More important than the story? - #WhatILearnedToday

In my last post, I told you about using a story to get your message across when you send an email. Whether you are doing a mailing through ListNerds or sending out a broadcast to your own email list, this is a very important principle to remember when you are trying to get people to respond to what you have to say. But, did you know there is something even more important than that?

What's More Important.png

So, you may be asking yourself, what could be more important then getting someone to read my message? I got an email a couple of days ago that reminded me of something most people either have never heard or have forgotten how to use. It's what many people call "The Hook". Let's face it, when you are considering any story (newspaper article, novel, movie, etc.), we want to know that we will find it interesting, it will capture our imagination, or it will provide us with information we can use.

If it doesn't catch our attention, it will likely end up in the round file. I don't know about you, but my time is just too precious to spend it on reading something that is of no interest to me. And frankly, I DON'T WANT TO READ YOUR COMMERCIAL no matter how wonderful you make it sound. It's not about the product or service. It's about your experience and how it helped you. It's about the enjoyment you received from it or the time it saved you. And, yes, it can even be about all the money you made, but it has to be YOUR STORY. And the way you get me to read your story is to hook me.

While the headline will quite often have a effect on which emails get opened, that is not the hook. The hook is generally your opening thought. By the time your reader finishes that first sentence or paragraph, they have decided whether they are going to read the rest of what you have to say (or at least wade a little deeper into the story).

So what makes up a really good hook? It's contrasting the extremes of emotional highs and lows. It's about being at rock bottom and then reaching the pinnacle of your journey. It could be as simple as, "I want to tell you a story of how a guy that has never had more than a few click throughs in a mailer to having a 98% CTR." Now, be honest...if you had never used ListNerds and were using mailers in your marketing, would that get your attention?

But's that's only part of the story. Now that you have their attention, you have to give them something they want to read...NOT A COMMERCIAL! Tell them about your experiences before your discovery. Tell them about how you made the discovery. Tell them about your successes after your discovery. Be genuine. And if you want to include a call to action, minimalize it with something like, "Here's a link if you would like to check it out to see if you get the same results."

The moral of this story is, use a hook to get their attention and tell a story about your experiences. But make no mistake, you should spend as much time creating your hook as you do on your story. That is how to get people to read your emails.



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You are right Garrey. "The Hook" is what draws people into what you wrote. Without it, some will not read it at all, some will scroll to the bottom, and everything in between. Good post.

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Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this post, Bob.

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(Edited)

Good post Garrey. I agree that messages need to be more story like and less sell, sell, sell!
Everyone likes a good story, especially a short story.

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based on how you have explained it, The hook seems much more important than the story itself

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Fantastic advice @theroad2freedom, sharing our story is something genuine that people can relate to, and something they might want to experience themselves, and thanks for sharing your story with Listnerds and 98% CTR, and stay awesome.



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Thank you for your encouragement and for taking the time to read this post.

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In general I don't like commercials. I record shows I watch on the DVR so that I can fast forward through commercials. So, why would I choose to purposely click on a link that is clearly just an ad. People look for transformation and having their emotions touched. If you don't share what the thing you are promoting has done for you that means you probably are not or have not used it.

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