I tricked you -

to prove a point.

Last week, I played a dirty trick.

While telling you about a dirty trick.

You see, I carefully orchestrated an entire week’s worth of emails, to achieve a very specific goal.

I was demonstrating the power of open loops, which are basically foreshadowing that something interesting is just around the corner…

Open loops draw attention forward, because the human brain is tuned to receive stories,

And most people can’t stand to be left hanging.

The tension begs for resolution.

(Did you miss last week? If so, you can catch up starting here.)

The dirty trick was pretending to put a paywall between you and the ending.

But actually, I did not.

The poll asking for payment collected people’s intention, but all choices led to the free conclusion.

(Although unfortunately, there was an extra button click I did not anticipate. If you haven’t read the conclusion but want to, you can skip to it here.)

Now, are you curious how many people were willing to pay $1 for the end of the story?

Here are the results:

Total recipients: 1156

Total unique opens: 490 (42.4% open rate)

Total unique poll clicks: 50 (10.2% open to click rate)

Total unsubscribes: 5 (party poopers)

Poll results:

And the private comments were fascinating!

-Some people were delighted by the whole thing, eager to pay $1 to continue.

-Some expressed their willingness to pay, based on their trust in me.

-Some agreed to pay, but with reluctance and annoyance.

-And many of the “NO” responses were from people who know me well, and were confident in their rejection of these shenanigans.

Here are the takeaways, that YOU can apply to your own writing or other content immediately:

-People will pay for stories. Specifically, for the end of a story they are invested in. You can add value to your content, your product and your brand by incorporating interesting stories into what you do.

-A good story draws attention forward. Every word has a purpose towards an ultimate goal. One powerful way to draw attention forward is with open loops.

-This is a gross generality… not 100% true, but 100% useful: If you have reasonably good alignment between audience and offer, you can expect approximately 5% of your audience to be in “purchase mode” at any given moment.

-Of those 5%, some are eager to buy, some will buy reluctantly, and some will ultimately reject the offer.

Speaking of which, I expect 5% of you to be interested in the remainder of this email:

If you like the things I just shared, and want more of my weirdness in your inbox on the regular, here’s how you can put a ring on it:

Become a Mail Mage.

The Mail Mages are my VIP Superfans, who get my tactical breakdowns and mini-trainings on making more money with email.

They get access to monthly group coaching calls with me, and get access to monthly guest expert trainings.

I give them first dibs to all of my new stuff, and I take a personal interest in the success of each and every one of them.

Sounds like a $25,000 per year mastermind, doesn’t it?

That’s the experience I aim to deliver, but it only costs $9.99 per month to join.

You can join the club right here, or stay ordinary. Either is cool with me.

Rooting for you,


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