I emailed Ryan Reynolds, and this is his reply
I know, I know. He didn’t write the email himself.
Or did he?
After all, he’s one of the screenwriters of Deadpool 2. Blake Lively's baby daddy got some writing chops, y'all.
So let’s not burst my fangirl bubble where I sometimes wish I'm Blake Lively. For the sake of this teardown, let's pretend Ryan Reynolds penned this marketing email disguised as an out-of-office reply.
Here you go.
Wow, this email is bold. And I don’t mean confident and courageous. I meant, the entire freakin' thing is in bold font. My eeeyes! Please don't be like Ryan. Use bold font only when you want to emphasize an important point in your email. <— See what I did there?
Now onto the teardown...
(1) In a world where people are most likely to call this 297-word reply an out-of-office email, Ryan dares to be different and calls it an out-of-office mission statement. Seth Godin would approve. In his words: “We want to be who we are, not who some marketer tells us to be.” So go ahead and be whoever you want to be in your emails — be it a clownish business owner who writes funny mission statements.
(2) Ryan broke a rule that is sure to make the strictest of grammar popos cringe.
Ryan Reynolds: “My job is to remain accountable. Down to earth. Hard working.”
But if we replace the period with a comma, suddenly it sounds boring, doesn't it?
Grammar Popos: “My job is to remain accountable, down to earth, and hard working.”
The takeaway: Write your emails like you talk. Eff the grammar popos. But you already knew that because my readers are smart.
(3) Although I’m not sold on Ryan’s transition from the second paragraph to the third, I’ll give him a pass for doing two things right. And also because he’s hot.
First, he asked 3 questions. Not 2. Not 4. Exactly three. That’s the Rule of Three. I’ll discuss the psychology behind it in a future blog post, but suffice it to say that memorable copy comes in threes.
Second, he injected an element of surprise. He asked two businessy questions, followed by a funny one. That's the Pattern Interrupt technique that keeps the reader engaged.
Third, I have no third observation. I added this to make a point. #ruleofthree #patterninterrupt
(4) Ryan's email is teeming with personality that even if he didn't write it himself, I bet you my Deadpool toy that it was written by another human being — maybe even someone equally handsome — and not by a corporate robot begrudgingly typing away on his MacBook Air. This is what sets it apart from other marketing emails.
I have an issue over “It tastes like somebody finally made a gin for everyone.” At first, I thought it's a nice way to convey his product's value proposition. However, I googled "gin for everyone" and it's hardly unique to his company.
(5) People buy from those they trust. Ryan poking fun at his life increases his likability and trustworthiness. Granted, some of it is exaggerated, but the exaggerations are funny, no?
Which brings me to my next point: specificity. Ryan's storytelling style is effective because it conjures vivid images in the reader's mind. He could have simply said he likes to get home and relax. I'm glad he didn't because it's boring. Specificity is not.
(6) I quickly dove into my swipe file after reading Ryan's closing lines. Why? Because it reminded me of an email that I received from Copy Hackers on the same day.
Ryan Reynold's email:
For me, life isn’t just about having my brain cryogenically frozen so I can be revived two hundred years after the apocalypse to dance with the chosen few along the gilded path to Valhalla.
It’s also probably about other stuff.
Copy Hacker's email:
And while we planned to keep “The Mick” cryogenically frozen for another decade, we decided to de-thaw him and wheel him up to the Tutorial Tuesdays stage for one final (free) performance.
That's happening THIS Tuesday.
The Copy Hackers email might have been written by email copywriter Ryan Schwartz. Could it be that Ryan Schwartz is the secret copywriter of Ryan Reynolds? I mean, they’re both Canadian.
(7) Thoughtfully, Ryan Reynolds? I guess if you’re Ryan Damn Reynolds you can get away with a simple email sign-off. If you're not Ryan Damn Reynolds, come up with a memorable sign-off that gives you one last chance to un-blah your email and connect with your reader.
OVERALL: This is a top-notch marketing email that puts a spotlight on a fun, personable brand.
It's also a brilliant way to create awareness for a product that 20,000 people didn't even know existed until Ryan Reynolds gave out his Aviation Gin email address on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
You can also help crash his servers by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know if he sends you a different reply. Apparently, he changes his out-of-office email regularly.