This one ventures dangerously close to “TMI” territory—but it's a little too much fun NOT to share.
So here goes nothing…
My wife is a lifelong fan of the Anne of Green Gables books.
So a couple of years after we got married we decided to vacation in Prince Edward Island where the “Anne” stories were set.
Most of our time there was spent touring century-old homes, dining in quaint restaurants, browsing old general stores and gift shops…
At some point during all this I see a pamphlet for a “seal watch” boat tour.
On the tour they take you out into the sound, past lighthouses to where the seals like to splash around and play in the open water.
Well, for me that's a no brainer—GOTTA do the seal tour.
The way the tours work is, they sync their schedule with the tides. When the tides are out, the seals are active.
As it happened, our tour was scheduled to leave in the early afternoon.
So with a little time to kill, we decided to grab a quick lunch, then hop onto the boat with the other tourists.
This particular boat was fairly small—about 45 feet long. Probably a retired fishing vessel. Not much to it, just a small cabin and an open platform on the back with a canopy to shield us from the ocean spray.
The route for tour goes down the river on the southeast tip of the island, then out into the Atlantic, round trip of about 2.5 hours.
Well we push off from the marina and start to chug chug chug down the river.
About 15 minutes into the trip, a little warning bell in my head goes off.
I feel, uh, a familiar “pressure” starting to build.
I shift in my seat and glance at the 1 liter Diet Coke cup in my hand and start to think maybe I've made a serious tactical error…
Well, it's a little late to worry about that now. Just have to sit back and enjoy the ride.
We glide past weather-beaten rocks and lighthouses, for more than an hour, and as we go, the pressure slowly builds…
Finally we arrive at our destination—a floating platform anchored near a pile of rocks in the middle of the sound.
There's a mommy seal with her little baby basking in the afternoon sun, really cute.
Then they dive off the platform into the water…
Millions and millions of gallons of WATER.
By this time I'm getting distinctly uncomfortable.
I take a quick scan around the boat.
Nope, no “facilities” in sight.
Not sure what I'd expect on a 45-foot decommissioned fishing skiff.
Show's over, time to head for the pier.
One thing about PEI is, it's really windy there. The wind whips off the flat eastern Canadian landscape, and right out into the Atlantic.
With all that wind comes waves. Out here in the open sea, the water is pretty choppy.
Every few second the boat bounces UP, and then down with a JOLT.
I'm feeling every ripple.
30 minutes to go, and it's dawning on me that I might not make it.
I start shooting desperate glances around the boat and weighing my options.
Not a lot of good ones.
I AM holding a big cup in my hand. And there's the side of the boat. Which would be less shocking to my fellow passengers?
15 minutes to go, and I realize the battle is lost.
In a last ditch effort to save my dignity, I stagger to the cabin and groan, “Excuse me, I hate to interrupt but…”
Oh, no problem, the captain says. And he pulls open a trap door in the floor to reveal a set of stairs leading to… A LAVATORY!
My suffering comes to a blissful end.
After all this I was certainly relieved (heh)…
I also felt pretty silly at putting myself through nearly two hours of misery.
The solution to my problem was right there the whole time.
But it took nearly unbearable physical discomfort to force me to get over a little mild embarrassment and TAKE ACTION.
That kind of reluctance to act isn't unique. In fact it's normal for most people—including your customers.
Right now there are people who have a problem you can help them fix.
But buying your solution means taking action, squarely facing a problem they'd rather not face.
And it's a fact that human beings will not make a change until the pain of staying put outweighs the discomfort of making a change.
Your job in your email course (and blog posts, and sales pages, and other marketing) is to accelerate this process.
How? With “agitation.”
Agitation is sidling up next to the guy sitting there with his legs crossed and offering him a nice cold Diet Coke.
It's calling his attention to the water, and remarking how you can't remember a time when the boat bounced around and jostled so much, and how this one time this tourist on the boat had to go SO BAD that…
Until finally he can't STAND it anymore—and you calmly direct him to the lav under the bulkhead.
That's what a good email course does.
On September 1, I'd like to show you a real, live example of agitation in action.
So I'm hosting a private “scenic tour” of a top performing email course.
I'll explain the psychology behind the copy.
Point out the specific places where I'm using techniques like agitation.
You'll come away with some advanced insights you can apply to your own emails right away.
Here's the link to sign up: