The ‘Sniper’ Mindset for Emails that Convert

“During the stalking portion of our training, you’re not graded on your first shot. You’re graded on your second. In other words, once you’ve fired, can you be seen?”

Chris Kyle
American Sniper

What image comes to mind when you hear the word “sniper”?

Usually I think of a tough-looking dude with a huge rifle and monster scope who could pick the flies off a cow’s ear from a mile away.

For real-world snipers, though, being the best shot is only part of the game.

Right now I’m reading “American Sniper.”

If you haven’t seen it, it’s the autobiography of the Navy SEAL who became the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history.

One thing that surprised me is how precision shooting was not the main focus of training for the SEAL snipers.

They did devote time to improving their skill behind the rifle.

But they were a lot more concerned with “stalking”—finding the right vantage point and camouflaging their position so they could take follow up shots.

Because even the best snipers still miss their target.

Pretty often I’ll get someone who comes to me for help to craft a “killer” email pitch—they want to just knock their prospects right out of their boots with a single laser-accurate shot.

That’s the wrong mindset though.

Even world-class copywriters usually won’t have a lot of success trying to close the sale in one shot like this.

And if you’re going to hit ’em hard with a pitch right away, you’d better not miss, because you don’t usually get a second chance.

I don’t like those odds.

Instead I’m always thinking about the second “shot,” and the third, and the fourth…

In your email copy, that means “camouflaging” your pitches, telling stories that keep your subscribers entertained and engaged even while you’re selling to them.

You increase your chances of making the sale today—and you “live to fight another day” so you can try again tomorrow.