Digital Marketing

Email Happy Hour: Why The Heck You Should Show Up

Happy hour is a beautiful thing! Think about it. It’s a time where friends and even strangers share time to do nothing but let some steam off. It’s a time to catch up with a friend or even a client. It’s a time to talk about what’s going on in the world. It’s a time of transition between one part of your day to the next. It’s never as fun to show up to happy hour without friends or someone to shoot the breeze with. Ultimately, happy hour is about relationship building.


So what can we learn about happy hour and apply to help grow our businesses?

Let’s take email marketing for example. Email marketing is one solid channel to get your community to take some sort of action. By this point, just about everyone has either heard of, tried or is running some sort of email marketing campaign. It might that monthly email newsletter, invitation to an event or email notification when new blog posts are created.

The epic fail of your email campaigns

Through my experience and conversations I’ve found that most people start their email campaigns, see an initial response, and then after maybe a month or two see the results fall off into an abyss. This happens even with good email list segmentation (i.e. having the right people receiving content that’s extremely relevant to them). The same people open your email campaigns over and over again. At some point you say, “Wow, why can’t I get anyone else to read this” or “How the heck do we get the other 80% of people on our list to give a crap about what we are sharing”.

I’m going to be honest and upfront here by saying very few people 1) have the time to read your email and take action and/or 2) really  give a crap about what you have to share. Sounds harsh, right? Well, it’s true.

How to get people to give a crap and actually become “connected” to you

The reason why email marketing generally sucks is the one-way nature of it. Buy my product. Read my dumb article. Buy my stupid book. Come to my lame event. Again, being harsh here, but these words are pretty straight forward in describing the feeling behind someone being forced to care about something you share. Trust me, if enough people cared you’d be reading this post somewhere in the Bahamas.

So how the heck do we get people to care?

To overcome the challenge of getting your community to truly care, open your emails, read them thoroughly and take action is to first show you care about them. One of the best ways to do this is to schedule what I call an Email Happy Hour.

What is an email happy hour?

An email happy hour is 1 hour that you set aside to truly connect further with the people on your email list.

Here are a few things you can do inside this 1 hour time period:

Say thank you and get feedback from active subscribers

Send subscribers that have been opening/clicking through your email campaigns a personalized email. Yes, that means an email like … “Hey John, I want to thank you for taking the time to be a subscriber to our newsletter. Is there something you feel we can do to bring more value to you?” The point of the email is to keep it extremely personalized. I like video email because it shows you truly care. It also brings out emotions and body language that elicit trust. You can use a tool such as Send Video Email to send video emails quickly and even receive notifications when they watch the video.


Most email marketing platforms will provide you with statistics that will tell you who opened and clicked through your email campaigns. I particularly recommend Mail Chimp. They allow you to sort your email subscribers by a star rating which averages out the times a subscriber opened/click through from a cumulative view of email campaigns they received from you.


Ask active subscribers for referrals to new subscribers

Again, take time to thank your active email subscribers, but this time ask for a referral to a friend or group of friends that they feel will benefit from receiving your content. There are several ways to streamline this, but that is for another blog post 🙂 You can always contact my company and we can discuss this further.

Connect with non-active subscribers on social networks

One tactic I’ve used in the past that seems to work really well when engaging a non-active email subscriber is to connect with them on other social networks. This means searching for them, connecting and actually taking time to comment on their activity posts or even send a private message follow up. Obviously sending a non-active email subscriber an email doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense. By connecting with them on social networks you bypass the sender name barrier (i.e. notifications now coming from say LinkedIn).


The other reason why connecting with them and actually paying attention to their activity works is because it builds awareness through push notifications work with mobile devices. For example, when you comment on someone status update on LinkedIn, not only will that person receive an email notification, but also a push notification/text message to their phone. This is true only if that person has the LinkedIn mobile app. The good news is that most people interact with social networks using mobile apps versus just accessing social networks using the browser on their phone.

According to a study by Nielson on monthly mobile device usage, 89% of consumers preference using mobile apps to interact with social networks. I found a diagram found on Smart Insights ( that diagrams this trend very well. This is good news!


The point where your community gives a crap and you start seeing results

The goal here in this hour is to actually connect with these people. I mean, heck, you might want to actually take one of them to a real happy hour 🙂 When you actually give a crap and make a true connection you will be surprised not only in the effectiveness of future email communications, but what opportunities have been dormant.

We live in a world of chaos. One of the very basic human needs we all desire is to be loved. To have someone truly listen to us. To have some actually give a crap.

So take 1 hour, maybe once a day, once a week at the very least and following through with 1 of the 3 suggestions I gave above. Your business, life and overall perception of community will change forever for the better. Put it in your calendar right now. Yes, right now. Don’t wait. You won’t do it if you don’t schedule it.


Your community deserves love. It’s up to you to make it happen.

Now that’s something we all can cheers to 🙂

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About Author

I'm Jason :) For the past 15 years, I've been helping great companies maximize return on investment from their marketing by blending together marketing strategy, innovative technology and smart ideas.


  • Nick McGowan
    April 4, 2014 at 10:06 am

    I love this idea! Most people look forward to a happy hour to really connect with some friends outside of the confines of business and just enjoy their time. Because at that moment it’s not about business… it’s about life and relationships. But isn’t that what business is about? Building a community of people that know, like and trust you? Too often we get stuck in “business mode” and rarely live in the “human connection mode”.

    Thank you for posting this Jason! I’m looking forward to my next happy hour.

    • Jason Verdelli
      April 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks Nick! I see relationships as the foundation for the home. If you don’t establish it early everything you build on top of it is unstable.


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