Would [GURU NAME]'s Titles Be as Effective If They Were John Doe?

by Dan C. Rinnert 16 replies
I get a lot of spam. I would guess that I'm not the only one. Even with spam filters, there's still an amount of mail that comes in that I have to manually sort out.

On many lists I subscribe to, their subject headers will have something like[List Name] (in the brackets) followed by a subject. I recognize those. And, if I receive them regularly, I'll even remember that I voluntarily subscribed to them.

I notice that a good number of the big name marketers and gurus out there don't do this.

If I didn't recognize their name when sorting by mail, their messages would have been marked as spam and tossed.

In fact, that's happened to a couple of them. I kept getting messages from a marketer. I didn't recognize his name. So, every time I got a message, I marked it as spam, and let the spam filter receive its training! After enough of those, the spam filter catches on and those messages go straight to the junk mail folder.

And, I've heard some people talk about reminding people that they subscribed in the body of the message. Guess what? A large number of actual spam messages--messages I am 100% certain I never asked to receive--say that I subscribed on such-and-such a date. Some even give an IP address; fake, of course, presumably to trick the casual Internet user.

So, a reminder by itself is not a sufficient "proof" that I voluntarily subscribed to your list.

Why don't many people that run lists identify the list in the subject header? Seems a simple thing to do. Does it decrease response rates or something? All I know is that there are lists I look forward to seeing, and if I see a message from[List Name], I stop and read it.

How effective can titles be if they end up getting tossed? A message might have a catchy title--as many spam messages do--but if I don't recognize the sender, it gets junked without being read. So, yeah, if it's a recognizable sender name, I'll open it. But, it just seems that so often around here, people talk about getting people's attention with a title. You know, "Bad news..." and all that. But, do those messages work if sent by someone whose name you don't recognize? Because if they don't, as I would think to be the case, then newbie marketers perhaps need to put more effort into branding (e.g.,[List Name] in headers) and worry maybe just a little bit less about the catchiness of their subject line.

Am I right, or should I just concentrate on creating catchy headlines and hoping my list subscribers don't see it as spam and delete it without reading?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #doe #effective #guru #john #titles
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  • Profile picture of the author Takuya Hikichi
    Like many people, I look at the sender's name, then open. Every now and then, I receive emails with subject lines such as "I was blown away..." "You've GOT to read this!" or even "Holy Crap!", but I think I am immune to this.

    What I do with my own email campaign is 99% of the time, I only use same exact subject lines (my newsletter name) for every newsletter issue. The only thing it changes is issue #1, 2, 3...

    This way, people have to open email to read what's inside and if they don't need to read it, they can unsubscribe. But I am not saying this works better based on my split testing or anything. It's just the way I have been mailing. It appears working because people open and reply back.

    Lately though, I am seeing similar headlines from multiple marketers on the same launch. Even though they come from the marketers with emails I normally open, if the subject line says something about "StompnetNet XYZ" and if I am not interested in it, I might delete it. So it sometimes good to keep the subject line the same way as any other issues so subscribers will always open them or unsubscribe.

    I do like using Aweber because people would know if they really did unsubscribe, they wouldn't be seeing the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email by now.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shane Hale
      Frank Kern aka Dean Rankin
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    • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
      Depends on the name, I have and continue to spam folder many "heavy hitters" because of two or three emails a day from them, that is too much.

      I think some of these "guru's", with their lists in the 6 or 7 digits, not to mention their affiliate army "shock and awe" campaigns are becoming tiresome at best.

      I always tend to remember the smaller name marketers, and appreciate their subtlety and professionalism. Not to mention being able to relate to them better.

      Just my opinion, Best!
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      • Profile picture of the author Matthew Keith
        Not my idea, but I always make it a point to include the initials of my list in my subject and I also let subscribers know what to look for on my "subscribed" page, where you would normally put the whitelist instructions.

        For example:

        "Thank you for subscribing to Online Marketing Weekly. To be sure you receive all emails... (whitelist instructions). Also, all emails coming from me will include [OMW] in the subject line so you don't accidentally delete them..."

        This seems to work well as long as you keep in regular contact with your subscribers, at least within 1 week of each other, and consistently provide the goods... but this is something you should do anyways.
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        • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
          It's pathetic if people are reporting messages as spam when they aren't.
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          • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
            The person whom owns the email box will decide what is spam or not, period.

            Best!
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            • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
              Originally Posted by eslorence View Post

              The person whom owns the email box will decide what is spam or not, period.

              That's wrong, period!

              Messages you signed up for are not spam, regardless of your lack of understanding.

              Hey, why don't you post the URL of your signup page, so we can get on your list and decide that it is spam?
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              • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
                Don't be mad , But that is the way it is, sorry you can't get your head around it.
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                • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
                  Messages you signed up for are not spam, regardless of your lack of understanding.
                  Now lets address your lack of understanding,

                  If I sign up for a list, I expect to receive communication pertaining to the topic of original interest.

                  A sudden flood of off topic promotions, several email per day, multiple "partner" offers,
                  now this is spam, and NOT what I signed up for.

                  IHO, best!
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      • Profile picture of the author dar
        Originally Posted by eslorence View Post

        Depends on the name, I have and continue to spam folder many "heavy hitters" because of two or three emails a day from them, that is too much.

        I think some of these "guru's", with their lists in the 6 or 7 digits, not to mention their affiliate army "shock and awe" campaigns are becoming tiresome at best.

        I always tend to remember the smaller name marketers, and appreciate their subtlety and professionalism. Not to mention being able to relate to them better.

        Just my opinion, Best!
        Just my opinion, but it doesn't seem right to put messages you opted in for into the spam folder. Because you mark messages as spam, other people who want the messages may have to look for them in their own spam folders, not in their inboxes.

        As an internet marketer, you wouldn't want people doing this to you.

        All email lists and autoresponder emails are required by law to have an unsubscribe link at the bottom. Use it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
          Originally Posted by dar View Post

          Just my opinion, but it doesn't seem right to put messages you opted in for into the spam folder. Because you mark messages as spam, other people who want the messages may have to look for them in their own spam folders, not in their inboxes.

          As an internet marketer, you wouldn't want people doing this to you.

          All email lists and autoresponder emails are required by law to have an unsubscribe link at the bottom. Use it.
          As I stated above, because of the actions of a few unscrupulous marketers, this is a reality of email marketing today.

          All email lists and autoresponder emails are required by law to have an unsubscribe link at the bottom. Use it.
          No, not all have that link, and many times those links are ineffective.

          When someone signs up for your list, they are trusting you to care for your personal information, and allowing you the opportunity to communicate further.

          This is a privilege, not a right.

          If I sign up for list "A" then start to find my inbox full of offers from many "partners", whom I don't know, or never signed up for, then they go in the spam folder.

          There is simply not enough time in the day to sort through the deluge of email, and get any real work done.

          Do not take offense, or take it personally.

          And yes, many of my emails are marked as spam as well, that is the nature of the beast.
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          • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
            Originally Posted by eslorence View Post

            As I stated above, because of the actions of a few unscrupulous marketers, this is a reality of email marketing today.



            No, not all have that link, and many times those links are ineffective.

            When someone signs up for your list, they are trusting you to care for your personal information, and allowing you the opportunity to communicate further.

            This is a privilege, not a right.

            If I sign up for list "A" then start to find my inbox full of offers from many "partners", whom I don't know, or never signed up for, then they go in the spam folder.

            There is simply not enough time in the day to sort through the deluge of email, and get any real work done.

            Do not take offense, or take it personally.

            And yes, many of my emails are marked as spam as well, that is the nature of the beast.

            IT IS A PRIVILAGE FOR ME TO SEND YOU FREE INFORMATION
            THAT WILL HELP YOU IN YOUR LIFE!!! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!!

            Daniel
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            • Profile picture of the author Lance K
              I thought about participating in the "definition of spam" hijack that is going on, but I'll pass. That's a whole other topic.

              As to the question posed by the OP, I have a comment. I like the way Alex Mandossian does it. He puts some characters in front and behind his name so it sticks out from the rest. I've NEVER had a hard time noticing one of his emails. That little tactic is more effective than almost any subject line IMO.

              Here's what it looks like...

              ~ Alex Mandossian ~

              I've also seen others use >--- Name Here ---< or something like that. I suppose it will remain effective until everyone starts doing it.

              I imagine this is why one should decide whether they are going to brand their name or their company. You gotta be memorable.
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              "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
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              • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
                Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

                I thought about participating in the "definition of spam" hijack that is going on, but I'll pass. That's a whole other topic.
                Thanks. I didn't intend for it to go in that direction. As far as I'm concerned, if it's something I asked to receive, it's never spam. If I don't like what they are sending, I can unsubscribe.

                Now, if I follow their unsubscribe directions and they keep sending me stuff and if I then ask them directly to be removed and they still keep sending me stuff, then it has become spam. At that point, I no longer wish to receive it and, having asked not to receive it, should not continue to receive it, thus it becomes spam.

                But, that's besides the original point, which was that sometimes those legitimate messages can become easily mistaken as spam. As in the one guy I didn't recognize. I didn't know who he was. I didn't remember subscribing. And, when I think a message is spam, I don't follow their unsubscribe links because that only confirms I have a working eMail. So, for the longest time, this guy's messages were marked as spam and sent along their merry way.

                It's unfortunate if my doing so caused his messages to be blocked as spam for others as the filters "learned" his messages were spam and reported back to HQ that, hey, this guy's a spammer.

                Then, one day, I just happened to open one of these "spam" messages and then the light bulb went on. Okay. I did subscribe. Oops.

                And that's something that could have been avoided if he used some identifying feature in his subject line so that I would have had something to go by other than his name.

                As to the question posed by the OP, I have a comment. I like the way Alex Mandossian does it. He puts some characters in front and behind his name so it sticks out from the rest. I've NEVER had a hard time noticing one of his emails. That little tactic is more effective than almost any subject line IMO.

                Here's what it looks like...

                ~ Alex Mandossian ~

                I've also seen others use >--- Name Here ---< or something like that. I suppose it will remain effective until everyone starts doing it.

                I imagine this is why one should decide whether they are going to brand their name or their company. You gotta be memorable.
                I've seen that tactic used by others, so I'm sure it won't be long before the everyone plus the spammers will be using it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Wendy Woudstra
    Interesting thread. I wonder (show of hands, anyone?) whether you'd be more willing to sign up for a new marketer's list if on the sign-up form they indicated that their list was run through Aweber or other reputable company and you could be sure you could easily unsubscribe.

    That might make for an interesting split-test. I don't think I've ever seen that done before.

    Wendy
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  • Profile picture of the author Takuya Hikichi
    What I found questionable is when you receive those emails because you belong to a membership site of some kind and the owners are sending through their internal mailer.

    Then they ask you to send "REMOVE" if they want you to remove. I really don't know if those should be used to send broadcasts. One link unsubscribe is nice instead.
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