Stupid Email Trick #2833: "Personal From ..."

by Paul Myers 43 replies
Okay. There's creative marketing and there's outright lying.

Claiming that an email is "personal" when it's directed to an entire list of subscribers is the latter, in my opinion.

I have gotten a ton of emails in the past 6 months or so that have subject lines saying "Personal from Joe Blow" or "Paul... It's personal" or the like. I got to where I'd file them and look at them in batches, since exactly none had actually been one-to-one emails in a very long time.

Today I went through those (being reminded by the arrival of yet another one that was a lie), and discovered that I had finally - after months of this - gotten a "Personal from ..." note that was directed to me, and not someone's entire list.

I had ignored that email from a friend for weeks. And it was actually about something significant.

I understand the thinking. You believe that people will open emails they think are personally written to them, and believe this will help your clickthrough rates as well.

You win. In the future, in order to avoid being rude to my friends, I am going to open every single email that comes in with that kind of subject line.

If it's NOT truly a personal email, I'm going to share it (no links), and my opinion on the tactic, with a few thousand of my closest personal friends.

I won't buy what you're selling, but I will give you some publicity. You get to decide whether you think it's the kind that you want.

Note that I'm not talking about emails with subjects like, "Some personal thoughts," or, "Kind of personal," if the contents actually fit the subject. That's reasonable.

Yes, I am quite aware that the "marketers" doing this can claim that they don't really expect all those people with whom they've never conversed to believe it's a one-to-one email. I also know they count on the possibility that some will think that, or that the recipient will reflexively open anything that says it's personal.

They're betting on the success of a deliberate lie. I'm going to make an effort to change the odds on them.

I was rude to a friend. That makes it personal.


Paul
#main internet marketing discussion forum ##2833 #email #personal from #stupid #trick
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Spot on Paul...

    I agree, but really what you should be doing is following me back on Twitter... that way when you post things about AWeber, you will see my reply

    Peace

    Jay
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    • Profile picture of the author dbarnum
      I'm soooooooooo with you, Paul! Wrote about something similar here:


      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...-subjects.html


      ...I mean if this were a newbie tactics, MAYBE it would be excusable. But these are coming from seasoned, well-known names in the biz who know better and simply don’t care.


      Rip into 'em, Paul! Cheering you on here
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      • Profile picture of the author clawHAMMER
        Ditto Paul. I'd also like to add to your unsavory list the email subject headings I get that say something along these lines to get me to open them: "RE: Our Previous Conversation About Your Dilema" OR "RE: Responding to Your Inquiry" along those lines.

        Of course initally I'd open them not knowing any better and they weren't related to the subject at all but rather a spam email or some sales gimic. Even if the senders name slightly resembled someone's name I knew (how do they do that?). But no more.

        After a couple of years of trying to grasp this online stuff, I'm not any smarter but I sure am wiser.

        I hope your able to squash some of these marketers with your efforts to expose them with their stupid emails. However, I'm on your mailing list so I'll take a rain check on you re-sending out the "personal" emails you receive from these clowns.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gene Pimentel
    Thanks Paul, for expressing what has irked me for so long. I'll join this campaign and keep note & publicize the marketers who use this unsavory tactic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
    I agree totally. This is one of the few subject line tricks that bothers me.

    It bothers me because I will often include "personal" in a subject line when I'm actually sending a personal one-to-one message to someone, and if people keep abusing this, it will get harder to get those real personal messages noticed.

    Another one I'm not fond of is "JV offer for Chris", meant to look like a real JV offer, that was sent to an entire list. If someone wants to tell their whole list about it, fine, just don't use a subject line like that, since it's not really a JV offer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jim Burney
      I do agree with your comments Paul.

      Anybody with a little common sense would know it is not personal though.


      Jim

      btw another comment in emails that kills me is: an offer "from my very good friend"
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Jim,
        Anybody with a little common sense would know it is not personal though.
        For the majority of people, that's true. For me, not so much. A LOT of these people send me actual personal emails. Some of them are friends, others friendly business acquaintances. And I get 1:1 email from strangers all the time.

        Thing is, almost none of them ever use "Personal from" in those emails.
        btw another comment in emails that kills me is: an offer "from my very good friend"
        Careful there. Sometimes that's true.

        A lot of us in the business really are good friends with others in the business. Especially the folks who've been around for 10 years or more. And some of these folks are such nice people that everyone likes them.


        Paul
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      • Originally Posted by Jim Burney View Post

        I do agree with your comments Paul.

        Anybody with a little common sense would know it is not personal though.


        Jim

        btw another comment in emails that kills me is: an offer "from my very good friend"
        Yeah, but what happened is that Paul ignored one of these, thinking it wasn't really personal, and it turned out to actually be a personal note from a friend. I totally hear what he's saying about this and I think this is a shameful practice. If the message is going out to a group of subscribers, it is, by definition, NOT "personal".
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        • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
          Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

          Yeah, but what happened is that Paul ignored one of these, thinking it wasn't really personal, and it turned out to actually be a personal note from a friend. I totally hear what he's saying about this and I think this is a shameful practice. If the message is going out to a group of subscribers, it is, by definition, NOT "personal".
          So, it's the marketers fault he didn't look at the sender name too before filing it away?

          And, who is to say when something is not personal? If I send a personal invitation to a product launch to one person I know, is that not personal? If I send an invitation to two people, is that not personal? If I send it to 50 people on my list, why is that not personal? If I send it to 10,000 people on my list, can't that still be personal? If I'm not extending an invitation to the general public, but only a select few, that's personal, is it not? Doesn't matter if the select few number five or five thousand. It's directed at a specific group of individuals. It's personal.

          It's unfortunate he missed a message from a friend. I've done that as well, missing messages that get mixed with other messages as well as spam. But to blame the marketer? C'mon. If you're on that many lists that it's becoming a problem, unsubscribe or set up a separate eMail address for business or one that you only use for friends and family.
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          • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
            Just got another of the ones I hate.

            Subject: "Per your request . . ."

            "A lot of you asked me . . . "

            Not me, buddy. I didn't ask you anything.

            Actually, maybe this is worse than the "Personal" one because this is a downright lie and no amount of semantic acrobatics can justify it.

            Martin
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          • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
            Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

            And, who is to say when something is not personal? If I send a personal invitation to a product launch to one person I know, is that not personal? If I send an invitation to two people, is that not personal? If I send it to 50 people on my list, why is that not personal? If I send it to 10,000 people on my list, can't that still be personal? If I'm not extending an invitation to the general public, but only a select few, that's personal, is it not?
            Er..no. Not to be too anal about it, but "personal" is defined as "of, affecting, or belonging to a particular person rather than anyone else" (source: OED)

            Your example could be described as "selective", but not "personal".


            Frank
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            • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
              I have a different take...and this is simply MY opinion on this subject.

              I simply find it funny how much time and energy is put into this type of thing. There's already too few hours in MY day to worry about subject lines being "borderline".

              I remedied this a long time ago...

              I have ONE email address I subscribe to ALL newsletters. If I see: "Re.:" or "Personal" etc. I already KNOW what category it's in.

              If I get those to my main email address, I open them. If it's really NOT personal, etc. I simply delete it and never think about it again.

              I know not everyone thinks this way, but I was taught many years ago that WE control our own reactions. We have that choice. I choose to not let it get under my skin.

              When people annoy me with crap emails, I delete, unsubscribe, and move on.

              When I see "Re.:" I still think of that as what it meant in the corporate world... "Regarding" - not "In response to" because that's how we headed all of our memo's. I stopped using it in my subject lines quite some time ago because I saw how it bugged people, but it doesn't bother me when I get them.

              Life's too friggin short and I have too much to do. For me, my way of handling these things works best and fastest.

              My 2c...

              Mike
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              • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
                Mike,

                I don't lose any sleep over this kind of thing.

                I just use it as an indicator of a person's ethics (along with other things). It helps with my unsubscribe and buying decisions.

                Martin
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                • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
                  Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

                  Mike,

                  I don't lose any sleep over this kind of thing.

                  I just use it as an indicator of a person's ethics (along with other things). It helps with my unsubscribe and buying decisions.

                  Martin
                  Fair enough. But I don't use those as a measure of ethics. More like - the size of the brain fart they had by using some tactic or another.

                  We seem to throw around that "ethics" thing into just about everything we tend not to agree with or like. What one person sees as "unethical" - such as using "Re.:" in a subject line, others see as a tactic they were taught.

                  I choose not to waste more time than it takes to delete said message.

                  Mike
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                  • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
                    Originally posted by Mike Ambrosio

                    We seem to throw around that "ethics" thing into just about everything we tend not to agree with or like. What one person sees as "unethical" - such as using "Re.:" in a subject line, others see as a tactic they were taught.

                    I have read/learned a lot of tactics I wouldn't use. Just because a successful person says "use this tactic because it works" doesn't mean you should use it if it conflicts with your values/morals/ethics.

                    Yes, I don't agree with or like people lying to me or misleading me and there are certain government agencies that feel the same way.

                    Martin
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                    • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
                      Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

                      I have read/learned a lot of tactics I wouldn't use. Just because a successful person says "use this tactic because it works" doesn't mean you should use it if it conflicts with your values/morals/ethics.

                      Yes, I don't agree with or like people lying to me or misleading me and there are certain government agencies that feel the same way.

                      Martin
                      Martin,

                      I'm not arguing your viewpoint - simply saying I have a different one.

                      Most agencies - I am willing to wager - would not give any attention to people using "Re.:" or "Personal" in email subjects, though...

                      The ethics thing?

                      Again - what some call questionable, others don't. You obviously think these tactics are, and I respect that. Others are of a different opinion. That's why you still receive them.

                      Again - just one guys opinion.

                      Mike
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              • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                Originally Posted by MikeAmbrosio View Post

                I have a different take...and this is simply MY opinion on this subject.

                I simply find it funny how much time and energy is put into this type of thing. There's already too few hours in MY day to worry about subject lines being "borderline".

                I remedied this a long time ago...

                I have ONE email address I subscribe to ALL newsletters. If I see: "Re.:" or "Personal" etc. I already KNOW what category it's in.

                If I get those to my main email address, I open them. If it's really NOT personal, etc. I simply delete it and never think about it again.

                I know not everyone thinks this way, but I was taught many years ago that WE control our own reactions. We have that choice. I choose to not let it get under my skin.

                When people annoy me with crap emails, I delete, unsubscribe, and move on.

                When I see "Re.:" I still think of that as what it meant in the corporate world... "Regarding" - not "In response to" because that's how we headed all of our memo's. I stopped using it in my subject lines quite some time ago because I saw how it bugged people, but it doesn't bother me when I get them.

                Life's too friggin short and I have too much to do. For me, my way of handling these things works best and fastest.

                My 2c...

                Mike

                Mike, since you brought this up, let me tell you what I do.

                I delete almost all emails I get because 99% of them are spam.

                If a customer or friend needs me for something, they should know how to
                title an email. When I see stuff like (no subject) come in (default title
                for AOL emails with no subject) I delete it. If the person REALLY needs me,
                for crying out loud, at least put in something to get my attention.

                Now, if what gets my attention looks like spam, I delete that too. I have
                no time to play games with people.

                If I have a customer service problem, I write to the person...

                ## From Steven Wagenheim - Need Help With Purchase Of (product name) ##

                or something like that. I make it damn clear that the email isn't spam and
                that I NEED YOU TO READ IT BECAUSE I NEED HELP.

                If more people did this, we wouldn't have the fricken problems that we do,
                but so many marketers either.

                1. Play games
                2. Are too lazy to put a decent subject in the email.

                I have no time for either of them.

                If you need me to read your email...make it VERY CLEAR.
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                • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
                  Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                  If a customer or friend needs me for something, they should know how to title an email
                  C'mon Steve, you don't mean that.

                  So, if a customer's email subject line doesn't meet your editorial standards...it gets binned?

                  Rubbish. I don't believe you. And if it's true, you need to rethink your support policy, my friend!

                  Steve
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                  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                    Originally Posted by Steven Fullman View Post

                    C'mon Steve, you don't mean that.

                    So, if a customer's email subject line doesn't meet your editorial standards...it gets binned?

                    Rubbish. I don't believe you. And if it's true, you need to rethink your support policy, my friend!

                    Steve
                    No Steve, I don't. If a customer sends me an email with nothing in the
                    subject line, or worse something like "re:" how am I supposed to know it's
                    even from a customer?

                    Remember, all my emails get bombarded with spam so I can't possibly go
                    through everything. I therefore have to "eyeball" the subjects to try to
                    figure out which ones are either from friends or from customers or
                    prospects.

                    Plus, almost all my sales pages have links on them that insert the subject
                    of the email. So if I see something that looks like spam, I have even less
                    reason to open it.

                    Sorry, this is one time where I have to strongly disagree with you, otherwise
                    I'd be spending 6 hours a day going through emails.

                    Not going to happen.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                      And one other thing Steve.

                      How hard is it to put in the subject.

                      "Questions about your program"

                      "Need help with download"

                      "Can't login to members area"

                      I mean, is it REALLY asking that much?

                      If you saw some of the emails I get from prospects and customers, you'd
                      wonder what these people were thinking when they sent the email in the
                      first place.

                      Bottom line is this. If you really need my help, at least give me the
                      courtesy of a subject that tells me you need my help so that it doesn't
                      get lost in the sea of spam that I get.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
                      ...Fine. But if you sent a genuine comment to Wal-Mart's customer service department, heard nothing for weeks, followed up a while later by telephone...only to be told that you didn't follow some (unknown & unwritten) protocol...I'm sure you'd be pretty pissed off!

                      If you can't handle your email to the possible detriment of customer feedback, then you need to consider:

                      a) Getting a better spam filtering solution, or
                      b) Hiring a secretary.

                      Sorry, Steve. This is one where I, too, strongly disagree. Although I think we both strongly agree about the end result!

                      AND...I know you are highly proficient at keeping your customers satisfied.

                      Becuase I'm one of them.

                      Steve


                      Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                      No Steve, I don't. If a customer sends me an email with nothing in the
                      subject line, or worse something like "re:" how am I supposed to know it's
                      even from a customer?

                      Remember, all my emails get bombarded with spam so I can't possibly go
                      through everything. I therefore have to "eyeball" the subjects to try to
                      figure out which ones are either from friends or from customers or
                      prospects.

                      Plus, almost all my sales pages have links on them that insert the subject
                      of the email. So if I see something that looks like spam, I have even less
                      reason to open it.

                      Sorry, this is one time where I have to strongly disagree with you, otherwise
                      I'd be spending 6 hours a day going through emails.

                      Not going to happen.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                        Originally Posted by Steven Fullman View Post

                        ...Fine. But if you sent a genuine comment to Wal-Mart's customer service department, heard nothing for weeks, followed up a while later by telephone...only to be told that you didn't follow some (unknown & unwritten) protocol...I'm sure you'd be pretty pissed off!

                        If you can't handle your email to the possible detriment of customer feedback, then you need to consider:

                        a) Getting a better spam filtering solution, or
                        b) Hiring a secretary.

                        Sorry, Steve. This is one where I, too, strongly disagree. Although I think we both strongly agree about the end result!

                        AND...I know you are highly proficient at keeping your customers satisfied.

                        Becuase I'm one of them.

                        Steve

                        Would you send me an email with NOTHING in the subject?

                        I don't think so...and THAT is the difference.

                        Yes, I get back to my customers IMMEDIATELY when I know that they're
                        a customer. But when I get stuff that looks more like spam than the
                        actual spam I get, that's where I have to question the intelligence or
                        the laziness of some people.

                        Hell, even something as simple as "questions" in the subject will get me
                        to open it. One word. That's all. One word. If you can't put one word in
                        the subject that gives me at least a clue that you need me for something,
                        then you're going to get lost in the soup.

                        And as far as the spam situation, you show me a 100% fool proof way
                        to get rid of it that DOESN'T also block the emails that you WANT.

                        It doesn't exist.

                        Okay, we obviously will never agree on this and that's fine. I wish you
                        better luck with taking care of your customer than I have with taking care
                        of mine. So far, I only average about 1 email a week from somebody who
                        is pissed off I didn't get back to them. And 9 times out of 10, when I
                        ask them to forward the email to me, it contained a subject that I would
                        have never thought came from a rational human being. The 10th time, I
                        never got the email BECAUSE of the stupid spam filters.

                        This is why I am trying to move towards a help desk solution that does
                        NOT rely on emails, but I have yet to find one that I am happy with.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                          Here's an email subject that I received on the 19th of this month.

                          Didn't download

                          That's it.

                          Now, I sell 20 products. What didn't download? Am I supposed to guess?

                          The message wasn't any better. It just said, I couldn't download your
                          product. Can you send it to me.

                          I had to write back to the person and ask what product he was talking
                          about and if he could please send me a receipt so I could verify it.

                          Is that really asking too much to at least give me some details when you
                          write to me?

                          Here's another one.

                          Concerns

                          Yeah, that tells me a lot. Looks like spam to me doesn't it?

                          Turns out the person was concerned about one of my products still
                          being viable, since it is a few years old.

                          I almost deleted this one but something made me open it.

                          That email came on the 7th

                          Here's another one from the 1st

                          I Was Thinking

                          Now, that is a typical spam subject and I did delete it.

                          Well, it was from a customer who had an idea for a JV.

                          So do you see what I mean?

                          Am I really asking for so much?
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                          • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
                            Thing is, Steve, I DO agree with you.

                            What I disagreed with was your comment that your customers should know to how write to you.

                            They (we) don't care that you have a spam problem. They (we) may not be well versed in email etiqutte. They (we) might struggle to string two cohesive words together.

                            Not their problem, necessarily.

                            Now, I care about spam, I understand how email works, and...bonus...I have a basic grasp of the Queen's English, so I could probably get passed your filters.

                            And there ARE solutions for all these problems, Steve, and you're definitely going in the right direction by looking for a decent help desk (for starters).

                            I didn't intend this as a flame, because you know how much I respect you, as a marketer, a Warrior, AND a two-bit guitarist

                            Kind regards,
                            Steve

                            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                            Here's an email subject that I received on the 19th of this month.

                            Didn't download

                            That's it.

                            Now, I sell 20 products. What didn't download? Am I supposed to guess?

                            The message wasn't any better. It just said, I couldn't download your
                            product. Can you send it to me.

                            I had to write back to the person and ask what product he was talking
                            about and if he could please send me a receipt so I could verify it.

                            Is that really asking too much to at least give me some details when you
                            write to me?

                            Here's another one.

                            Concerns

                            Yeah, that tells me a lot. Looks like spam to me doesn't it?

                            Turns out the person was concerned about one of my products still
                            being viable, since it is a few years old.

                            I almost deleted this one but something made me open it.

                            That email came on the 7th

                            Here's another one from the 1st

                            I Was Thinking

                            Now, that is a typical spam subject and I did delete it.

                            Well, it was from a customer who had an idea for a JV.

                            So do you see what I mean?

                            Am I really asking for so much?
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
    One question...no devil's advocatism, just curious.

    Is there ever a valid reason for this kind of subject line?

    I'm thinking specifically about IM-naive niches, where your subscribers might actually believe and respond better to a "Personal From..." kind of subject line.

    I know -- the stock answer is, "A lie's a lie". But is that the whole truth?

    It's a question posed at your argument, Paul, not against it.

    Cheers,
    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Jay,

      I see your responses. Really. And read them.

      Steve,

      If someone can give me an example of an email to a list that SHOULD have that subject line, I'll think about it. I don't claim I can anticipate every possibility.

      I can actually think of one type of case where I'd be cool with it, so it's not totally wrong in every instance, no.

      For example, if I were to decide, for whatever reason, to quit publishing, and sent a "thanks for your support and for reading along, goodbye" note letting people know that, I don't think many people would find that misleading or offensive. I'd still try and use a different subject line, but I can at least see that case as acceptable.

      Funny... I've quite often told people that real personal emails don't need unsubscribe links. That instance wouldn't either.

      Maybe that's a good place to draw a (at least dotted) line?


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post


        Funny... I've quite often told people that real personal emails don't need unsubscribe links. That instance wouldn't either.

        Maybe that's a good place to draw a (at least dotted) line?


        Paul
        A perfect answer! Thanks, mate

        Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author balsimon
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        I don't think many people would find that misleading or offensive.
        That's the key, isn't it. That people would find emails
        with that subject line misleading.

        Offensive? That word gets used far too often for my
        taste. Irritating to be sure.

        It seems to me that the real question is what kind of
        marketer
        do I want to be and do I want to be
        known as? Every bit of communication I make
        influences my reputation with you.

        And it's much easier for me to say something than
        it is to take it back, which is why it's said that a
        reputation that is painstakingly built over years can
        be brought down in a matter of seconds.

        When I look in the mirror, do I see myself among the
        legions of heroes or am I acting the part of a
        weasel?

        And just to nail this on the head... surely we're not
        discussing something on a par with burglary, battery,
        or worse. It's still just email and still just marketing.
        But keeping one's perspective the choice still holds:
        hero or weasel? I always aim for the former. Can't
        say I always succeed, but one tries.

        Regards,
        Bal
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Bal,
          And just to nail this on the head... surely we're not discussing something on a par with burglary, battery, or worse.
          Battery? No. You're right.

          Burglary? I'm not so sure. When you actively damage a communications medium in which many people communicate for business, you're messing with their incomes.

          It's not stealing what they already have, but it's definitely stealing potential from everyone in the loop, buyers and sellers both.


          Paul
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          Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
            Paul's right. Whenever I send him a personal email, I never use the word
            personal in the subject.

            I'll usually start it..."## From Steven Wagenheim...<subject matter> ##"

            Whatever subject matter is. Usually, it's a reply to one of his newsletters
            but sometimes it's a cry for help.

            I know that Paul will eventually get back to me if he has the time. And
            another thing, if he doesn't, I don't badger him about it. I know he's busy
            and don't expect every email I send him to be answered.

            If more marketers would just use some common sense and common
            courtesy, we wouldn't have so many email sent to us that we want to
            shove back down the sender's throat.
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          • Profile picture of the author balsimon
            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

            Bal,Battery? No. You're right.

            Burglary? I'm not so sure. When you actively damage a communications medium in which many people communicate for business, you're messing with their incomes.

            It's not stealing what they already have, but it's definitely stealing potential from everyone in the loop, buyers and sellers both.


            Paul
            I do understand your point, Paul. But having had my
            home burglarized, I can tell you straight that I'd rather
            receive a thousand emails that said "Personal" in the
            headline than have to feel that level of insecurity again.

            There are just a few things I've experienced that are
            creepier than when I woke up one day and found my
            place burglarized while I slept. I wonder to this day
            how lucky I was that I didn't wake up.

            At least with this Personal matter, you have time and
            ingenuity to deal with it, as you are now. The crimes
            directly against a person and hir property always seem
            more odious to me than the kind we're talking about here.

            Cheers.

            Bal
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    It is annoying.

    Also, they'll happily use your name in the subject line, sprinkle it throughout the email copy - yet use a "no reply" address.

    You quickly realise that you're not part of any conversation, you're being broadcasted to. And there's nothing personal about that.

    It's time some some marketers realised that email marketing has come of age and the autoresponder is no longer a thing of mystery and wonder.


    Frank
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    I've just put Richard Branson's number on speed-dial. I call it my "Get-Rich-Quick" scheme.

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  • Profile picture of the author DKaelder
    haha
    I have a few of those mails as well.
    What has annoyed me quite a lot are e-mails that start with "RE:"
    cause then I think, that I wrote something to the guy, who is trying to sell his stuff
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Dan,
      What has annoyed me quite a lot are e-mails that start with "RE:" cause then I think, that I wrote something to the guy, who is trying to sell his stuff
      That's iffy in a lot of cases, and has some of the same thinking behind it.

      It's more defensible, though, logically, if the contents are related to the subject line. A little sneakier than I like, but not an outright lie.


      Paul
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      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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      • Profile picture of the author Takuya Hikichi
        The following are two subject lines I have used. One for auto responder and one for personal.

        Auto responder: "Email worth opening... I promise". It contained a link for valuable stuff and wanted people to open it.

        Next one was personal. I said: "(Not an auto respnder message) Name and subject" for some billing response.

        These messages did get open and were conveyed well.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    When I'm formatting an email to broadcast to my list, I
    ask a simple question.. What would Paul Myers say?

    Paul, I know that if you saw me doing something stupid
    or misleading you'd put me straight in no uncertain terms.

    I'm all for experimenting and pushing the boundaires, but
    not when it involves dishonest tricks.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    This method of mine might not be the best method, but it works for me. I create special Gmail accts for my customers and closest friends. This method creates a 1-on-1 method of communication. We agree that we only use the email accounts to discuss business and personal matters. It works for me because when I receive an email I know I must take action or the subject is very important.

    BTW, I do not need to login into each email account on a daily basis. Google allows for downloading the emails to Outlook. Rules are in place to categorize the receipents email address into folders.

    Newsletter wise, I use my own autoresponder on my own mail server. Guess where those newsletters go? Yep, straight to those GoogleMail accounts. Delivery rate is 100% (unless there is a technical glitch) simply because all of my subs have already added me to their contact list. BTW, my newsletters are not free.

    Jeffery 100% :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
    Steven,

    Yeah, good thoughts there on getting attention.

    I have used subjects like:

    "Joe - This Really IS Mike Ambrosio...please open"

    Or something similar. And my friends know how to get a hold of me too.

    These days, it is SOOOOO easy to set up an email specifically for some purpose, or group of friends. Then forward them so you don't have to log in to all these addresses...

    It's not a problem CHANGING these personal emails if they get overrun because, well, I don't have very many friends anyway.

    LOLOLOL

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
    Another detestable subject line

    "you have funds"

    That one pisses me off

    Kim
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  • Profile picture of the author Niche
    with some it's the personal in the headline, other marketers use 'you've made a referal' or 'here is your commission'
    really irksome
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  • Profile picture of the author Ernie Lo
    You know what Paul...this type of headline is STUPID...and here's why.

    By putting in the words "personal" in the email subject line, that actually makes it less personal.

    No friend of mine or even a business ever adds the words "personal", so why would anyone think this subject line is effective is beyond me...but than again I have never tested it, and glad I have never used it.

    It may trick them the very first time but after that, the technique is useless.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
    Steve,

    We're now a bit off track from Paul's original post, but I remedied this with a simple - and free - help desk system.

    What's nice is, you can set up unlimited "departments" (one for each product). Then, in your subsequent download pages, thank you emails, etc. you simply put the link to the specific help desk department directly.

    Then your system sends you an email when you get a new ticket. Since the help desk resides on the same server, theoretically you should GET those emails.

    And then you automatically know which product your customer has an issue with - even if the simply put "didn't download". I know - I get those too.

    Mike

    P.S. The free helpdesk software I use is no longer free, but it's a reasonable price for what it does.

    Ticket Desk Pro

    Not an aff link...
    Signature

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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Bal,

      I can definitely see that perspective. Excellent point.

      Dan,

      The fact is, a lot of the people sending these emails are friends or business associates of mine. I did look at the sender's name. Note the subject of this thread: "Personal from ..."

      The "..." is there in place of the name.

      I know a rather large number of the people in this business. The name hasn't, until recently, had any bearing on the fact that those subject lines were lies.

      What I am blaming the marketers for is lying. This happens to be the particular lie that triggered it for me.

      Who decides what's "personal?" The recipient. If you don't consider email that's sent to hundreds or thousands of people to fit the meaning of "personal," you're probably right. If you don't consider bulk email sent with no real awareness of the recipient to be personal, it isn't.
      If I'm not extending an invitation to the general public, but only a select few, that's personal, is it not?
      No. It is not.

      Consider: A WSO is not offered to everyone. It's restricted to members of this forum. Are those personal offers?

      Not by any reasonable definition of the word with which I'm familiar.

      As far as the number of lists, where did you get the idea that the number of messages I get has anything to do with the issue?


      Paul
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      Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
      Mike,

      Now THAT is what I call a fantastic segue!

      Well done, fella Top man.

      Kind regards,
      Steve

      Originally Posted by MikeAmbrosio View Post

      Steve,

      We're now a bit off track from Paul's original post, but I remedied this with a simple - and free - help desk system.

      What's nice is, you can set up unlimited "departments" (one for each product). Then, in your subsequent download pages, thank you emails, etc. you simply put the link to the specific help desk department directly.

      Then your system sends you an email when you get a new ticket. Since the help desk resides on the same server, theoretically you should GET those emails.

      And then you automatically know which product your customer has an issue with - even if the simply put "didn't download". I know - I get those too.

      Mike

      P.S. The free helpdesk software I use is no longer free, but it's a reasonable price for what it does.

      Ticket Desk Pro

      Not an aff link...
      Signature

      Not promoting right now

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      • Profile picture of the author Jim Burney
        btw another comment in emails that kills me is: an offer "from my very good friend"

        Careful there. Sometimes that's true.

        A lot of us in the business really are good friends with others in the business. Especially the folks who've been around for 10 years or more. And some of these folks are such nice people that everyone likes them.


        Paul
        Hi Paul

        Yes I really do need to get out some more...

        Jim
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  • Profile picture of the author Gene Pimentel
    Many emails have been coming through to me recently with the word "Urgent" in the subject line. Of course, it never is urgent, except to the sender trying to make a quick sale. Bah.
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