Ripped From the Headlines: Wacky News Stories that Make Great Emails


Every so often, my buddy Adam sends me a link with a challenge to “email this.”

Sometimes it’s a link to a crazy discussion thread on Reddit. Often, it’s a random, funny news story. 

My favorite “email this” challenge was a news story about status-hungry Chinese big-shots and strippers (more on that in a moment). 

But I now have a new favorite, thanks to the article Adam sent yesterday. It’s the story of a Bosnian husband and wife who went looking for illicit love in all the wrong places. 

In the text he sent with the link, Adam wrote, “This one is really good.” 

I agree. So I began writing an email that I planned to send today. 

But I’ve changed my mind. 

Before I share the story of the Bosnian lovers, the previous champion must be laid to rest and honored. 

If you were on my list in 2018, you may remember this story. I sent it then with the subject line: 

“This trick may draw a crowd. But is it the ‘right’ crowd?”

Here it is again. No longer my favorite, but a great story nonetheless. (May it rest in peace.)

Wanna draw a big crowd?

Strippers may do the trick…

…at least if the event is a funeral…

…and the funeral is in China.

Funeral strippers? Yep, that’s a thing in China — so much so that the government recently cracked down.

Communist Party killjoys called the practice “obscene and vulgar.”

But the practice persists, according to the BBC.

Why? A few theories:

Hire a few pole dancers to lead your funeral procession, and you tell the world you have money to burn.

Plus, strippers make your funeral WAY more entertaining than it otherwise might be.

So you will increase attendance…

…which will make you appear more important.

This got me thinking about all the people who probably will skip my funeral…

…unless I sweeten the deal.

My funeral will be in the American Heartland. No funeral strippers here.

Plan B: Maybe I can hire Elton John to perform “Candle in the Wind.” That’ll pack the room.

But ultimately, what’s the point?

In life (and death), aren’t we better off if we surround ourselves with people who really want to be with us?

Those people who hang out with us only because we entice them with strippers or Elton John — who needs ‘em?

So it goes with marketing.

Marketers use all sorts of tricks to entice people to show up and to sign up.

Enter a to win a valuable gizmo. Come see the high-priced talent at our extravaganza. Hang out with important people so you can feel important, too.

Most of the people you attract this way don’t give a hoot about you, your products or your services.

They showed up and signed up because you sweetened the deal.

You’ll see when you try to close the sale. They’re not interested in you. They were only interested in the sweetener you used to attract them.

Building a following is about quality, not quantity.

Entice people to show up and sign up with offerings directly related to what you sell.

Attract people who really want you for who you are and what you offer.

You may have fewer people in the room or on your list. But they’ll be there for YOU, not for the strippers.

And there you have it. Stay tuned for another wild story — ripped from the headlines — next week.

Until then, have a great weekend.

Whenever you’re ready…here are a few ways we can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you’ll land more clients:

1) Follow Tom Ruwitch on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Attend our free training: “How to Harness the Magnetic Power of Storytelling…” Discover how to transform marketing from a confusing, resource-draining hassle into something that’s simple, fun AND productive. Details and registration here.

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Ryan Dolotallas