Soap opera sequence is a specific marketing strategy used in email marketing that you get more sales. In this post I’m going to explain what it is, how it works and if it’s even worth using (I’m not a fan of this strategy and I’ll explain why).
Before I do that, I want to take people through the method itself and give more details for more context:
What is a soap opera sequence (SOS method)?
It’s basically just an emotional approach to marketing where you send out 5 or so emails to subscribers and build up their anticipation to a product/service you are planning to sell them.
The SOS method as some people call it is applied in email marketing (usually) and I’ve read some sources say it comes from people like Russell Brunson, although I’ve seen this method used in one form or another in other places (like sales letters and promotional email funnels I’ve gotten from marketers before).
An example of how the soap opera sequence can look:
This is just one of the ways you might see the SOS method being utilized. Anyway:
- Suppose you are promoting a make money online program.
- You create a good capture (for opt ins) but you don’t mention the name of the promotion. Instead you present one of those overplayed “learn the secrets to make money online” type of squeeze pages.
- Then you get subscribers (if you market it right of course).
- Then you send out a series of emails (about 5 or so) every day or perhaps every few days to build the anticipation.
- The SOS method comes into play from that first email sent out to subscribers.
The long and short of it is that you introduce people to yourself or a special product, then build them up emotionally by sharing “your” story of success, then towards the end of it (5th email typically) you will send out an offer to get the product (maybe offer bonuses and special deals to get people to buy).
Again the soap opera sequence method isn’t new, but it’s a more refined approach to an old strategy used in email marketing from long ago. As I’ve said, I’ve seen many good (and bad) marketers use this method to get sales and one question that often comes up is:
Does the soap opera sequence method work?
The short answer is yes it does. In marketing one of the best ways to get people to buy stuff is to presell it in a way where you emotionally engage people into anticipating whatever you are buying.
Trying to sell a product directly usually isn’t easy, but preselling it through emotions, sharing a personal story or some sort, and giving people the impression that amazing things can also happen to them if they stick around for that offer helps make that process easier (when done right of course).
I myself have purchased products and programs off people who used similar strategies on me in the past so I can speak from experience, but in terms of using it in my own online marketing sales funnels, I honestly don’t like this method for a few reasons I’ll cover shortly.
- The soap opera sequence method can work very well to help generate online sales.
- Emotional marketing is a powerful way to sell in general.
- I’m generally a fan of the book content Russell Brunson provides (Expert Secrets is one of my favorites).
May be used in authentically. One of the main reasons I am not a fan of this type of method of marketing is that it’s often misused by a lot people (trust me, I’ve seen many of them). What I mean is that there are a lot of theatrics in the online marketing world where people claim to be much more successful in this business than they are and/or they just flat out about their backstory and say anything through one or more templates out there to push their promotion.
What’s more is that a lot of marketers just copy and paste other people’s “templates” for emails and use them to market products (or in many cases very shady schemes and scam programs too). In my personal opinion this is inauthentic and just plain fake.
If you intend to use something like the SOS method to authentically market a good product (not something fake or a scam), and you share an actual personal story of yourself and how it helped you succeed, then sure it’s fine. Let me give you an example:
- I promote a program (Wealthy Affiliate).
- When I promote it, I stick to sharing the details of how I came across it, where I was in life and what occurred.
- Today I do make a full time income online thanks to it.
Now that’s the background and it’s important because I could tell that same story (true by the way) in different ways using the SOS method. For example:
The authentic way:
1) I get people’s emails to share with them how I make money online full time.
2) I use the soap opera sequence strategy to share my personal tale of success and how I (this is true) struggled at making money online, how I fell for scams, couldn’t get anywhere in the business.
3) I then segue into how Wealthy Affiliate helped me, but it was NOT a magic switch. It took a lot of time (up to a year) effort because the TRUTH is that this business is not some sort of get rich quick scheme.
4) I pitch WA in one of my emails. I explain why it’s good, why the deal they offer is better than other programs and in reality this program’s services and training are much cheaper (and way better) than even the few good training programs on the same subject. I offer legitimate bonuses to add even more value on top of that and that’s how I market it.
The inauthentic way:
1) I get people’s emails and share with them how I’ll teach them 4 steps to instant make money online success (already misleading).
I share a (fake) personal tale that never happened about some sob story of being stuck in a rut and reaching riches thanks to this “one magic program that turned it all around”.
2) I then pitch WA but I mislead people into thinking it’s SO EASY anyone can do it (more inauthentic garbage). And if I’m emotionally marketing this right, people will unfortunately believe this nonsense.
3) I pitch WA but neglect to mention how it takes time and work. Instead I desperately try to sell and do anything to make a sale and lie about the program and say how will make you rich in 30 days or some garbage like that.
4) In this instance, I took a legitimate program and the SOS method of marketing and through inauthentic behavior marketed it in one of the most unethical affiliate marketing ways imaginable.
Now I mention this because in most of my experiences, people tend to promote programs in the inauthentic way like this and I’m a huge fan of keeping it real with people. That’s what the Wealthy Affiliate actually teaches.
The conclusions on the soap opera sequence (I don’t use it and here’s why):
It’s legit, but you gotta be careful if you are ethical and want to use it as such. If you are new, a method like the SOS may help you succeed, but it’s not as important as properly (and honestly) setting up an online business where you authentically market what you truly believe in and then you don’t even need something like this method to get you by.
The SOS method to me feels like a theatrical “cherry on top” when in fact the true success lies in everything beneath it that you set up and if it’s based on honest principals and passion, that will sell itself. You don’t need any template or tricks to do it.
That’s really the bottom line in my position on something like the SOS method in general.