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The Four Secrets Of Getting Attention4 Min Read

The Four Secrets of Getting Attention4 min read


For someone who is essentially an introvert, I sure talk a lot about getting attention!

But if you want to attract new clients, it all starts with attention. And these days, attention is harder to get than ever before.

In 1996 when I launched my website, there were about a quarter million websites in the world. Now, 23 years later, there are about 1.7 billion.

So that’s 6,8000 times more websites than way back when! And you wonder why nobody can find your website?

It’s even worse with email. An astonishing 300 billion emails are sent every day.

And that translates to the average person in business receiving about 120 emails daily with an average open rate of only 3%.

So, one of the most important things you can do with both your website and emails is to get attention quickly. No attention and your readership and response rates plummet quickly.

Let’s say you’re sending a personalized email to a prospective client. They aren’t a stranger, but not someone you’ve worked with before.

Maybe you met them at a business meeting, they’re a LinkedIn connection, or they opted-in to your e-list.

You’re not working with them yet, but you’d like to. So you want to get their attention, and hopefully a conversation or meeting to explore working together.

So what exactly do you need to do to get that attention?

Well, your email needs to employ these four essential elements. And if they are missing, your email won’t get the attention you want. And you won’t get a response.

1. Relevant

A relevant email addresses an issue that your prospective client is thinking about. It’s some problem or challenge that they’d like solved. It’s important to them, something they are looking for an answer to.

And you must address this relevant issue in the first sentence of your email, (and often subject line) if you want to keep them reading.

Remember, everyone reads their email ready to press the delete button in a nano-second. Making your emails instantly relevant is the first defense against deletion.

2. Interesting

You make your emails interesting by talking about something your recipient doesn’t already know about already. In other words, your emails contain real news.

News is always interesting (as long as it’s relevant to you). Old news is not interesting. And including some interesting news in your emails is clearly more challenging than saying something that is simply relevant.

So, what is it about your business or services that’s new and interesting, something that’s hard to ignore? Then find a way to include that in your emails.

3. Unexpected

This third email element is definitely the most challenging. In fact, it’s rare to see any emails that include an unexpected element.

Humor is unexpected in email. This includes cartoons and funny or unusual visual images. But my favorite are humorous statements that take you by surprise, like this classic:

“If you are willing to meet with us, we’ll take you out for coffee, lunch, or vodka shots.” (Jon Buchan) The first two listed are expected, but the third isn’t, so it gets a laugh and increased attention and response.

Including the unexpected in an email it tricky to pull off successfully. Worse, almost everyone is terrified of even trying it (hence its rarity). But done well, it works wonders.

4. Authentic

We all value authenticity and we want to be authentic, but how do we actually accomplish it in our emails? In many cases, it’s what we don’t include.

In striving for authenticity, I do my best to eliminate hype or exaggeration of any kind. It’s simply a turnoff, but it’s also extremely common.

And I also do my best to write in a conversational voice. So after I write an email, I read it out loud and do my best to sound as if I just said these words directly to the recipient.

And I accomplish that by writing my emails fairly quickly, just as if I was speaking. Only then to do I go back and fine-tune them a little bit.

Relevant – Interesting – Unexpected – Authentic

If you can include these elements in every email you send, you’ll tend to get more attention and response. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

It’s a bit of an art. You need to pay attention to include these elements in your emails and it takes a fair amount of trial and error.

Yes, I conduct a program (My ABDO – Attention Based Direct Outreach Program) where I teach participants to communicate using these elements in their emails.

If you’d like to know more about it, you can do so at this link:

Cheers, Robert

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Thank you for this blog post. Relevant. Interesting. Unexpected. Authentic. I’ll be sure to remember this words.

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