What a Little Green Leaf Taught Me About Marketing

One of my clients recently invited me to join them in an online course about the business of food.

The course had been set up by Seth Godin and knowing my affinity for him and the benefit it would have to our collaboration, she’d thought, why not?

In the email that she forwarded me, I saw something very special. It was simple, a grace note, hidden in plain sight at the bottom of the email. It read:

If you click on the green leaf that we hid for blog readers, you’ll save some money on tuition–but the discount decreases every day.

“That’s remarkably unremarkable” you might be thinking to yourself, but like so many things with Seth, the subtlety is the point.

This is a man who has built a legacy of being satisfied with “enough”, of doing “work that matters” for the people who want to work with him.

This single line sums up a couple of his concepts so well.

  1. It’s about insiders and outsiders: If you read this line, you got to the end of the email and if you got to the end of the email you deserve to be rewarded. Here’s a secret that nobody else knows about. Congratulations and welcome to the club.
  2. You don’t need to shout about it. This wasn’t a “promo code”, it wasn’t a sign saying “50% off” it was little green leaf hidden in plain sight. And if the reader was tickled in just the right way, they might even tell their friends. As I said, the subtlety is the point.
  3. Urgency and scarcity are still important. You get the behaviour you reward, so if you want people to sign up promptly it makes sense to reward them for it. But because of our natural aversion to loss, sometimes it makes even more sense to let us know that you’re going to take that reward away if we don’t act soon.

When you think about it, it is kind of remarkable that we could learn all that, from a little green leaf.

If you’d like to learn more about the secret link between foliage and digital marketing, or maybe just digital marketing, you can sign up to my daily newsletter for free below.

Mike Drysdale

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