My Experiment: Interruption Marketing Through Simplicity

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If you’re on my weekly email list, then last week you were my guinea pig.

And many of you fell for my simple marketing trick.

In fact, so many fell for it that I ended up making around $2000, plus a lot more in residual income.

And all of this came from one simple change that you can do with your email list, too.

So what happened? Let me tell you.

It all started last week when I was listening to a podcast and one of the hosts mentioned how sending a simple text-only reply when someone signs up to your newsletter has helped his business get and keep more warm leads.

All he did is, when someone signs up for his newsletter, he wrote a simple text email reply that said something along the lines of…

Hey thanks for signing up for my newsletter. What is the biggest obstacle you have to achieving your goals?


…or something like that. I don’t remember it exactly, but that was it.

This email is different than other emails you may get from that brand. There’s no fancy header, no pictures, not even a signature block. It’s a simple email that appears as if it was written by the guy himself. It comes a little while after his branded ‘thanks for signing up’ email, not immediately, so again it appears as if he saw your signup and wrote you an email.

The response is terrific.

But even better, this simple email does something else – when people reply to it, systems like Gmail are watching that engagement and possibly marking his future emails as important, thus keeping them out of the dreaded Promotions tab.

That’s big.  His future emails, which may be more corporate and newsletterish, are possibly making it right to that person’s InBox.

Nice move, man.

The Experiment

So I decided I’d try the same thing.  Since my regular email goes out on Tuesday mornings, I waited until an odd time, Thursday afternoon, and sent this simple email.

Subject line: Did I Show You This?


I can’t remember if I showed you the new review report tool I launched – did I already send it to you?


That was the entire email, customized with the recipient’s first name, of course. No link, no branding, no fancy anything.

And the response was terrific.  Here’s my InBox by Friday around lunch, less than 24 hours after originally sending the blast.

All in all I had around 30 replies by that time.  Normally I get maybe one or two for each newsletter I send out.

Of the replies, 26 were your typical response like “No I didn’t see it, what is it?”

Two replies were from people thinking it was a spam message that snuck in to my system. To those people I simply thanked them for alerting me, and nothing else.

And two were from friends that thought it was a marketing message – although in both cases they weren’t 100% sure. One said “Did you mean to send me this, or is it a brilliant marketing play?” Dang, you caught me.

So What Happened Next?

Here’s the thing. I realize it was a little sneaky, but that’s marketing, right? Grabbing someone’s attention in a crowded InBox isn’t easy. People are bombarded by so many messages (experts say we see around 5000 messages a day on average) so you need a way to stick out.

And sometimes that means just doing something very ordinary.

For the 26 people that replied, my second message looked like this.  Not exactly this, because I customized it for each person after looking at who they were, what they did, etc.

Hey Mark,

Sorry I think it was stuck in my InBox. Anyway, last week we launched our new review program to business owners. I’ve been testing it for a few months now and my reviews are skyrocketing. I thought you’d be interested in it for your business, too.

Here’s the link:


It’s important that I reiterate – I wrote each of these emails slightly different from each other. I may have thrown in a since you’re a lawyer I know how important reviews are or maybe a this would be great for your salon.

The Results

I’m writing this on Saturday afternoon, so this all happened in the last 48 hours.

As I said, I had 30 replies.

Of those 30 I had 26 people that received my followup email. My review pages and blogs had over 100 hits. Small potatoes, you may think, but those pages average 2-3 visits a day, so this is a big jump.

Branding opportunity at the absolute least. These people saw my logo, read some further information about my service, and probably left with postiive thoughts about Red Canoe Media. And I got a minute or two or three of their attention.

Seven people filled out the free report (lead magnet) on the review page. Those seven people received a PDF report about their current review situation, and were put into an automation from my ActiveCampaign account which teaches them different things about their report and how our review system can help them. This is about 5 emails over the course of the next 3 weeks.

Ahhh… warm leads…

In addition, I was able to get on a screenshare with five business owners. I showed them around the back end of the review system, how it creates a cool page on your site (like this one) and two of them signed up for the year on the spot.

Boom, almost $2000 in revenue.

But even better, I told each of those on my call about the new affiliate program we’re launching – where we’re paying a 40% payout when they refer their friends to the program. Of course they loved that, because referring two or three business owner friends is easy, and they’ll end up basically getting their account for free.

So more sales to come, I’m sure.

Sometimes Simple is All We Need

All in all, this simple change to my email format interrupted a segment of my readers. It grabbed their attention and gave me an opportunity to get my new service in front of them.

And that’s what marketing is – especially in today’s society. Grabbing a portion of your audience’s attention, delivering your solution in front of them, and following through with more value means more revenue.

So what simple message could you send out that would interrupt your list?

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