Are you Swimming in The Shallow End of The Tactical Gene Pool?


Yesterday, I heard Troy Broussard dish some dirt on marketing jackasses who resort to stupid tricks…

…such as ending mass emails with “Sent from my iPhone.”

Those cunning tricksters want you to think they’ve sent a personal email, composed one thumb-tap at a time, just for you.

Troy said, as I often say: You don’t have to resort to these stupid marketing tricks. 

And then Troy added this about the tricksters:   

They “swim in the shallow end of the tactical gene pool.” 

(That is a 5-star takedown, Troy ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ .)

I know everyone likes shortcuts. It’s tempting to use tricks. 

But you do NOT need to swim in the shallow end. 

You do not want to be lumped with the genetically-deprived jackasses. 

So…here’s a checklist for your “Avoid at All Costs” file…

5 signs
you’re swimming in
the shallow end of
the tactical gene pool…

  1. You write a subject line that begins “re:…” as if it’s part of an ongoing, personal email string, when actually it’s a one-time marketing message. 
  2. You put “Personal:” in the subject line to make it seem like your mass email is actually a just-for-you message.
  3. You rent a Maserati or fancy house, post a picture of yourself with the car or house (as if you own it), and then dish out marketing copy that says, “You can reach the big-time, just like me, if you buy my stuff.” 
  4. You use a deceiving subject line such as “Receipt for P’pal payment…” that has nothing to do with the actual content of your email. Warning: If you use deceiving subject lines in an unsolicited (spam) email, you’re violating US federal law.
  5. You dish out some elaborate story that is a flat-out lie. 

Speaking of flat-out lies…

Twelve months ago, on the Monday after Thanksgiving, I got a pair of emails from top-dog online marketer Ryan Deiss. 

The first email was a Cyber Monday promotion with the subject line:  “You feelin’ lucky?!” The email pitched discounted courses and other products from his company DigitalMarketer. 

That email landed at 6:24 a.m. 

I didn’t open it. 

12 hours later, I received a follow-up email. This one was from “Richard at DigitalMarketer.”

The email said: 

Hey Thomas,

Ryan wanted me to check in to see if you received the email below.

We wanted to make sure you get your eyes on this before the deadline tonight.

Here is a quick link >> (Link omitted)

Talk soon,


Below Richard’s message was this:

————— Forwarded Message —————

To: Richard

From: Ryan

Subject: FW: You feelin’ lucky?!

Hey Richard, check out below. I don’t think Thomas is getting our emails.

The Cyber Monday sale shuts down at midnight and I want to make sure they get a chance to check it out.

Appreciate the help!

– Ryan

And below that was a forwarded copy of that email Ryan sent to me at 6:24 a.m.

Ahhh… So Ryan Deiss was spending his precious time reviewing the open stats for the Cyber Monday promotion…

…and saw that I didn’t open the first email…

…so he sent a one-to-one memo to his assistant, Richard…

…and personally asked Richard to shoot ME a personal email???

Nope. It didn’t happen. A flat out lie.

Ryan didn’t send a “oh-no-Thomas-didn’t-open-the-first-email” message to his co-worker.

All of this was automated. Impersonal mass follow-ups made to look like something else. 

What a crock!

Ryan Deiss doesn’t need to pull this shi*t. 

He is an established authority. He knows his stuff. He has earned our respect. 

And then he squanders it by using a stupid trick…

…a trick that moves him from the deep-end to the shallow-end of the tactical gene pool. 

He could have sent a follow-up that said, “Looks like you didn’t act on my earlier Cyber-Monday discount offer. I wanted to make sure you get your eyes on this before the deadline tonight.” 

Maybe Ryan’s tricky approach led to a few more clicks than an honest approach. 

But was it worth it? 

Ryan’s stunt insults my intelligence. But worse than that, it inspires other marketers to use stupid marketing tricks. 

Ryan is giving shallow-end swimmers permission to dish out such crap.

And so the show goes on.

The synchronized swimmers in the shallow end continue to dish out deceiving subject lines, fake personal emails “from their iPhones,” and other garbage.  (“Ryan did it. Why shouldn’t I?”) 

You don’t need to swim in the shallow end.

You can build REAL personal connections with readers — without labeling your emails “personal.” 

You can demonstrate the power of your products and services — without posing in front of a fancy car. 

You can inspire prospects to hire you — without resorting to stupid tricks. 

You can do this by delivering authentic, entertaining, captivating, bond-building content. 

Boring, “blah-blah-blah,” information-only content won’t do it. 

That’s why you must harness the power of storytelling. Honest, relevant storytelling. 

That’s what those swimming in the deep end have done. 

I can help you do that…

…if you join the Story Power Content Transformation Academy.  

See p.s. #3 below to get started. 

p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.