5 of my weirdest (but highest converting) subject lines + done for you templates

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I'm going to give you these as sorta "fill in the blank" copy & paste templates.

Yup, I know I'm teaching some of you to suck eggs with this, but remember that you experienced folks are in the minority here

Everybody else... there's a couple of things you gotta know about; rubbernecking and associative groups.


What's the purpose of your subject line? To get people to open the email, and NOTHING else.

You know when you drive past a road accident and you can't help but look? That's rubbernecking and it's a powerful driver, so we use it to our advantage.

It doesn't have to be smart, or clever, or witty. It only has one job; get the email opened.

Associative Groups

Slightly more complicated, we've got multiple types of groups we can use in marketing but we only need 2 for this:

Aspirational groups (a group we WANT to belong to... or shares our values or beliefs, etc).

And dissociative groups (a group do DON'T want to belong to, they are the enemy).

Think Mac vs PC, Democrat vs Republican, WSO sellers vs real marketers*... (I jest, I jest!).

People are afraid of things / groups / ideas / beliefs, and fear is powerful motivator.

Don't Be An Arse

As a reforming arse, I'm in no position to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't be.

But it's important that you do not single out any one person, or make it personal (at worst it's bullying... or at the very least it's unprofessional).

It's probably best just to call-out ideas or values. Know what you stand for, and own it.

For example, the "get rich quick" idiots (they are actually idiots and should be avoided at all costs) could be a dissociative group.

Obviously I'm not naming anyone (that would defeat the purpose).

When you go against your dissociative group, your audience becomes polarised - and that's what you want because you're giving your TRUE fans a voice, someone they can believe in.

Being Real

Genuine likability comes from being authentic.

What is authenticity? It's honest communication.

It happens when we're not afraid of limiting or hiding our true thoughts and opinions; we communicate openly and honestly.

So don't try to please everyone, figure out what it is you don't like about your niche, and attract the people who feel the same.

How To Use This

Copy and paste these, tweak them and fill in your own stuff.

Test them out against your control, they might beat it... they might not.

I can't promise anything other than sharing what's worked for me.

1. Here, think of the worst possible outcome for your audience.
The moment I realized {something bad}
2. There's a dangerous secret that's deliberately being kept from your audience!
The {threat} that {dissociative group} Refuses to Report
3. Everybody loves watching a fight or argument. It forces them to choose a side, and you already know which side your audience is going to choose.
{You} vs {dissociative group}
4. Tsk.. Those guys are at it again *rolls eyes*
{dissociative group} Have {done something bad}
5. You've made a shocking discovery.
You won't believe the awful truth about {dissociative group}
6. Those pesky guys are up to no good again, and this time they're wrecking something we love.
How The {dissociative group} Are Destroying {something good}

Here's some real life examples of how I've used these on one of my email lists.

On this email list, my audience hates the media, politicians, mega-corps that destroy the planet, in the eyes of my list they're all very naughty.

You've gotta find yours.

Have fun, and profit.

*don't forget to check out my WSO on 7 easy ways to insult people in forums. No refunds.
#converting #highest #lines #subject #templates #weirdest
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Thanks for the ideas. I've also been using these types of headlines for my new forum. It's definitely working as I have my lowest ever bounce rate.
    ÖŽ FindABlog: Find blogs to comment on, guest posting opportunities and more ÖŽ

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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
      Originally Posted by AceOfShirts View Post

      Sounds like all of the clickbait headlines at the bottom of all the news sites.

      Not that there is anything wrong with that.
      Yup. They work.

      I'm sure you know how clickbait came about...

      Sites, inc Buzzfeed, invested mega-bucks into developing/modifying a CMS that was capable of split-testing headlines (like we've got Thrive Optimize now).

      They found that these kind of headlines significantly out-performed standard headlines.

      Not just a little competitive edge here, they demolished the controls.

      More traffic = more revenue.

      There's a backlash because clickbait content usually doesn't deliver. Everyone here delivers when they make a promise to their list, right?

      And if you're not comfortable, don't use them
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    • Profile picture of the author oppyeaunome
      Originally Posted by AceOfShirts View Post

      Sounds like all of the clickbait headlines at the bottom of all the news sites.

      Not that there is anything wrong with that.
      Those are what work! It doesn't matter how much I know that it's a clickbait headline I still sometimes click on the link just to see what the content is going to be about.

      Clickbait headlines work, but you have to know how to use them. Use them too much and they can blow up in your face. Use them sparingly and you can grow your business nicely.

      They work so why not use them.

      Thanks for the post Mike! High value as always.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Cool Mick. Clever, and I see why you've those sweet open rates. Well done.

    Ryan Biddulph inspires you to be a successful blogger with his courses, 100 plus eBooks, audio books and blog at Blogging From Paradise
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
      Originally Posted by ryanbiddulph View Post

      Cool Mick. Clever, and I see why you've those sweet open rates. Well done.

      Cheers bro! I think they serve as a kind of pattern interrupt too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Obermair
    These headlines have been selling tabloids at the supermarket for years. Well, not so much anymore since folks are on their phones whilst in line. Great open rates!
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Thanks for sharing Mick.

    Two of the best for us over the years have been

    Strange *objects* people frame for fun

    Memories Lost #@!* - how to save photos?

    Both stemmed out of real situations where we actually had a lot of weird stuff people were bringing us and other people always wanted to "sticky-beak" on other people's stuff.

    The second came out of a real situation where my girlfriend (now wife) lost her laptop via theft when we were holidaying overseas.

    I just wrote the email as a "holy shit" look what happened email but then it got added to the autoresponder sequence once it showed the results it delivered.

    There have been many others in many niches but sometimes you get lucky but you can't do that if you don't mail right?

    Best regards,

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  • Profile picture of the author msulcs
    That's some real solid advice there. These could come in handy for my cold emailing campaigns.
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