Should you send a newsletter about pee?

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I’m a sucker for authenticity. 

On my walks, I listen to the We Can Do Hard Things podcast, where Glennon, Abby and Sister share so openly about themselves and their lives. It’s earth-moving. 

When I meet strangers, I blurt things out about eggplant

My favorite newsletters from Ilise are the ones where she mentions something personal about her life, or her pup — because don’t we all want a peek inside the world of this masterful marketing mentor?

And I’m immensely inspired by the conversations I have with my clients, when they get really, really, real with me. It helps me remember we’re all human, and we’re all in this together, which — I think — may actually be the source of joy?

After one of these conversations, I was feeling light and humorous, and maybe a bit rebellious. I pulled out an old story from my newsletter drafts, which I had previously decided was too far out there. I can’t send my clients and prospects a newsletter about pee, I had thought. But on this day, I wanted to anyway. So I popped it into MailChimp and could not stop giggling. Especially when I decided the subject line could actually be, “A newsletter about pee.” 

For the simple fact that I don’t laugh enough these days, this was pure gold. 

Sure, pee is a little taboo — even though we all pee! (I just realized we use this word as a noun and a verb … neat!)

Anyway, still laughing, I considered: Should I actually send this to my prospective clients? I couldn’t decide. So I asked Ilise (knowing she’s unafraid to push boundaries, but that she would tell me if I had come completely unhinged). Her reply? “Haha, I love it. Send it, and then write me a blog post about it.” 

So I sent this newsletter about pee.

My open rate? 45.7% (a squeak higher than average, which I was surprised about, because how can you not open a newsletter about pee?)

Unsubscribes: 4

None of this was unusual, really, but here’s what was…

While I often get replies from colleagues, clients and friends — this time, I received replies from folks I didn’t know, or haven’t heard from in a long time. 

Positive comments included: 

  • Peed my pants reading this!

  • “I can turn anything into a newsletter” — You sure can, and I'm here for it! 

  • That’s just fabulous!! Laughing out loud!

  • Pee on sister!

  • Love, love, LOVE IT!!!  Short and sweet and always an effective tie-in with your branding!

In the not-so-positive category, I got this one (on LinkedIn — feel free to weigh in):

  • “TMI. Could have lived without knowing that about your childhood. ”

While I’m fairly sure that some people read this and thought, Ewww or Whoa there, Deidre!I also know some people loved it. I doubt my ideal clients would be offended, and, even if they thought it was a little much, would quickly forgive me and move on. I mean, I also thought it was too much, and I did it anyway!

My ultimate takeaways? 

  • My work is really fun

  • Laughing feels great

  • It’s okay to walk on the wild side once in a while

  • Being authentic helps you connect with the folks who are for you, and give clarity to those who aren’t

Want to be fully yourself and wee-d out un-ideal clients? Tinkle on, friends.

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