While getting royalty treatment in a busy restaurant on Sunday, I realised how easy it would be to do the same thing with email marketing.
There is this restaurant in Nisantasi (a posh shopping district in Istanbul) called Well Done.
It’s one of those places only the locals know.
The facade is very unassuming. I must have walked past it at least 10,237,287 times without realising something was there.
Then one day a friend takes me inside.
In my head, I’m complaining: “Are you sure? This place looks so dark and depressive. We should have gone to St Regis. I want to sit outside, eat nice food, and not be disturbed.”
But then I step through the threshold…
And suddenly a completely different world opens up.
The inside is huge, impressively well-appointed and enjoys an abundance of natural light.
It’s like walking into a Tim Burton movie where the witch’s house is impossibly larger on the inside than it is on the outside.
The seating stretches out to the distance.
We walk, and we walk, and we walk (did I mention that the place is huge?), until we finally reach the far wall.
And it dawns on me that, to our right, there is an inner courtyard with a garden.
Except one would be hard pressed to call it a “garden” because it’s… humongous.
It’s almost as if the Macka public park had an amorous encounter with a secret garden, and the two of them hid their illicit love child between four towering buildings.
In the most densely populated district in a city of concrete, this humongous secret garden is a breath of fresh air - literally.
Since that day, Well Done has become my favourite lunch spot in Nisantasi.
But there is a problem:
The service is efficient, but s l o o o o o w….
… which sounds like an oxymoron until you realise that the secret garden alone can probably seat 100 people.
Worse, you face an impossible choice:
On most days, you won’t be able to find a seat - especially if you go there during corporate lunch hours.
So you have to either go eat somewhere else…
Or you wait, and wait, and wait on that depressive excuse of a patio outside, until seating opens in the secret garden.
And then you still have to wait, and wait, and wait to be served because of the sheer number of people clamouring for the staff’s attention.
But that was not the case last Sunday.
Because I got there first.
They opened the doors and I stepped in.
It was a public holiday and a Sunday, so the rest of the city was sleeping in. Not me though…
The restaurant opens at 09:30 am - I was there (ok, by chance) at 09:15.
“Where would you like to sit, sir?” the head waiter asks.
Oh, spoiled by choice. 200 seats to choose from. Where shall I sit indeed?
Even the coveted upper terrace is available.
So I sit at one table. Then surreptitiously get up and sneak over to another table on the other side of the garden. Yes, that’s better. But now the sun is in my eye…
I play a game of musical chairs in my quest to find the best view, until the head waiter comes around and suggests:
“The best view in the house is that table over there, sir.”
So I pick up my stuff and migrate over, with a royal retinue of 20 waiters.
One is going over the menu with me…
One is dusting off the cushions before I sit…
One is chasing away the kittens who are swarming in around the only customer in the house with a greedy expression on their deceptively innocent faces. (Yes, I’m a dog person.)
One is holding the glass while the other is pouring the homemade “detox” lemonade. (Whatever that is. The thing has slices of green apple and celery floating in it, so I don’t trust it. But even I have to admit, it’s somewhat delicious.)
And the remaining 13 or so waiters are collectively serving my “sports omelette”, which is “custom designed for athletic performance”. (I’m not an athlete, but I’ll take it.)
The only thing missing is a pair of fan bearers and a voluptuous (optionally: under-clad) Victoria’s Secret model feeding me grapes.
This is probably how the Ottoman Sultans felt like back in the day.
But you know what?
It’s actually surprisingly easy to do the same thing in your email marketing.
So how do you get that kind of attention from your prospects and become the Sultan of their inboxes?
You have to be the first - or be the only person they read.
Alas, you’re unlikely to get there first.
Your prospect was probably on a dozen other email lists before they signed up for yours. They got there first.
You can’t fight those big boys head to head.
They have war-chests of advertising gold to spend on retargeting ads and branding ads to continually remain top of mind. You don’t.
So you fight a war of attrition.
After a while, prospects will stop opening their emails (because they are a chore to read), and keep opening yours (because you are entertaining)...
...until, eventually, you’re the only one left in their inboxes.
And, believe it or not, your subscribers will actually tell you this:
“(...) your emails are the only ones I open, devour and read ALL the way to the end. YOU stand out in my inbox more than any of the other gurus I follow.”
Want to get Sultan treatment in your prospects’ inboxes too?
I teach you my wicked ways in Email Prodigy.
Sign up and learn how to be the only one buyers pay attention to (without spending $5k/month on ads).
PS: This is the last spot in the final run of Email Prodigy.