“Stories are equipment for living.” – Kenneth Burke
Spotlights are short success-based, story-based emails that are sent to your list. You might even call them “love letters.” Or “before and after” stories. Or “makeover” stories.
Whatever you call them, they generate tons of inspiration…followed by sales. Readers love them.
After receiving positive feedback from a fan, most companies just say “Thanks!” and move on. That’s a huge waste of an opportunity to build momentum and success for your business.
Think about it…positive feedback from fans is there for a reason. Those little love notes are like seeds that can be nourished to build your business even further.
In investigating why spotlights work so well, I’ve concluded…
Spotlights are profitable for 5 reasons:
1) They’re positive, uplifting, and based on real human stories
2) Readers love to devour the unique content contained in them
3) Spotlights correspond to the universal principle of “Whatever you repeatedly focus on expands.”
4) They bring in an insane number of sales for the business
5) They make your brand stand out…because NO ONE else is doing them
The effectiveness of Spotlights is due mainly to how they’re structured. It’s not simply about copying and pasting a customer’s exact wording and plopping it into an email.
Spotlights are about using strategic story structure to put events and details in the right order. Mix that with copywriting elements designed to generate a sale, and you’ve got a winning combination. (For a great primer on story structure, see Robert McKee’s book, “Story.” Although it’s geared towards screenwriting, the principles work well for email marketing.)
Here are 6 steps to begin profiting from using Customer Spotlights as part of your email marketing strategy:
Step 1…A fan writes you a glowing thank you note (via email, Instagram, or gasp…Facebook) stating “I love your product!” followed by a bit of detail on what they specifically loved about it.
Step 2…You cease whatever you’re doing, and immediately enter a dialogue with that fan. You say, “That’s awesome! How did you hear about us? Can we feature you in our newsletter?” Usually the fan will be delighted to say more, and to say yes.
Step 3…You ask the fan a short list of questions designed to cull out a more detailed description of their experience with your product. These details might include: why they were looking for your product in the first place, the struggles they experienced before they found your product, how they found your company, and what positive changes took place after they started using your product.
Step 4…You edit all of the above into a 750-ish word email that is compelling to read, reads likes a mini movie, incorporates copywriting elements into it (like a call to action, a P.S., and some crafty, benefit-filled hyperlinks). It doesn’t read like typical marketing at all.
Step 5…You send the final email out to your list, people read it and many of them buy the product(s) mentioned in the spotlight. They share these emails with their loved ones. Over time, you start hearing the inevitable, “I freaking love your newsletter. It made my day.” Over time, your bank account starts to fatten up.
Step 6…Rinse and repeat. Send that original customer a gift in the mail, whether they agreed to let you use their story publicly or not. This positive karma expands and multiplies the success and momentum of your business.
Pretty cool, huh? Get my Anti-Marketing Jumpstart Kit, and you’ll get 5 spotlights included in the package!
By the way, yesterday was Valentine’s Day here in the states — a holiday that’s supposed to be all about love.
In my book, a business spreads love by publishing entertaining, interesting, life-changing emails that utilize the Spotlight structure. In other words, it’s a loving act to build on the positive experiences of customers who have already purchased your products and enjoyed them.
Try to use every bit of positive feedback as FUEL to propel your business even further. That’s what it’s there for!