The email had URGENT in the title, so of course I read it immediately. It was apparently a newsflash, a matter of great importance, so even before I got to the last sentence, my knee-jerk voice urged, “Quick, forward this on! Everyone needs to hear this! Act now or you’ll miss the boat!”
But I noticed myself pausing, responding to a different voice within which murmured, “Doucement, doucement. You haven’t researched this yourself or decided what you think. Gently does it.”
A few hours later, another email, again with URGENT in the title. Then another, then another. Many of my esteemed colleagues were repeating the message that something was happening which required immediate attention and yet still I was pausing.
Can you guess the topic of these URGENT emails?
Newsflash: Email marketing just changed (or did it?)
Gmail recently re-organised its inboxes. If you have a Gmail account and subscribe to any email list (for example: mine!), you might now receive these emails in a Promotions tab, rather than your primary inbox. You still have control over your inbox, so you have the choice of a) reading them in the Promotions section, b) dragging the sender (example: me!) into your Primary tab, or c) disabling the tab format and reverting to how your Gmail inbox used to look.
That’s what the changes mean for you as a subscriber. Now, what do they mean for you as a business owner?
If you market your business using an email list, then the concern expressed in these URGENT emails is that your subscribers will miss your emails because they no longer go to their primary mailbox.
As I teach people how to market through email lists, and use an email list to communicate with my own community, you’d think I’d be quick to jump on the bandwagon and send an email of my own. So why was I still pausing?
Then, the backlash began
After the initial wave of URGENT emails, along came a flurry of blogs and social media statuses that criticized the senders of the URGENT emails as patronising and self-serving. People announced they were unsubscribing from anyone who sent an URGENT Gmail email, because they were grown-ups who could figure out their own inbox settings, thank you very much.
It’s not that I’d have been foolish to have sent an email letting my community know about these Gmail changes. (In fact, by virtue of this blog, I clearly just have.) It simply wasn’t quite my message. Forwarding someone else’s advice, in a state of panic, would have been a knee-jerk reaction – and I don’t want my business, or yours, to be built on knee-jerk reactions.
“She told me to do it…”
I don’t want us to feel overwhelmed by, “Oh my gosh there is SO much to do and I have to do it all NOW or I’ll miss out and be doomed!” I don’t want us tossed about on the waves of online fads. I want us to make our own decisions, from a strong, unshakeable place.
A respected peer saying something is a good idea doesn’t make it true. We need to put ideas through the all-important filter: Connection. What does that practice of checking in look like for you?
For me, Connection is time spent quietly with myself, scanning my body, finding my instincts and dropping into a stiller mind. It’s the place to take any information I’ve received… and pause… consider… and then respond.
The world of online business can be so boisterous and noisy, which is why I start everything with Connection: my working days, the first five minutes of a 1-1 coaching session, the first chapter of this book, the first module on this group training programme.
With online business, news travels fast and ideas go viral; this is both a blessing and a curse and so we must have an anchor. By plugging in and starting from Connection, we can calmly and powerfully guide our businesses forward and avoid knee-jerk reactions.
Over to you
When have you knee-jerk reacted – and regretted it? What pitfalls have you avoided by pausing? Leave a comment below, let us know. (And also – what do you think about the recent Gmail changes, as a subscriber and a business owner?)
Ready for an unshakeable foundation?
If you’re dizzy from being pushed and pulled by conflicting marketing advice, you’ll love that the first module of the Turn Your Passion to Profit course is Connection. It’s such a relief to build your business on rock-solid ground. Click here to check out the details of this marketing training and get front of the queue for when enrollment opens.
P.S. PASS IT ON.
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© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2013