I recently bought some shirts online and handed over my email address. The shirts haven't even arrived yet, but I must have received half a dozen emails by now.

And they all look the same:

Ten percent off!

Twenty-five percent off!

Use this code for 20% off!

This style of email marketing – I want to call it discount spamming – might work for shirts. And I say 'might', because I doubt it. But I'm certain it doesn't work for anything more substantial, like coaching or hypnotherapy.

Here are the problems with spamming your readers with generous discounts:

Firstly, it makes me feel ripped off. I literally just paid full price for something and how you're telling me I could have saved big bucks. 'Better late than never' doesn't really apply here.

Secondly, and this is related, I'm least likely to buy shirts just after I, you know, bought shirts. My first impressions with this email list involves irrelevant spam.

Thirdly, I'm not going to say you should never offer discounts on your products. Some people firmly believe it cheapens your products, others don't.

I will say if your products are always on sale, though, that definitely cheapens them.

Fourthly, I'm receiving far, far too many emails from these people. I might not buy from them for another year – am I going to receive three emails a week from them that I know are useless?

You could fix this one by emailing a new code, say, once or twice a month. But that causes other problems.

Fifthly …

And this is the worst sin of the lot …

It's BORING.

I bought these shirts online. Why bother, when there are dozens of shirt stores within walking distance? Why did I spend money on shipping, then choose to wait, when I could have grabbed what I wanted within 30 minutes?

Because these shirts are cool, distinctive and interesting.

So maybe instead of saying “Twentyyyyyyyy-fiiiiiive percent offfffff!” a hundred times a year, they talk about why people buy from them.

They could tell stories from people who bought and loves the shirts.

They could interview the artists and talk about their inspirations.

How about experiences people have that are cool, distinctive and interesting, and tie that to the shirts?

And, sure, they could whack a discount code in there too. They wouldn't need it to get more sales though.

If they tried to make their emails fun, I'd have read every single one. And, who knows, maybe I'd buy new shirts sooner than planned. If an artist's profile spoke to me, as if I wouldn't take a closer look at their wearable wares.

Because if all I cared about was price, I never would have bought from them.

It might sound challenging making a shirt fun, interesting or exciting. But all it takes is a little creativity.

If you're a coach or hypnotherapist, this gives you a key advantage:

What you offer is automatically fascinating.

People love hearing about ways they can grow stronger, stories of high performers and the latest ways to remove obstacles.

A shirt can make you feel cool. Coaching can make you feel unstoppable.

So talk about that first, and your latest offers second.

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