I was reading a management development article the other day and learned that if I wanted to succeed, I should look to persons who have succeeded before me, and do what they did. Seemed easy enough. I just needed to identify some marketing geniuses and I would be set. I pondered long and hard who I wanted to put on my list that I would emulate. Who had stood the test of time and was still standing?
I was not getting very far, and my list was pretty short, so I headed off to Starbucks. Maybe a grande latte, with a double shot, would help jolt my memory. I was standing at the coffee bar waiting for a sleeve when I saw a rather peculiar bracelet on the barista's wrist.
WWJD was all it said.
"What the heck did WWJD stand for?" I thought. “Wine, women, and Jack Daniels perhaps? No, probably some marketing attempt from some record shop or something. "
Noticing my trance-like stare at the bracelet, the barista whispered, “What Would Jesus Do?" giggled, and disappeared to go find more sleeves. "What Would Jesus Do?" I wondered. “What kind of a weird question was. . .
"Oh my god, I mean - gosh! Jesus was a perfect marketing genius. His teachings are still around today and he has been dead for thousands of years. He would be a perfect name for my list!" I realized.
Since my primary focus is Email Marketing I made up my own bracelet.
WWJE? Or What Would Jesus Email?
I wore the bracelet for a few days but did not feel any different (except for the rash I developed from the paint I had used on the leather). I quickly realized I did not know very much about Jesus and I needed some help or I would never find out his marketing secrets. Who could help me find out What Would Jesus Email?
I got out my Palm Pilot and pondered who, in my address book, could help me. I looked at my bracelet for guidance. WWJ -E. . .
I looked under ‘E’. The first entry was Madame Emael. Could a psychic help me find out What Would Jesus Email?
"What the hell, I mean - heck, " I thought, I would give it a shot.
Since Madame Emael had already helped me with the ‘Duplicate Freaky Email Incident’ we skipped the casual conversation. I did not even tell her why I was visiting. I guess she already knew because before I realized what was happening the lights went low and she started to caress her crystal ball and hum a sweet melody.
I waited, across the dimly lit room. Surely Madame Emael would be able to tell me, or get Jesus himself to tell me, the marketing secrets that had stood the test of time.
"With whom do you wish to speak?" Madame Emael sung in a sweet bird-like voice.
"The greatest marketer of all time. " I said. “I thought you already knew. "
Vigorously caressing her crystal ball Madame Emael whispered, “Ok, let's see if we can find - Cory Rudl and see what he is up to. " It was really dark but I could see the crystal ball start to flicker with sparks of light and I was kind of mesmerized, almost in a trance. Then I realized what she had said.
"Cory Rudl?" I exclaimed, into the darkness. No offense, but he has only been gone a few months, I'm sure he contributed to Internet Marketing and stuff but I want to speak to a marketer that has stood the test of time for thousands of years. Cory would have to wait awhile before he met that qualification. “I was wanting to speak with Jesus, you know, the guy that Mel Gibson made that super-violent movie about, " I said.
Suddenly, Madame Emael's voice changed. It was deep, kind of gravelly and I could hear very heavy breathing. It sort of sounded like the voice was growling.
"Oh, crap!" my mind raced. Maybe this was not such a good idea. The management article said go read books by successful people, it did not suggest the option of conquering up dead marketers’ spirits with a psychic. Was that Cory growling? Had I offended him? Or worse, was it Jesus and he was upset? I knew Jesus had gotten ticked off in a temple once and threw all the furniture around. I was just wanting some marketing advice. I held onto my chair, just in case the furniture started moving.
The deep, gravel-like voice spoke slowly into the darkness, “Did you say you want to speak to - Jesus?"
I closed my eyes, too scared to imagine what was about to happen.
And with that the lights flicked on and there stood Madame Emael, or rather some guy that looked like Madame Emael holding Madame Emael's hair in his hand, or rather her wig.
He/she grabbed my coat, and threw it at me.
"Get out!" he yelled in a deep man's voice.
"What are you doing, Madame Emael? Hey, you're a guy!" I yelled as I was shoved out the door.
Madame Emael, or Monsieur Emael quickly explained to me, as he was pushing me out the front entrance, that Jesus and all the great spiritual leaders where off limits and if he tried to contact them he would lose his state license. He said I should go and confess right away because going to a physic to speak to Jesus was border lining on some word that sounded a lot like hearsay but I could not make out what he was saying because I was too busy trying to find my car keys so I could get the heck out of there.
I sped out of the parking lot. “What a wonky experience, " I thought. I looked at my wrist. I was still wearing my WWJE bracelet. I wondered if I would ever find out What Would Jesus Email.
I was feeling like that silly giggling Starbucks barista had really sent me down a rabbit trail. And that management article was really starting to bug me. Where could I find out more about this Jesus guy? Mel's movie was not an option. It was in Aramaic and I hated subtitles.
I heard Madame Emael's voice in my ear: “Go to confessional, " so I drove around and found the first Catholic Church I could find with free parking.
The priest greeted me with a warm welcome and explained that all the regular priests had the day off, as it was Monday. He was semi-retired and came in and covered the off-days and holidays. He told me I could call him Father Eudora. He seemed really nice, though somehow I got the sense he was outdated.
I explained I wanted to confess, but was not Catholic. He said it didn't matter and took me through the chapel to the booth. We got all set up and I told him about the Starbucks barista, the WWJD bracelet, my session with Madame Emael and how she was really a guy and how I had made my own WWJE bracelet in my quest to find out What Would Jesus Email. . . but when I got to the part of my story about how I had noticed that I was acquiring a rash from the bracelet the curtain slowly inched opened.
I saw Father Eudora squinting through the window looking at me like I was a leper.
"You are not religious are you?" he asked through the window.
"No, " I said. “My parents had me in the 60's, you know, beads, knitted ponchos, love-ins, The Mamas & the Papas. . . " He got out of his side of the booth, and raised his hand to stop me.
"Come with me, " he said as he led me back into the chapel. “Let me tell you about Jesus. "
"Finally I'm getting somewhere!" I thought, and eagerly followed him.
I stayed the rest of the day and learned a lot about Jesus. Did you know he had twelve regular guys on his marketing team? One was more interested in being a rich jerk but the other eleven really went to work after Jesus left. They took his message door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor and friend-to-friend.
Jesus’ marketing approach sounded a lot like viral marketing. Seems like he may have even invented it. His disciples passed his message on from person to person and the message's influence grew and grew and grew. Thousands of years later the ‘tell a friend’ campaign continues.
I've stopped wearing my WWJE bracelet because the paint rash wasn't getting any better. Oh, and I made up with Madame Emael. She, or rather he, seemed a little more sane after I told him everything Father Eudora had taught me about Jesus and his marketing campaign.
Seems Madame Emael is just an out-of-work dot com executive picking up some work with this psychic gig. He tried to explain, at great length, and in great detail, why he chose to be a cross-dressing psychic. I stopped him, explaining I was in marketing so stuff like that didn't bother me.
I put my WWJE bracelet by my computer so I see it when I send my weekly e-newsletters. I never paid that much attention to the ‘forward this email to a friend’ section before. Oh sure I always made sure it was there - I just never realized the potential.
I hope you enjoyed my account of how I found out What Would Jesus Email. Now, whether you agree with Jesus and his teachings is not the point. Jesus has been gone for thousands of years but his message continues. If email had been around back then I am sure Jesus would have used it to spread ‘the gospel’ door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor and friend-to-friend. So how do we hope to get the kind of response that a dead prophet is still getting thousands of years later?
Use a tiny phrase in your email messages to get your subscribers to take action. Some people call it ‘Tell A Friend’ or ‘Forward This Email To A Friend’.
Regardless of the label get creative and encourage your readers to forward your email newsletters around. Who knows maybe your e-zine will be forwarded about thousands of years from now carrying on your message.
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Have you done some bad things this week? Want to earn good karma to erase it all? Forward this article to your friends, enemies and anyone else you know that has an email inbox. You can even print this article and post it everywhere there are people. The Internet karma gods won't know the difference.
Copyright Joan Pasay - 2005