The Best Content Marketing Ever
Two years ago, my inbox was at 28k+ unread messages. Forget overwhelming — my inbox was simply un-addressable. If something fell below the fold (50 emails), it was effectively gone forever, unless I remembered and specifically searched for it. This led to dropped communications, forgotten tasks, and a constant anxiety that I was missing something important. Because I usually was.
The problem with doing that? If I sent an email to a customer, prospect, or co-worker and they never responded, I had no way of tracking it. The task either lived on in a zombie state on my to-do list or it was lost, because I had already crossed it off when I sent the email. My inbox was flooded with an undifferentiated mass of important, unimportant, urgent, and non-urgent messages.
The worst part of having an inbox with an unmanageable number of unread emails was that I never knew when I was “done.”
When could I stop responding to others and focus on my proactive work? To my wife and kids? To my life? Never. There was always something I hadn’t responded to nagging for my attention.
Then, I found Revive your Inbox, a 21-day course on managing email from Baydin, the makers of an email management tool called Boomerang. The course — a brilliant piece of content marketing — literally changed my life.
Great Content Marketing Doesn’t Equal Useless Propaganda
Now, when I call the course “content marketing,” some may hear “propaganda” or a “long sales piece.” It’s not. Well, okay, it is — but not in a negative way.
The course encourages you to use their product, sure; but that’s only one part of it. Baydin knows that email management is much more than just a technical challenge. It’s one that requires changes in process, emotional attitude, and personal style. Most of all, it requires that you stop accepting the status quo. And they cover all of it, comprehensively, in a twenty-one day course that takes 5-20 minutes a day.
It worked for me. I eventually sorted out what was important, decided what wasn’t worth thinking about, and eventually archived 28k emails at one fell swoop without regret or remorse. I now achieve Inbox Zero on a regular basis.
Trust = sale.
Gratitude = brand advocate.
By providing this incredibly valuable content, Baydin gained my trust and won over a customer for life. What’s more, my feelings of gratitude for solving a critical problem in my life have created in me a zealous advocate who is, right now, still raving to people about Baydin’s brand and urging everyone to change how they utilize email… years later.
Looking for passion? Champion a cause instead of a product.
Baydin’s overt goal is to change your relationship to email. They could have focused on plugging the features of their product, but they didn’t. Instead, they effectively declared war on poor email management. They want people to think about it, to talk about it, to take action. And I get the impression they don’t even much care if you go with a competing solution — their biggest “competitors” are almost certainly apathy, ignorance, inertia and the status quo.*
It’s hard to get people passionate about features. Or even a brand. But causes are something that lend themselves to passion. And if you’re trying to change the way people work, you need to harness that passion. Never underestimate the wily competitor that is the status quo. It’s a determined foe.
Consider this blog post a public and emotional “thank you” to the folks who developed this wonderful application… and a respectful salute to whoever the fellow marketer was that developed the Revive Your Inbox course — the best content marketing piece ever.**
Now stop messing around and wasting time by obsessively checking your email and take the damn course already!
* I’m obviously a very satisfied user of Boomerang. However, there are a number of competing solutions that could be successfully combined with the advice found in the Revive your Inbox course, including RightInBox, FollowupCC, SaneBox, ActiveinBox, and Streak. I have used some, but not all of these solutions. Some have more features than Boomerang; some have less. I’d love to hear any opinions people have on these tools (or any email management tools that I’ve missed) in the comments.
** If you are that fellow marketer responsible for the the best content marketing piece ever, please get in touch with me. I’d love to feature you in our upcoming weekly interview series on influential marketers. Check out our first interview (on revenue attribution) here.