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The 50 First Dates Method of Email Engagement

How do you gain the trust of your audience?

Don’t scare them away with “stranger danger.” Make it clear in your subject line who you are.

Identify your brand again in the first paragraph of your email,  and tell them why you are in their inbox.

Even if they signed up for your offer 5 seconds ago, they have probably forgotten.


Did you see the movie 50 First dates?

In case you didn’t see the movie, here is a brief synopsis. Drew Barrymore’s character has had a brain injury and has lost her ability to form new memories that last longer than the day she experiences them.

Adam Sandler’s character has to keep reminding her of who he is. Then he must get her to fall in love with him every day for the rest of their lives together.

It’s depressing that the Sandler character knows she will always wake up in the morning with no memory of ever having met him.

But he makes it work again, every single day.

Assume your audience has forgotten who you are since the last email

It’s just like 50 First Dates to try to get the attention of your audience. With every email, you must assume that this is like the first time for them.

They have forgotten who you are with every… 

  • Facebook post
  • Pinterest pin
  • tweet 
  • blog post
  • and every bit of web copy 

You have 5 seconds to reintroduce yourself before they freak out and run away thinking you’re a total stranger.

Slowly, after a few weeks or months, they might begin to remember you, but you can’t assume this is ever going to happen.

Like Adam Sandler’s character in the movie, you have to be willing to make a quick reintroduction and show them that you are harmless every time you meet them.


Seven things you must NOT do when creating an email campaign

  1. Don’t make them guess who the hell you are and why they opted in.
  2. Don’t make them search for your website link when the confirmation email comes.
  3. Don’t leave them without a call to action in later emails. It isn’t pushy; they want you to guide them.
  4. Don’t assume they already downloaded your free-gift even if it is email # 7 in your series.
  5. Don’t assume they will remember who you are, or why you are emailing them after the initial email. Ever! Even if you have been sending them emails for months and months. Even though they have been reading your emails and clicking on all your links and buying all your stuff!
  6. Don’t come off as a selfish little brat. Make it all about them, not all about you
  7. Don’t give up after your first email sequence goes out. Keep in touch periodically.

Don’t confuse people by making them guess who you are and what you are offering.

Have you ever have opened emails from people only to find you can’t figure out who they are or what their website is or how they got into your inbox?

Do you really want to click on that scary little link that says, “Here’s your freebie” or “opt-in”?

There is no link to go back and review the site and find out why you signed up in the first place.

Or the link is so tiny that you’re too annoyed to click on it once you find it way down at the bottom.

You don’t have time to search for hidden clues and links.

I don’t know about you but, at this point I am usually too annoyed to google their name, and often, they only give their first name, so it is impossible to find them again anyhow, so I unsubscribe and move on to emails I can make sense of.

Most people receive well over 50 new emails every day.

A lot of it might be stuff we signed up for but how are we supposed to remember what we signed up for if it isn’t clear from the beginning of the email?

Even if we wanted

  • the freebie
  • the download
  • the printable
  • the worksheet
  • the e-book he video
  • the complimentary lesson
  • the whatever

There’s a good chance we will have forgotten all about it by the time we get to our inbox and open the email they have sent.

Never assume anything except that they don’t remember you at all!

Don’t you hate it when marketers assume that you’ve downloaded the free pdf you signed up for two days ago or that you still remember who they are?

One marketer assumed I had downloaded and read the whole 20-page white paper on aromatherapy oils after one day.

I had to search through my emails to find the link again. It was not even in this second email.

I did finally get time to read the white paper and enjoyed it. It was beautifully laid out and had a lot of great information.

But I was annoyed that I had to search for the link again and that the writer was so self-centered that they assumed I had downloaded, much less read the content after only one day.

The email started “Now that you have had time to read the free white paper, drop me a line and tell me what you think.”

Who were they kidding?

Since when do you have time to read something right away much less download it the minute the email lands in your inbox?

If I opted in from my phone, I would wait to get to my laptop before I downloaded anything.

I don’t like to clutter my phone with PDFs. I don’t want to read PDFs on a tiny screen.
It could be days before I would find the link and download the freebie.

Make each encounter fresh

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When you’re writing an introductory email-sequence, don’t assume they have seen or even read your first five emails or downloaded your “lead magnet.”

With each email in the sequence assume they have forgotten who you are.

Every piece of your email sequence must stand on its own.

You may be thinking, “Well, what’s the point of calling it a ‘sequence’ if they aren’t even going to read them in sequence?”

But the truth is that life and inboxes are messy.

Your audience might read the 5th email in your sequence first and then go back and find the others and read those in a chaotic burst of interest all out of order.

(admit that you have done this before).

Get the 50-First Dates FREE Guide to Email Engagement

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Why haven’t they bought your stuff yet?

If they are interested, they might have the presence of mind to whitelist you and save your materials in a folder for later.

But don’t be surprised if it takes them three months, or three years, to finally get around to acting on your offer.

It isn’t personal. Well, usually, it isn’t.

They may hate your style or not feel comfortable buying from you.

But usually, they don’t hate you.

People are busy and haven’t gotten around to reviewing all the materials you gave them yet.

Or they’re already taking three other courses or using other services, and they don’t have the bandwidth or the budget to add yours until later.

So keep sending a short helpful email every few weeks to remind them that you exist.

If they don’t want to hear from you every few weeks for the rest of their lives, they will unsubscribe, and that is just fine. 

Don’t give up after your first email sequence goes out

Once you have sent out your first email sequence on autopilot be sure to send a slow trickle of reminder “hellos” to keep you on their radar.

You don’t have to email often. Once or twice a month send something interesting that they can use along with “hey it’s me again, who does XYZ and here is my website link or call to action, etc.”

Be sure to include a prominent link or call to action again at the end of your email.

It could be as simple as a curated list of the best resources around the web for a task they might need to do.

You could send a summary of the latest article on your blog. Or it could be a sale, promotion, or discount on the thing they showed interest in.

Remember, the customer is like Drew Barrymore in movie 50 First Dates, and you must reintroduce yourself on every encounter.

Make sure you identify your brand and your site at the top and bottom of each email and include a link to your website and call to action, so they can go back and explore your site when they have a moment.

Don’t come off as a selfish little brat.

Make it easy for people to find your freebie. Remember how overwhelmed you are with your own inbox and cut people some slack.

Help them out with links and reminders of who the heck you are.

Remember not to freak people out with “stranger danger”

  • People do want to hear from you, but they are overwhelmed and busy, so play nice and make it easy for them to interact with you and your offerings.
  • Assume they have forgotten who you are and lost the link you sent in the first email of the opt-in sequence.
  • All the emails in your initial funnel or sequence must stand alone and be relevant and interesting and give the link to the download, and the link to the site, and your brand identification.
  • Make the customer fall in love with you on every encounter.
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