This is a blog post about the phenomenon of toilet emailing. It’s a really important concept, and it matters for your business marketing, communications, and understanding your audience. Let me explain…

What is toilet email?

Toilet email: It’s when you leave your desk to escape the noise of your cubicle, or get outside of your open office, or even just to leave the noise of your own head, and you head to the bathroom and you bring your phone with you. (Because we are all addicted), and then you’re on the toilet, and you’re scrolling, and you’re reading, and you’re looking at your phone.

And emailing while on the toilet.

We all do it. Well, most of us do it. I don’t have a scientific study to back this up, but I do know that nearly everyone I mention it to either looks sheepish like I’ve caught them, or they own up to it and they know that they’re tweeting and going at the same time.

Why does toilet email matter for marketing?

First, your customers are likely reading their emails while they are on the go, or even when they’re in the bathroom. Why does this matter?

Sometimes they can’t take action immediately.

It’s easy enough to read a blog post, but somehow between the bathroom and washing your hands and getting back to your desk, you forget where you were, and that email gets marked as read, and you wanted to apply to the mastermind, but you forgot, and then the deadline passed, and you wake up and it’s Saturday and you missed it.

People miss things, they forget, and they need reminders. We all need reminders.

For all of the marketers and communicators and business owners out there, you need to tell people about your products, services, and offerings more than once.

One email does not suffice.

I totally get it, though. After I put a landing page together I assume, somehow, that everyone will just find their way across the internet to my small corner of it, read the page, and take action. But it doesn’t work like that.

You need to create trails that get to your page. You need to talk about what you do, and share what you do, and do it repeatedly.

Not annoyingly, of course. Helpfully, as much as possible. Remind people what you do and what you are building, and tell them new parts of the story, slowly, over time.

If you want to see it in action, take a look at the archive page for Startup Pregnant and go through and dissect the number of blog posts we’ve written about the Mastermind, and what I include in each post, just to see an example in action of me leaving breadcrumbs across the internet about a project or a program. Then, after each blog post, I go and drip that information out across the social web and share each article across each platform. Why? Not everyone sees every post or clicks, and this begins to build a small but mighty web that points back to the page that I want people to come look at.

If you build a page on the internet, but don’t point to it, does it exist?

Not really, no. You need to send people to the page, and you need to tell them about it frequently. Frequently enough that they can see a post in their newsfeed (while scrolling while on the toilet), read the article, get up from doing their business, and then have an email in their inbox later that day (or the next few days) that reminds them about the program or project. This is one of the reasons why retargeting is also really important.

This is “toilet email”—the idea that people are distracted and not paying full attention, and need reminders (from you!) to remember your product, your service, or your offering.

Send more than one email. In fact, send four to seven emails. Why? That’s how long it takes for people to even make a first impression of your project or work. They won’t read—or remember—the thing you’re doing until you talk about it at least a handful of times, if not more.

PS: I’m doing a series all about Marie Forleo’s B-School (I’m an affiliate), and I have a bonus every year for people that want to dig deeper and work with me. If you’ve never heard of her work before, check out her free training series (available only in February) where she has 3 free classes with in-depth lessons on setting up great business foundations, pillars to marketing and communications success, and how to know if you’re setting up the right business. Check out my bonus here.