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  • Writer's pictureFrancis Nayan

The Walking Dead's Email Marketing Secret

"The Walking Dead is the greatest show on TV ever!" - Francis in 2014 probably. 

Honestly, The Walking Dead in 2020 makes me wish there WAS a zombie apocalypse. That way I'd never have to watch another ridiculous second of recurring predictable plots, the same ol' tired story, and characters I haven't cared about in 4 years.

That being said, I've been binge-watching it since the pandemic and you bet that I'm waiting for it like a little kid waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. 

When I'm hooked, I'm hooked - what can I say? 

Anyways, there's a marketing lesson in this, I promise. Just keep reading...

Last night while I was getting my nightly dose of undead anxiety, I found myself terribly, knee-slappin' frustrated. 

The producers of this show did that thing where they'd focus on one storyline and build tension thicker than a bowl oatmeal, and then all of the sudden switch it to another sub-story...

Like, they'd have some epic standoff between good guy #2 versus bad guy #2 with both dudes grunting, knives in-hand, staring at each other so powerfully - almost intimately -  you'd think they were gonna kiss...

And then BAM - nothing. 

Cut scene...

On to the next where people are picking grapes talking about "hAvE yOu Cut tHe roSes for ThE tRading FaIr?" 

Get outta here, Denise. 

I wanna watch crossbow man beat up the other bad guy who only speaks in whispered grunting, not you debate with Gerald about your post-apocalyptic wine-making process. 

They did this over and over and over again. 

Eventually, they'd close each storyline and then leave you with a cliffhanger, forcing you to watch the next episode...

I was upset and you would be too. 

No one likes not finishing. (HA!)

But then I found myself wondering how I'm so flustered and anxious after a cliffhanger...

How I find myself debating whether to hit the hay or watch another subpar episode of a show that definitely peaked in 2015...

...After some research, I found the answers. 

First off, it's a show that brilliantly uses 'open loops' and 'nested loops', which are just semi-fancy ways of saying they know how to build one story on top of another without finishing each one until the very end. 

It's how shows like TWD, Lost, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and literally any good show captivates an audience. 

You can check out a quick 3-minute video that explains it.<< 

Also, it's pure psychology. 

It so happens that back in 1927, there was Lithuanian psychologist named Bluma Zeigarnik who did a study showing that waiters in cafe remembered incomplete tabs much more than paid ones. And actually, when the tabs were paid, they'd forget about the order almost completely. I'm not gonna get too deep into it today, but you read more about Blummy's Zeigarnik Effect here - it's pretty cool.<<

I guess that's why movies like Inception or any trilogy or saga end up becoming amazing epics that we can't get enough of. 

And it's also why some email sequences become blockbusters that sell like crazy, get sky-high open rates, and click rate numbers that resemble the temperature of a hot mid-Summer day in Spain. 

By using open and nested loops you can boost engagement of your emails, which can lead to more sales/calls/bookings/frustrated replies from subscribers who want to cut the foreplay and get the information...

(this actually helps your email marketing regarding deliverability, I'll explain later)

I've actually done it once or twice in this email and a few times in the previous emails.

Check them out and see if you can spot them. 

Go the extra mile and infuse them in your own emails and watch your engagement skyrocket. 


That's all I got for today.

Thanks for reading and letting me share with you my probably unhealthy obsession with zombie culture and email marketing. 

I hope you have an awesome day. 


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