4 Elements of Impactful Reactivation Emails

I read through about 20 emails per day that make it to my inbox. Amongst them are usually promotional sales from Old Navy, Bed Bath & Beyond and Groupon. I also peek at newsletters from Darling Daily, gapingvoid and Copyblogger. Every once in a while, a seemingly personal email gets my attention enough for me to open it.

This morning, that happened, and I was pleasantly surprised (instead of annoyed) that it was from a company that I’ve interacted with.

Take a look at this beautifully created user reactivation email from any.do. (Any.do is an app that helps you organize your tasks and gives you a place to check them off when you are done!)

—-(Begin Email)—-

Hi Jetty,

Hope you’re well.

I’ll cut to the chase, so I don’t waste too much of your time.

Today I put together a list of people that downloaded my app (Any.do) a while ago, but haven’t logged in for a long time.

I’ve been racking my brain to think of how I can ask you to give Any.do a second chance and basically decided the best way is to come clean and ask you.

Our small team have honestly worked day and night to build a new Any.do that is ten times better than what you used before. I know it is a pain, but if you update your current version, or re-download Any.do from the App Store, you will see that the app is now completely different.

… if you’re slammed with too many things you need to do and need a simple app to help you organize it all, I genuinely think you will love the new Any.do.

There are no ads, no sponsored listings and no cheesy special deals. Just a simple & fun app to help you organize all aspects of your life.

If you have any problems whatsoever, please visit our Help center to learn more about the great app features or submit a request to our Support team.

Here’s a link where you can download or update to the shiny new Any.do.


Thanks so much,



—-(End Email)—-

So, here’s what I see. I experience this email as:


The subject line and greeting is my name! How can you get more personal than that? Okay, you’re right, it could be my middle name and what time I go to lunch, but that would just be creepy.


The founder talks to me as if he’s sitting next to me on a park bench or we are sharing coffee. Yet, the copy is still direct, informative and authentic.


A picture with a bunch of people frowning at you communicates (depending on your perception) that you are missed and cared about or that you’ve disappointed every frowning face. Both of those emotive responses are strong motivators, plus, it’s humorous.  


After addressing me by name and explaining his feelings, the founder shares how hard the team has worked on the new app, and asks me to give it a spin.

I’m tempted to download it and see what it’s like. I wonder how many other disengaged app users are as well. I’ll let you know if I do.


5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Thesis or Dissertation

1. Do you love your subject? You would know this if your mouth waters every time you think about it or your heart beats a little faster every time someone mentions something related to it. You would also know if you can’t stop thinking about it and you’ve erected whole work spaces in honor of studying it.

2. Are other people interested in the topic? In academia it’s easy to be a ‘billboard on the moon.’ However, your work will have a greater impact if it’s a topic that scholars are actively discussing and is related to something in the current culture or political climate.

3. Are you willing to live with your topic? Your thesis topic will dominate your thoughts, your time, your resources, your space, and your patience [a lot like a child does, but I wouldn’t know 😉 ]. You’ll eat, sleep, and even breathe it for a considerable amount of time.

4. Ten years from now, will you still be proud of your work? You want to pick something that is so significant to you, that you won’t tire of it in even ten years. Or, that you won’t be embarrassed about sharing with others later in life.

5. Will you complete your thesis? Many students find themselves in a bind to graduate or allow other life happenings (marriage, children, financial issues) to distract them from completion of serious academic work.

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nenyaki/2430528033/

Tumblr: Covering the Coverage of the Coverage

In an article on the NY Times today, we learned that Tumblr has just hired two writers to do “real journalism” on their social media population.

Beginning as a company that allowed the mass upload of media content from almost anyone in the world, one can see how it may be trying to create a voice for the company. There are so many voices and everyone has so much to say. However, this will not be a fluffy pr effort according to the source.

According to the NY Times article, Ms. Bennet who will be Tumblr’s new executive editor and correspondent, stated “Basically, if Tumblr were a city of 42 million. . .I’m trying to figure out how we cover the ideas, themes and people who live in it.”

Tumblr is not alone and other social media outlets are looking to capitalize on the opportunity for covering the coverage of the coverage. We’ve seen a great shift in the media realm and a great rise of citizen and alternative journalism in the past 10 years.

Sam: Were you at the concert last night? Tara: No, I watched it on Facebook Live & took this screenshot

Now, the outlets themselves are starting to take advantage, strategically, of the content and the communities they have available to them. Creating content about the existing content. The only difference is the news is in the online environment, not out on the street.

The power struggle between media creators and media publishers continues indeed.

Your Social Life: It’s also a job.

Not all writers are created equal. Some of us like fantasy, some of us dwell in romance, and others stick to technicalities. Personality preferences and style not only show in our work but in our personal lives.

When you write or communicate as a profession, the lines of professional and personal can become blurred. Social life as profession: Now that’s a horse of a different color.

Don’t get too excited there, Dorothy. Like any other aspect of our lives, our social life needs management. If you compute management with work, then you see where I’m going.

The definition of communication as a whole is the process of creating and managing meaning. Therefore, the tasks and processes to go about initiating new friendships can be seen as work. Businesses understand this and are avidly hiring new fleets of “social media specialists” to start and maintain relationships on their behalf.

As writers, we understand how influence works and we choose whether or not to use it for the good of those around us.

According to a study published in Communication Quarterly, Attribution-based strategies for initiating and terminating friendships, “Both relationship initiation and relationship termination can be viewed as persuasive endeavors in which one is attempting to influence the other party to accept a relationship definition.”

Whether we’re writing to promote a product, service or person, we understand how influence in relationship works. However, because we often define this process in strict terms as work, we may fail to put the helpful tactics we’ve mastered to action when we’re off the clock. Social life as profession, give it a try.

Carry it home with you:

  • Be Intentional – you know what is successful when you create meaning in other arenas, imitate and duplicate your expertise
  • Be Authentic – anyone can catch an insincere pitch or catchy tagline without heart, so can your loved ones and new friends in a false smile or remark
  • Be Available – great ideas come through collaboration, give your social life the space in needs to evolve

Writers! Your mental health is key to creative success.

It has long been the unwritten, yet accepted ideal that mental illness, and negative moods contribute positively to a poet’s creativity.

Research supports quite the contrary. Alice M. Isen, a professor of Psychology and Marketing at Cornell, has found positive affect (a.k.a. feeling) helps creativity.

Being in a good mood and staying on top of your mental cobwebs:

  • makes additional cognitive material available for processing, increasing the number of cognitive elements available for association
  • leads to defocused attention and a more complex cognitive context, increasing the breadth of elements treated as relevant to the problem
  • increases cognitive flexibility, increasing the probability that diverse cognitive elements will in fact become associated

When these happen in cohesion, it does everything but drain your brain. So, the next time you have a tagline, or novel to write, take a deep breath, a walk, or conduct a massive brainstorming session, to clear your mental sphere. Open your mind. Get into the right mood to create and you’re sure to see results.

According to the beloved Plath, “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”