas of your life are you the most overconfident?

5. Creativity is curiosity in disguise. It’s simple: Just transform yourself into a giant walking question mark. Everywhere you go, ask how and why things work. Then ask how they could work differently or better. Study ordinary things intently. Learn to find interesting in almost anything.

Fascinate yourself with the ordinary. Evaluate critically every novelty you encounter. Ideas will be so irresistibly attracted to you; they’ll assume you slipped a Rufie in their drinks. How many questions did you ask today?

6. Past is prologue in disguise. In Marianne Williamson’s Return to Love, she wrote the following: “Our capacity for brilliance is equal to our ability to forget the past. The past is over. It cannot touch me. The only meaning of anything in the past is that it got us here, and it should be honored as such.” What has all the crap you’ve put up with accidentally prepared you for?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What veils of success do you need to pierce?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “6 Ways to Out Position the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

8 Marketing Lessons Learned from My Spam Folder

Email spam – while annoying, unethical, sexually graphic and a colossal time waster – IS quite entertaining.

It’s also a consummate example of smart marketing.

Recently, I spent some time perusing the 1,385 messages in my spam folder.

Not surprisingly, patterns began to arise.

So, I extracted a collection of subject lines and headers that either grabbed my attention, made me laugh, or caused my body to react in ANY kind of way. After all, emotion is the final arbiter of truth. And your body never lies to you.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: As you read each of these subject lines, set aside your distaste for spam. Forget about the fact that you (probably) don’t need Viagra. And turn on your marketing brain to learn eight powerful lessons from the masters of capturing attention and piquing curiosity:

1. Answer me. As if someone’s been trying to reach you for weeks. As if there was an important customer waiting for you. As if you were too cool and too busy to respond to this measly person. This speaks to your human need to be liked and appreciated.

What’s more, if one of your core values is approachability (or, in my case, your entire life and business philosophy) the cognitive dissonance of NOT answering someone’s question or request is so strong, ignoring this email becomes an exercise in futility.

SPAM SECRET: People want people to like them. How could you create a deficit position within your customer?

2. Best doping for night monster. Opens with a declaration of superiority to capture attention. I call this repeated articulation of your –est. Next, let me say that I’ve never heard of the term “night monster” before. Well done. Gave me a good laugh. And that’s more than I can say about the other 1,384 messages.

SPAM SECRET: People take action upon hearing vivid language. Are your words boring?

3. Frisking bleating merriment. First, I just HAD to look up the word “bleat” in the dictionary. It means, “to complain annoyingly.” Secondly, merriment is not a word used often, which is exactly why I noticed it.

Lastly, this entire sentence, “Frisking bleating merriment,” is so odd, so clumsy and so dissonant that I can’t tell whether it’s gibberish or a famous line from one of Jack Kerouac’s books. Nice.

SPAM SECRET: People are moved by poetry. Are you allowing your inner poet to shine, or does your marketing spit jargon like a Dilbert comic?

4. Go to the disco and let your love stick glow! First of all, are there still discos? If so, I’m in. Always wanted to go to one of those. Secondly, the term “love stick” is a wonderfully creative alternative to penis. Well done. Third, this headline is a rhyme. And it’s been scientifically proven that rhyming increases the memorability and repeatability of pretty much anything.

The only concern I have about this headline is the “glow” part. I think if your love stick is glowing, you probably need to go the doctor, not the disco. At least that’s what my urologist told me.

SPAM SECRET: People love rhymes. Is your message musical enough?

5. Bill Gates got one. Behold the power of the almighty testimonial! And just not ANY testimonial, but Bill Gates. The wealthiest, most successful and widely known businessmen and philanthropist on the planet. Ever. Who wouldn’t want to have what he has?

SPAM SECRET: People take action upon social proof. Are you leveraging testimonials?

6. Check it out now before I start charging for this free info. First, this creates a sense of urgency. Secondly, the effectiveness is compounded by a sense of scarcity.

Third, exclusivity comes into play for those who act NOW. And finally, the word “free” is a surefire way to seal the deal. Brilliant. I might actually steal this one for my own business.

SPAM SECRET: People want what is hard to get and what nobody else has. Are you exclusive enough?

7. Don’t look inside. Right. And while you’re at it, don’t think of a Pink Elephant. Classic NLP. The reader is forced to make an association and think of the very concept that’s linguistically negated, in this case, opening the email.

See, your brain can’t tell the difference yet. “Look inside” is all that it heard. The word “don’t” hasn’t been processed yet. Sneaky but effective.

SPAM SECRET: People’s brains are predictable. Are you leveraging neurology?

8. Have you seen this yet? Good. This piques immediate curiosity. What’s more, you trigger people’s need to feel included.

With the use of the word “yet,” it’s as if everyone else in the world has already seen this amazing “thing,” and you’re the only one left out. And nobody likes to be left out.

SPAM SECRET: People seek inclusion. How are you tapping that nerve?

Now that you’ve been schooled in the ways of spam, here’s your final exercise.

1. Take five minutes to peruse your spam folder. You might want to do this at home so your boss doesn’t look over your shoulder and wonder why you’re reading emails about “meat rockets.”

2. Record your reactions. Any time a subject headline makes you smile, laugh, roll your eyes or become nauseated, write it down.

3. Extract the lessons. Look for commonalities among all the headlines. Democratize and genericize the centrals marketing themes. Then, write out a list of “spam secrets.”

4. Apply. Execute those strategies in your own marketing practices in an ethical, professional manner.

REMEMBER: This is the best doping for your night monster.

Hee hee. Night monster.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you as savvy as the spammers?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “6 Ways to Out Position the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

7 Ways to be Worthy of Your Customer’s Checkbook

I was eating sushi when it happened.

My friend Gil Wagner was expressing frustration about a colleague of his.

Finally, his rant came to an end with the following comment:

“I love her to death,” Gil said, “but I just can’t see anybody writing her a check.”

I almost choked on my Spicy Tuna Roll.

I can’t see anybody writing her a check.

Ouch. THAT’S not good for business.

HERE’S MY QUESTION: What if someone described YOU that way? Think that might have an impact on your sales?

Absolutely.

Now, that incident happened a few months ago. And since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about Gil’s comment, wondering what the characteristics are of businesspeople who ARE worthy of their customer’s checkbooks.

Today we’re going to explore seven practices to help you become more “checkbookable,” which is (yet another) word I made up this year:

1. Say yes to yourself. Before anyone writes you a check, two things have to happen. First, you have to sell yourself on yourself. Next, you have to sell THEM on yourself. As Jeffrey Gitomer reminds us in The Sales Bible, “The deeper your belief, the deeper your pockets.”

My suggestion: Every morning before work, have a daily appointment with yourself. Recite affirmations, re-read goals, meditate, whatever it takes to activate the appropriate mental state. I’ve been practicing this daily since 2002 and I credit it as the single most important thing I do, every day.

Here’s a helpful guide on how to do this. Try it for a week. I promise it makes it easy to create the right inner condition to say yes TO yourself, then act on the trust you feel FOR yourself. What do you say to yourself every day?

2. Become a peer of the buyer. First, by discovering the CPI, or Common Point of Interest. Second, by asking PFQ’s, or Passion Finding Questions. Third, ask yourself: What are you willing to LOSE on the first sale in order to guarantee a relationship? Time? Lunch? Money? Free samples? A few hundred bucks? It might be worth it if you become their friend. Are perceived as a friend by people who write checks?

3. Look for every possibly opportunity to reduce uncertainty. You’re starting with a negative balance with your customers. Most of your them have been screwed over, sold to, marketed to, argued against, targeted, annoyed, persuaded, dishonored, pitched, pressured, bothered, interrupted, threatened and manipulated by too many companies too many times. And their tired of it.

Trust and loyalty are at an all time low; fear and skepticism are at an all time high. What’s more, other professionals in your industry have set a precedent of mistrust. And the default posture of the average person is to NOT believe you. You need to disarm that preoccupation whenever possible. What strategy will you use?

4. Defend your value proposition. The more people know about you and what you do, the easier it is (and more likely it is) that they can and will defend you. This is known as the massive evidence concept. And like a good trial attorney, you need to introduce as much evidence of value as possible. Just remember: Don’t confuse the value you deliver with the delivery mechanism OF that value. Are you selling the right thing?

5. Charge fees commensurate with your contribution. “How are you improving the client’s condition?” That’s the mantra of legendary consultant, Alan Weiss. Your goal is to answer that question, state your fee confidently – then shut up. Own the thing you’re trying to tell people. Speak with uncompromising language. Be unapologetic. Don’t feel guilty for demanding compensation for your value.

And, remember that confidence opens checkbooks. Ask yourself, “I wonder how much I can help?” and stop thinking, “I hope I don’t blow this!” The stink of desperation will be unavoidable. Have you ever practiced quoting your fee to yourself in the mirror for twenty minutes straight?

6. Keep your posture. My friend and the owner of goBRANDgo, Derek Weber, tells his staff that a salesperson is similar to a free safety in football. “On defense, you need to have your weight centered and balanced. Up on the balls of your feet ready to react quickly in whatever direction you need to go. Similarly, when speaking to your prospect in a sales environment, if your weight is too far forward and you’re overly aggressive, you cause the prospect to feel pressured. This instantly puts them on the defensive, lowers comfort and tarnishes trust.”

Derek tells his salespeople that strong posture comes from confidence in your sales approach, which comes from practice and preparation. That means go into the call knowing what questions you need to ask in order to discover the information you will need to assess the prospect’s viability as a potential customer. And that helps you control the direction of the sales call without being pushy or domineering.

“Keep yourself centered, your weight balanced, and up on the balls of your feet ready to ask,” Weber said. “It makes the difference between making the sale and being run over for a game-losing touchdown.” What type of posture do you maintain in your sales calls?

7. Leave people with a positive emotional impression. Finally, let’s revisit Gil’s example from earlier. He also told me, “By chosen profession, Marcie is a coach. But upon first impression, Marcie is timid. Mild-mannered. Even tongue-tied. In other words, her outward self seems much more suited to following than leading. That’s why I can’t see anyone writing her a check. How do you hire a coach who visibly seems more comfortable following than leading?”

Therefore, the challenge is simple: Make sure the message you’re preaching the dominant reality of your life. Other the disharmony between your onstage performance and backstage reality will be too loud. How do you leave people?

REMEMBER: If you want to become worthy of your customer’s checkbook, you’ve got to make yourself checkbookable.

Execute these seven practices, and soon you’ll start receiving more checks than Jerry Lewis on Telethon Weekend.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How checkbookable are you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “6 Ways to Out Position the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

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