For coming up to two years at least, probably even longer, Trevor Long and the team at EFTM have had my email address. I gladly gave it – probably for a competition at first – knowing that I could trust Trevor to not abuse my personal email address and also because I like what is published on EFTM.
Truth is, EFTM could email me every day and I’d probably not get anywhere close to the unsubscribe button. Not everyone is so lucky, four to eight times a day I search all over an email for the lucrative unsubscribe button. The only real issue here is that I don’t get more emails from EFTM :).
This article isn’t about EFTM, or Trevor emailing me, it’s about how you could earn a place in my inbox – and hopefully many other people.
Email’s not dead
It’s going to take a long time to leverage email out of our world. Love it or hate it, emails have a solid place in a 2017 world, if only because they are a decentralised system not owned by any one company or nation, we can all have one, and the technical system of emailing is simple enough to span the globe with minimal infrastructure and minimal stress. It’s a system that’ll stick around for the near, and possibly far future.
We’ve gotten smarter
In years past we’ve seen inboxes with thousands of unread emails, full of spam and rubbish, but in 2017 we – the collective email reading population – have gotten smarter. Ever since Merlin Mann laid down the mission of Inbox Zero a decade ago we’ve unsubscribed from mailing lists we’re on, started using folders, sending our emails into Zaps and to-do lists, and generally our inbox has gotten better.
Even those of us that aren’t there yet, are getting there. We’re moving our business email into a separate inbox and we’re deleting our work email accounts off our phones. Slowly the inbox is being taken back.
For more than twenty years the industry has been trying to replace email with something better, whether it’s Google Wave, or Slack, there are countless engineers tirelessly working to make email better or to make email an endangered species.
But I like email – and now I’m glad to receive an email.
Why I was glad to see Trevor’s email
I choose what appears in my inbox now. If an email is sent to me unsolicited they get an unsubscribe or a ‘Mark as spam’ quicker than you’d imagine. My inbox has become a holy temple where only the blessed may enter. EFTM has consistently written articles I like. I’m lucky enough to call Trevor a mate so I’ve even gotten some pre-publishing tips from following him in social media. Before ANZ ever announced they were launching Apple Pay I tested it out on my cards (and failed) when Trevor started sniffing around off the back of a leak from ANZ.
I like what Trevor writes and I want to read more of it. It’s relevant to my life, it’s real, it’s interesting, it’s entertaining, and it has a place on my Facebook feed and in my inbox.
How can you be like Trevor?
Trevor joins a slew of writers that have a welcome place in my inbox. Some of them I even pay for!
The following publishers are making content that I desperately want more of.
- Six Colors
- The Sizzle
- Molk’s TV Talk
- The Onion
- The Monocle
- Above Avalon
- Seth Godin
- and of course EFTM (lacking a good subscribe link by the way, Long)
And there’s probably a few I missed – but there is one redeeming feature of all of these email senders: to me, in my world, they are interesting, inspiring, educational, moving, trustworthy – basically they matter.
People that matter make it into my inbox. If you don’t matter, you’re out. There are even friend’s mail chimp lists I’ve unsubscribed from because personally in my world their email doesn’t matter.
How to matter
I have no idea. Seriously, there’s no big book on this. For your industry, for your niche, for your community, for your tribe, your customer journey, for your product – you need to sit down and figure out how you matter.
Then publish that. Because if it doesn’t matter, don’t click the post button.