Email marketing advice from Stephen King
I’ve been hooked on King’s The Dark Tower series after a recommendation from the great Jim Clair.
Since I started my business (and years before that tbh), I’ve neglected fiction. Instead, I’d opt for a copywriting, marketing, business, psychology, accounting, or autobiography non-fiction book.
And you’re probably the same way.
There’s this weird thing that happens when you start a business. It seems like you have to prefer non-fiction to fiction. But if you want to become a better writer, storyteller, marketer, and seller… Fiction might be the better option.
Case in point:
Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series.
Yes, it’s entertaining as all hail.
Which is step numero uno for any kind of content you put out.
Quick side story:
Over on “Money Twitter,” there are a bunch of mfs who cOmPlAiN that their shitposts get waaay more engagement than their value-packed, long, boring threads. The reason why is obvious to anyone with two eyes:
Social media is an entertainment platform first. Yes, even on “Money Twitter.”
Just look at Pewdiepie — he’s created a 100 million subscriber YouTube channel empire because he’s entertaining. Same with Joe Rogan. Or Mr. Beast. Or your favorite YouTube or TikTok star.
Lead with entertainment and "package" as much value into it as you can.
Okay, back to the point:
Believe it or not, there’s a metric ton of business lessons wrapped inside King’s (self-proclaimed) magnum opus.
In flies one example from the second book in his series, The Drawing of the Three:
(I’ll try to keep spoilers at a minimum, so you can enjoy this series on your own time.)
The gunslinger (the main character thus far) is on a journey to The Tower. Along the way, he jumps into a new dimension and picks up a junkie from the 80s and brings him back to the gunslinger's apocalyptic world.
Well, right before that happened, a “lobstrosity” bites off two fingers and a toe from our stoid main character. He develops a wicked fever because there's no medicine in his time. And he’s passed out for a couple o’ days as him and the junkie travel north; towards The Tower.
While the gunslinger is passed out, the junkie (who is neck-deep in painful heroin withdrawals himself) creates a travois, which is a sled to carry his gunslinging friend.
The gunslinger wakes up while coasting along in this travois, and has a series of interesting thoughts that apply to business.
When he first wakes up, he thinks: “Cort would bash the kid’s head in if he saw that contraption.”
Cort is the no-nonsense gunslinger trainer in the gunslinger’s timeline. He’s a hard dude who doesn’t play games and frequently calls his students maggots while bashing them over the noggin.
The gunslinger fades in and out of consciousness while riding in this contraption. And some time later, he makes a stark revelation:
“Cort would not have struck him because, as sick as he was, Eddie had at least done more than squat on his hunkers and bewail his fate. He had made something. Had tried.
And Cort might have offered one of his abrupt, almost grudging compliments because, crazy as the thing looked, it worked.”
Cort never gave out compliments. And yet, he would’ve (albeit, grudgingly) to this junkie. Because he tried.
Which brings me to the point:
Whatever you create—whether a new offer, piece of content, email, or anything else—doesn’t have to be perfect.
It just has to work.
In fact, not pretending to be perfect also helps you build trust with your audience. Nobody is perfect. And people can sniff your faux-perfection a mile away. You ain’t fooling nobody, toodles.
Perfectionism killed more great men, women, business ideas, and offers than anything else on planet Earth.
Perfectionism convinces you not to start. That you’re not good enough. That you can’t achieve your dreams.
And if you believe it?
If a heroin junkie sick as a dog because of withdrawals can create a workable travois in the middle of literal nowhere surrounded by “lobstrosities” that mean certain death if they get close enough…
Then you can write (and send) that email.
Or start that business.
Or launch that offer.
Or create that new piece of content.
You get the point.
It doesn't have to be perfect — and it won’t be.
But you’ll take the most important step in this process: the first step.
Before you know it, a year will have passed by. You might even look back and cringe at what you created because your skills improved tenfold.
Alright, that’s all for today’s episode.
If you have a proven offer and wanna beef up your email sales, book a call.