I’ve never regularly worn a watch, a fact that horrifies most people I meet. Linzi even bought me a watch a few Christmases ago. “It’s time to become a grown-up,” she told me.
In my opinion it wasn’t time to become a ‘grown-up’. The watch went back to the shop.
Why? The short answer is, ‘I have a phone’. The slightly longer answer is, ‘I don’t like stuff strapped to my wrist’. But there’s more to it than that.
I remember one of my teachers at school ranting about digital watches. I was quite small, so it must have been a time when other kids were starting to wear them. She couldn’t quite explain why, but in her opinion digital watches were evil. “Get a watch with a full clock face,” she urged.
That advice confused me at the time. Surely both options were accurate timekeeping instruments?
I’ve slowly realised what my teacher was alluding to. A device like a watch divides the whole of human experience into neat units of hours, minutes and seconds. This permits a scientific, rational view of the world, and digital watches take this view to an extreme.
People who wear watches are more likely to view the world as rational and ordered, than those who do not. The technology you own on your wrist eventually owns you, and filters the way you view the world.
Most of the technology we take for granted, such as books and the internet, are based on inherently rational technology. Much of our world is underpinned by numbers and letters. In writing this email to you, I have 26 letters to work with. That’s a pretty systematic way of encompassing the entire range of human expression.
The big challenge in writing persuasive emails is injecting emotion into this sea of rationality. If you live in the Western world, you probably view the world in a rational way. You probably have a watch on your wrist, measuring hours and seconds. When you sit down to write a marketing email, it’s desperately easy to fill it with rational, logical statements.
What’s difficult, is using the 26 letters available to you to form a true human connection. Human connection relies on emotion. That’s the real skill.
Is your marketing too rational? If you’d like my help finding out, read more here.