Email subject headline that got me a 38.46% open rate (and a couple grand while i was sleeping)

18 replies
HI Gang,

Do you ever queue an email wondering, "should I really email this?"

That's was I thinking before I sent this email out.

And I'm glad I did...

because it got me a couple of grand (while I was sleeping).

Just curious, why do you think this worked? What could I have done to increase open rate and more pre-pays?

Emailed 12/31/2012 @ 7:30 am PDT

Email Subject Headline:

Your last chance to give the IRS the "Middle Finger"

Email Body:

~Contact.FirstName~,

Want to give the IRS "the middle finger"?

Well, you've got less than 12 hours to do so.

Here's how: buy business related items. Buy stamps. Buy paper. Buy a computer. Buy an iPad.

Heck, you can pre-pay me your 2012 tax prep fees.

Just paypal what you paid me this year for your 2011 fees. And I'll keep the fee the same.

My paypal address is {i don't want this public}.

Offer closes at 11:59 pm tonight.

On a serious note, I'd like to share with you the prayer I've been saying in your honor (I hope you aren't offended):

God, bless with ~Contact.FirstName~ with the
financial means to carry out their mission in life.
Grant ~Contact.FirstName~ protection from outside
forces that aim to derail their mission. May ~Contact.FirstName~
have the health, strength, & courage to confront whatever
obstacles they may face. May you be compassionate & forgiving
when ~Contact.FirstName~ stumbles.
May ~Contact.FirstName~ be self-forgiving as well.
And may ~Contact.FirstName~'s 2013 journey be
filled with moments of pure joy, laughter, & peace.

Happy New Year. May 2013 be awesome for You.

See yeah next year!

Adam
#3846% #couple #email #grand #headline #open #rate #sleeping #subject
  • Profile picture of the author davehayes
    Yes,

    I can see why That worked! ~ Excellent Copy, welll done!
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  • Profile picture of the author mgreener
    That. Is. Awesome.

    You made people excited to buy and happy to do it!
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post

    HI Gang,

    Do you ever queue an email wondering, "should I really email this?"

    That's was I thinking before I sent this email out.

    And I'm glad I did...

    because it got me a couple of grand (while I was sleeping).
    That's pretty good young man...congratulations.

    I'd have maybe included their name in the subject line, "Hey Bob, here's your last chance to give the IRS the middle finger."

    Couple other little changes...but who cares? You made money and that's what matters.

    I think the prayer you included is what prompted those who took action to do so. It shows a personal side to you and also gives the impression you care about them. Which I'm sure you do.

    I think there's great potential this year to sell anything that has to do with spirituality. Some shy away from it...but there's a climatic market just waiting to discover themselves. Besides, the Mayans predicted we entered the age of self awareness...don't really go along with all the Mayan stuff, but I'm convinced the self awareness thing is a gigantic market.

    Now you've got orders...make sure you follow up with an upsell. You can usually make more money off the upsell then you can the original product.

    You've probably got customers wanting to hide some assets, etc., like mansions and mistresses. You could email the buyers back and offer them "20 secrets to avoid an audit".

    You get the point.

    Good job...keep it up.
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    • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
      Hey Maxy,

      Thanks so much for the feedback!

      I really appreciate and will implement your advice.

      I was thinking of [firstname] in the subject, but thought that would decrease opens because it's seems auto-generated. I'll split test that element next time.

      As for spirituality, I totally agree with you.

      3 weeks ago I had lunch with the top estate lawyer in Irvine. His average client is worth north of $50,000,000.00

      And he told me his "secret"...

      get to the "why". Get into the client's spiritual purpose in life. If you can help facilitate a client's purpose in life, pricing issues evaporate. Loyality increases. Communication is enhanced.

      And he told me, "After several millions of dollars in the bank, money is no longer their issue in life."

      They want a legacy. They want meaning. They want purpose.

      Since that lunch meeting I've tried to talk about God in every conversation I have with clients. Or their life mission. Why they do what they do.

      And it's working.

      Check out my December newsletter where I dig into this concept:

      http://prepaidcharity.com/wp-content...nalToPrint.pdf

      Adam

      [important note to business owners: some of my clients have decided to no longer retain my services because I have decided to firmly embrace my own spirituality and share it with clients. In other words, don't expect everything to be "happy happy joy joy". There will be blow-back. I happen to believe the loss of those clients will be replaced with clients with whom I have a shared vision]

      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      That's pretty good young man...congratulations.

      I'd have maybe included their name in the subject line, "Hey Bob, here's your last chance to give the IRS the middle finger."

      Couple other little changes...but who cares? You made money and that's what matters.

      I think the prayer you included is what prompted those who took action to do so. It shows a personal side to you and also gives the impression you care about them. Which I'm sure you do.

      I think there's great potential this year to sell anything that has to do with spirituality. Some shy away from it...but there's a climatic market just waiting to discover themselves. Besides, the Mayans predicted we entered the age of self awareness...don't really go along with all the Mayan stuff, but I'm convinced the self awareness thing is a gigantic market.

      Now you've got orders...make sure you follow up with an upsell. You can usually make more money off the upsell then you can the original product.

      You've probably got customers wanting to hide some assets, etc., like mansions and mistresses. You could email the buyers back and offer them "20 secrets to avoid an audit".

      You get the point.

      Good job...keep it up.
      Signature

      The Most Bad-Ass Tax Reduction Strategist for Internet Marketers who HATE paying taxes. See my happy clients

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      • Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post

        And he told me his "secret"...

        get to the "why". Get into the client's spiritual purpose in life. If you can help facilitate a client's purpose in life, pricing issues evaporate. Loyality increases. Communication is enhanced.

        And he told me, "After several millions of dollars in the bank, money is no longer their issue in life."

        They want a legacy. They want meaning. They want purpose.
        Adam coming out of the New Year's gate with a bang. Awesome.

        This reminds me of something Neil Patel said: "...wealth isn't just cash. I know a ton of people who only make $75,000 a year who I would consider to be wealthy as they are happy. According to a research piece done by Princeton University, when individuals increased their income above $75,000 it had no positive affect on their mood or overall happiness. And when individuals spent that money on materialistic objects it hand no effect on their long term happiness, but when they helped others people out it did make them happier..."

        How to Become Internet Wealthy, Not Internet Rich
        Signature
        Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
        - Jack Trout
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
        Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post


        Since that lunch meeting I've tried to talk about God in every conversation I have with clients. Or their life mission. Why they do what they do.

        And it's working.
        Using God as part of a money-making persuasion strategy?

        Shameful.

        Alex
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        • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
          Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

          Using God as part of a money-making persuasion strategy?

          Shameful.

          Alex
          Alex,

          I can understand if you feel that way. And it's not my intention to change the way you feel about it.

          I would however like to share my point of view:

          I believe that money is just stored energy. And people need energy to power their missions in life. And as an actual person, I believe that if God has given a person a mission to do, then God is required to open up the flow of blessing to give that person the funds they need to power their mission.

          Because, as a business owner myself & as a person who gets paid to consult with clients, most businesses fail because of cash flow.

          Creating cashflow is the holly mission of copywriters. We are "rainmakers", right?

          The question becomes, "How do I keep cash continually flowing in?"

          It's what we as copywriters are suppose to do: we create sales funnels that draw money in. Copywriters/marketers serve one purpose: get people to buy, profitability.

          It's what we do. If you aren't okay with that, you should find another career path.

          If you have a moral problem drawing money out of people, leave.

          However, I think your issue has to do with invoking God name. Correct?

          And I should be ashamed for that? Correct?

          I do believe God is the source of all blessings. I do believe that when you connect with a client on that level, amazing things happen.

          And I think God is okay with that.

          Is that immoral compared to using scarcity tactics? Is that immoral compared to highlighting a personal shame points; saying that women are fat and therefore unlovable; saying that bald men are unworthy of a sexy woman; that a woman with sagging boobs after breastfeeding 3 kids should get a boob-job?

          Copywriting at its very core is about solving a person's deepest emotional issues with a product or service that resolves that clients' issue.

          It's about filling a void. Filling an emptiness.

          And that filling is God, to me. God is filling.

          Now, what does that mean for you & other copywriters?

          It's means that the more you can connect with your clients [the more you can fill their emptiness] at their deepest levels, the more money you will make.

          Money is the by-product, not the goal.

          It also means you now have a greater responsibility to them as well.

          Most people fail at this point. The amount of responsibility to be moral, just, & produce results is too great for many.

          For example, if a VC funds your company with say $10,000,000.00 in seed money, you feel awe. You feel it in your bones. It's scary man.

          If you got a huge gig, 10x whatever your current biggest gig has ever been, you'll feel it.... AGAIN.

          Don't you remember what it was like to get a check for 10K, prepaid? I remember. I remember every detail. Today, 10K would put a smile on my face. That's about it.

          But at that moment, I was shaking.

          To close, I firmly believe, and this a my personal belief, that every person to be awesomely successful needs to FEEL, KNOW, THINK, OWN, that what they are doing is holly work. God's Will.

          Because when you do, man, the world opens up.

          I'm not shameful. I'm proud.

          I'll leave with this. What your beliefs are, share them with your clients. Let me know how it goes.

          Adam
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          The Most Bad-Ass Tax Reduction Strategist for Internet Marketers who HATE paying taxes. See my happy clients

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          • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
            So you believe your purpose as a copywriter is to help businesses accomplish their God-given missions.

            Noble.

            Thanks for the explanation.

            Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    It worked because, consciously or unconsciously, you sandwiched your message between two powerful tactical weapons. And both where elegantly used.

    Your subject line created a strong and resonant First Mental Image (FMI).

    The prayer creates a powerhouse Last Mental Image (LMI). The best I've seen in a long time.

    Few things are as powerful as mental imagery used well. It's one of the reasons stories persuade.

    And like I said, your use was elegant.

    A cloddish copywriter would have written, "Imagine giving the middle finger to the IRS," and, "Picture yourself with the financial means to..."

    Never begin a sentence with 'imagine', unless you're John Lennon.

    Some writers seem to think it's hypnotic, but what it really does is sound the klaxon in the reader's head - "WARNING - WARNING - manipulative advertising a-hole."

    Your way was pitch perfect.

    I know the prayer was your sincere wish for your clients to be blessed, and I hope you don't think I'm being cynical or sacrilegious calling it a monster LMI. Words can do double duty.
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    • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
      Pusateri,

      Thx for the detailed response. I've never heard those terms before, and am excited to learn so much more! I've never really studied this stuff.

      After this tax season ends I want to really start to study copywriting. I want to practice daily.

      I really appreciate your comments. Thank You.

      As for sincerity...

      I had my "moment with God" about 15 months ago. I completely changed my accounting practice to be "in service of others".

      As a tax professional, I'm only valuable when clients are making money. And the more they make, the more I'm worth.

      What that means practically is that I now see myself and our firm as a "silent partner" in the success of our clients. And whatever I can ethically do to empower our clients for success, I'll do it.

      I've also come to see myself and our firm as a layer of protection from the "bad guys".

      And in the last month, I've added the portion of "enabling life purposes through financial means". In truly see for 2013 that our job is to save and protect our clients from creditors so they have the time, means, & energy to fulfill their purpose in life.

      It's true to who I am as a person; I also believe this is a powerful wealth attraction belief.





      Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

      It worked because, consciously or unconsciously, you sandwiched your message between two powerful tactical weapons. And both where elegantly used.

      Your subject line created a strong and resonant First Mental Image (FMI).

      The prayer creates a powerhouse Last Mental Image (LMI). The best I've seen in a long time.

      Few things are as powerful as mental imagery used well. It's one of the reasons stories persuade.

      And like I said, your use was elegant.

      A cloddish copywriter would have written, "Imagine giving the middle finger to the IRS," and, "Picture yourself with the financial means to..."

      Never begin a sentence with 'imagine', unless you're John Lennon.

      Some writers seem to think it's hypnotic, but what it really does is sound the klaxon in the reader's head - "WARNING - WARNING - manipulative advertising a-hole."

      Your way was pitch perfect.

      I know the prayer was your sincere wish for your clients to be blessed, and I hope you don't think I'm being cynical or sacrilegious calling it a monster LMI. Words can do double duty.
      Signature

      The Most Bad-Ass Tax Reduction Strategist for Internet Marketers who HATE paying taxes. See my happy clients

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  • I thought is was a great subject line - creating a visceral emotion.

    And excellent body copy - terrific information and a perfect "close the sale." Because there was a "you have to do it now" but blended with empathy which achieved the almost impossible by not making it an "in your face" high pressured sell.

    And having just read Mr Pusateri's acclaim for it - its definitely one for everyones swipe file.

    Hoping you don't mind if it's adapted for many other services.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post


      And having just read Mr Pusateri's acclaim for it - its definitely one for everyones swipe file.

      Hoping you don't mind if it's adapted for many other services.


      Steve

      Steve,

      Please swipe away.

      I posted the entire email so people could use it as an example.

      Now, I wouldn't swipe word word only because my list of people know me, and my style. In other words, the email is true to me. It might back fire on another list simply because of the relationship factor.

      I touch my clients about 30 times during the year, so they are used to me. Built a tolerance to me

      However, I do believe there is some structural things going on in the email that EVERYBODY could use.

      Adam
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      The Most Bad-Ass Tax Reduction Strategist for Internet Marketers who HATE paying taxes. See my happy clients

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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Adam

    Good news letter.

    You may lose some clients but I'm positive your gains will far outweigh your loses.

    Another secret to success is to be thankful for what you have. Even if you don't have much. Always say thank you for _____ or thank you for that when you wake up and all through the day.

    Here's the rub...

    Some will never realize the secrets to success aren't really secrets at all. They've been written about time and time again by people that have discovered how to take certain principles and apply them. They work. Most just think they're such frivolous things they overlook them.

    You get back what you give...and the exchange rate coming back to you is mind boggling.

    Example: When I go to the store and the clerk is acting all moody I'll say something nice to her/him. They don't always mellow right away, but I keep working on them. By the time I leave, I've usually had a long conversation with them and they're smiling. I made their day.

    Of course that's probably why everyone hates to go somewhere with me because it's usually a long drawn out ordeal...

    but people are needy, they want attention...give it to them.

    People are spiritual. Everyone you talk to has an opinion about spirituality. They like to talk about it but usually don't because it's considered taboo. They'll find you credible if you have thoughts about spirituality and are willing to express them. Guess they don't realize you're just like them...but as copywriters we know a lot of secrets.
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  • Yes I agree Adam, and I and I hope nobody else would swipe it in it's entirety.

    Adapt is the way to do it.


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidG
    Congratz Adam...

    I've had a few promo emails hit me before new years about tax and irs stuff so I think you hit the dominant emotion on everybody's head. Especially since no one likes the irs...

    With that in mind and your honest emails... I'd say justifies why you had good open rates.
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  • Profile picture of the author jeffreys
    Beautifully GOD written.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    I'm not a trained copywriter, I only write copy for myself. I just pop in here to steal your brains.

    ...but, why I think it worked is this:

    1. Disdain, fear, and even hatred of the IRS is common. The subject line got their attention.

    2. They know they have to pay you to get their taxes done, and you gave them a chance to get them done at last years rates. With the prices of everything else going up, that's a nice assurance.

    3. The scarcity impelled a good percentage to act now or lose out - nobody like to lose out.

    4. It ends on a positive note, at least for believers. Some might think you were trying to manipulate them, but on balance it was probably effective.

    Am I far off?
    Signature

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author Corey Geer
    I would've opened that e-mail right away as well when I saw that headline.

    As if the IRS doesn't deserve a middle finger from people that actually work hard for their money.

    Well, you've got less than 12 hours to do so.

    Here's how: buy business related items. Buy stamps. Buy paper. Buy a computer. Buy an iPad.

    Heck, you can pre-pay me your 2012 tax prep fees.

    Just paypal what you paid me this year for your 2011 fees. And I'll keep the fee the same.

    My paypal address is {i don't want this public}.

    Offer closes at 11:59 pm tonight.

    On a serious note, I'd like to share with you the prayer I've been saying in your honor (I hope you aren't offended):
    One of the benefits of being working American citizens and actually earning your money is that when you're in business for yourself, you can write off a wide variety of items.

    I believe an ad like this would work with "Here's How You Can Give Your Boss The Middle Finger (And Keep Your Job)"

    I'm not sure what that message would entail but headlines fascinate me.

    It's a little provocative because it implies telling someone F*** YOU! without actually saying it. Dirty, controversial or funny headlines always have some of the best opening rates.

    Hell, I might actually stock up on stamps or something stupid before I go file my taxes just so I can give my middle finger a work out. Thanks for reminding me.

    Corey
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    Skype: Coreygeer319

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