But ‘sat’ is not quite the word for it; it looked more like ‘Exhibit A’ from a yoga textbook. As she showed us the “beginning, intermediate and advanced” versions of each pose, she stressed that she didn’t care for those words because everyone’s body does its own thing and that your body will naturally tell you how far to push it.
“Yeah, yeah,” I think. “But the advanced pose is the one I want my body to do. Mind over matter, right?” Well no, actually. They work together.
The yoga instructor that morning also used a phrase I had never heard before to describe that shaking in your muscles “when your body says ‘STOP; that’s enough’.”
Wow; people have plenty of those, I thought. But you never even know you have them until you push yourself a little.
In my experience, it’s easy to dream big. It’s the doing that kicks your butt. Whenever I imagine a large project, a large outcome, a system larger than me-myself that just seems to hum along on its own (or when I see an advanced yoga pose); I get a little starry-eyed and bullish: “Hey, I can do that. That can be done.” I brim with self-generosity in summing up my own abilities. Ha.
Instead of the beginner’s pose — or that first email of a new campaign — it’s the big picture I’m in love with. I want to jump ahead of all the resistance receptors and get to the finish line. Who needs those stinkin’ resistance receptors?
But resistance receptors have a huge function if you ever want to accomplish goals like increasing your email list size by 10% or getting some of your customers to find you online — or if you strive to do the extended side angle pose like your yoga instructor.
Here’s the secret to conditioning those wise but flexible “resistance receptors” with regard to your email marketing strategy:
Start small. And Stretch.
If you only have 30 minutes each week, dedicate those 30 minutes exclusively to one small thing surrounding your campaign. That could be signing up for an email service; inserting a picture into a template and writing a small introduction; or explaining to your reader the the benefit of linking to your website or Facebook page before the week’s end for a special offer.
If your email marketing feels too weighty like a stone around your neck or a commitment you want to shirk; take it easy and adjust to your own scheduling and financial restrictions.
The rewards of email marketing to a targeted group of people who are interested in learning more from you are greater than the cost you’ll invest. However, if you never feel those resistance receptors kick in, then email marketing ROI will always remain theoretical.
Be realistic and aim for small gains at first, even if that means merely sorting through your email contacts or doing some online research.
I read a lot of advice related to email marketing that is directed toward larger companies. For example, there are articles about “getting the boss to buy into email marketing” or some social networking/marketing practice a Fortune 500 company adopts…stories that leave the small business guy feeling like he’s never going to get his online marketing off the ground for lack of a huge team and/or resources. Yes, the advice is applicable, but the scale is way off. It’s like watching a skilled yoga guru hold an impossible pose when you’ve never even touched your toes.
Keep in mind that people and marketing departments with more experience naturally have higher-threshold resistance receptors — but they still have them.
The Resistance Receptors exist to push you to be better, and like yoga, they work to help you find balance. Before accomplishing that magnificent pose, we have to first NOT fall over; then we reach a little bit more and gauge the pain involved. That’s the only way to know where to stop and where to pick up again next time. If you exhaust yourself right out of the gate, chances are you’ll be less likely to want to shoot for that level again, if at all.
The idea behind stretching is to feel that initial resistance and gently push through it. Carve out that small chunk of resources to do more with your email. For example:
- test a new font
- search for improved content
- imagine how you can connect better with a new segment of your market
- ask questions from someone on your team
- read your feedback or analytics report
- create a survey
- employ one good idea from an email you received that you liked
Just like yoga, your marketing plan gets easier and you get more comfortable with it each time you meet your resistance receptors.
Written by Jen McGahan