Ep122: Hacked & Happy About It

29 minutes

Getting hacked is bad. Of course it is.

But what if…it’s not all bad? What if being hacked is the key to some really big marketing questions?

Why is that important for business? 

Despite 17 years of putting on marketing events, sending out emails, making connections, sometimes it takes a hacked email to show you how many people are ready to engage with you. Or at least that’s Eliot’s recent experience. And while we don’t recommend you use a hack as a marketing technique, there are definitely things to be learned from how effective this hack was in generating interest and actual business.  

So what is it about responding to a hacked email that so galvanizes people? How can we explore what makes a call to action actually call people to act? Especially since, in this instance, people took an action that wasn’t even requested, it’s important to ask – what were the stimuli that created the action? 

First, there was value to the action, and not just to them. They wanted to help. There was a clear purpose to the response. 

Second, the subject line was very clear – “action required”. But that on its own does not create action. It has to be paired with a trusting relationship with someone who has established credibility. This may also mean it has to come from a person, not a company – the hack capitalized on the building of a personal relationship. 

It’s also interesting to note that relationships take time, and that just because people aren’t responding, doesn’t mean there isn’t a relationship. It might take a hack to get them to officially engage, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t listening. We are always looking for data on what has value, and we have to rely on engagement because it’s the only data we have to go on. And yet we shouldn’t underestimate the value of lurkers – people reading and considering, but who don’t say anything. 

In business or in your personal life, the lesson from this email hack just might be that if you are not getting the action you want, it might be an issue with the relationship and the credibility you have built. This story also points to the importance of reciprocal value – people want to help you, too. 

What story do you want to tell?

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