If you’re like me, then you have a few favorite TV shows.
After all, we’re kind of living in the golden age of great TV right now. There are a lot of amazing series running, like Homeland, House of Cards, Game of Thrones…the list goes on and on.
You may find these shows addictive, but have you ever asked yourself why?
What makes them so irresistible that we spend whole weekends on Netflix catching up?
Part of the reason these shows are so great is the mastery of the concept of the open loop. It’s a big component of why we’re living in the golden age of TV, and it can help make your email copy more readable (and binge-worthy).
So what is an open loop?
In this article, I’m going to explain exactly what an open loop is, why you need one, and how you can make one to keep your readers on the edge of their seats.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
What Is an Open Loop?
An open loop is a concept that, in the telling of stories, means our brains naturally want to seek out some sort of conclusion. The open loop eventually provides that conclusion.
As I’ve said, TV writers today are experts in creating open loops. They’ll introduce a character or a set of characters, and then a conflict.
Naturally, you want to keep watching to find out what happens to those characters.
The idea then, of an open loop, is the urge to close the loop. Leverage the power of storytelling to keep your customers engaged.
Photo via Visme Blog
Your customers don’t just want to hear about your product. They don’t want to be pitched or sold to, either.
They want to hear about real people. That makes what you’re saying more memorable and interesting.
If you can deploy a story into your copy, then you can effectively use the open loop technique to keep them opening your emails, and coming back for more.
How to Create an Open Loop
One way you can create an open loop is by introducing a bit of information at the beginning, but not giving it all away. You’re being purposely coy.
So, for example, after a prospective customer subscribes to your email newsletter, you’re going to send your initial email. In that email, you may share an important case study in which you tripled revenue for a client, or even saved a client from bankruptcy.
To hook in prospects, you’d introduce the clients as real people. You might then allude to the problem, unveiling the story somewhat as the email progresses.
This creates the open loop.
To really get prospects on the edges of their seats, don’t give everything away in one email. Create cliffhangers like your favorite TV show does. This way, the prospect will be looking forward to your next email to see how the story resolves.
Photo via SEOPressor
By doing this, you’re building the emotional tension. Your prospects are invested in the people in the story (your past real clients) and are eager to know what happens to them.
The first email introduces the problem, the second email elaborates on the problem even more, and the third email presents the solution.
The solution could be you helping the client save time, double their revenue, consolidate expenses, escape debt, etc.
Three Examples of Open Loops
Example #1: Andre Chaperon at Tiny Little Businesses
My first example of an open loop in action is Andre Chaperon at Tiny Little Businesses. Chaperon is the creator of the Lucrative Email Strategy or LEM.
Chaperon does an excellent job and is extremely subtle in the way he creates open loops. Not only that, but he includes a direct sales proposition at the end of his loops, as displayed in this example.
I asked Bryan Harris at Videofruit his opinion on Chaperon’s AutoResponder Madness course, which is all about how to write effective email follow-up sequences. He said the number one thing he got from the course was more about the concept of open loops.
Chaperon’s LEM course is a free version of AutoResponder Madness. His goal is to get you to buy the AutoResponder Madness course.
Once you sign up for the LEM course, in his first email, Chaperon is not shy about putting it all upfront. He opens the loop on his product almost immediately.
In his email, he’s not pitching you. Instead, Chaperon is focused on testimonials. He namedrops a few important people, like Ryan Deiss and Perry Belcher from DigitalMarketer, and Charles Kirkland of Media Buyer Association.
After a few testimonials, Chaperon kind of cuts it off there. The loop is still open, though.
Even if you’re not familiar with AutoResponder Madness, by this point, you’re intrigued and excited. You see these big names saying how this is an amazing course and how it’s worth a lot more than what you’re being charged.
You’re still not sure how much the course costs, but you’re excited nonetheless. You want to keep reading, but you can’t until the next email.
The loop is open in your mind. You’re asking questions like, how much does the course cost? Is this course right for me? What can I learn from it?
Chaperon’s conversational style helps to keep you reading as well. He keeps his sentences short and writes in a casual, conversational style (much like we do here at Autogrow.co).
Another way that Chaperon opens the loops is through his opt-in pages. He’s not pushing very hard for you to get on his list. In fact, you have to scroll pretty far down the page before you see the opt-in pop-up.
He does this on purpose. Chaperon is trying to disqualify anyone who isn’t excited about his course.
He also includes social proof from well-known marketers as well as the benefits of his product, just like in his emails. This gets you excited for what his course has to offer.
Example #2: Bryan Harris at Slingshot Launch
I already mentioned Bryan Harris and Videofruit, but he also does work at Slingshot Launch. This company provides the tools and resources you need so your product launch knocks it out of the park.
Harris is a fantastic storyteller. He tends to focus more on closed loops, though. For example, he might say something like “Hey, remember in childhood when the big bully poked you and one day you poked him back?”
Although Harris keeps his loop more closed than open with his storytelling, he did the reverse with his Slingshot Launch emails.
Sent at the beginning of the year, Harris starts his email asking how his prospective customers would have changed 2016. He even gives the reader five minutes to create their own do-over list.
This is the perfect segue into how to make 2017 better with Harris’ product, the Slingshot Launch. And he doesn’t shy away from including prices in his copy.
Much like Andre Chaperon above, Harris includes the benefits of his product. He mentions other marketers who succeeded via his template.
This also gets you excited. You can’t help but think that if these marketers had so much success via Harris’ products, so can you.
Example #3: Frank Kern
Marketer Frank Kern also has a way with words, but he’s much more of a fan of video.
Kern created the Behavioral Dynamic Response sales method. He’s also made a video template for info marketers who want to target specific niches.
When it came to promoting the video template series, Kern sent out an email that grabbed attention right away.
The headline, which is “$13 Million per *hour*” immediately gets you curious. You want to know, did Kern earn that much money? How? Can you do the same if you follow his template?
Kern links you to the video in the email as well as embeds it at the top of the email. Much like the examples we’ve already discussed, Kern keeps some of the mystery in his first video. It’s informative, but it doesn’t explain everything you need to know about his product.
He mentions in his initial email that he’ll send out several more videos to those who watch the first. By staggering out his information, interest grows more for each video.
Think of Kern’s product like a puzzle and the videos the puzzle pieces. If you only watched the first video or only the second, you wouldn’t have enough pieces to assemble the puzzle.
It’s only once you watch all three videos can you put the full picture together.
An open loop is like a type of path. With strong, engaging writing and storytelling, you’re leading your prospect to calling you for a consultation, opting in, buying your product, or some other similar goal.
If those goals are the destination, your open loop is how you get there.
- Remember to space out the content in your emails. Don’t give everything away in the first message. An open loop should drive engagement and attention. That means slowly wrapping up your story over several emails.
- Include benefits and testimonials in your emails. These get prospects interested in the “characters.” The prospect will want to continue reading to see what happens to said characters.
- While longer messages are key here, don’t get too long-winded. Keep your sentences short and crisp. Write casually.
Do you use an open loop for your company? Are you ready to start after reading this post? Let me know in the comments below!
Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused