25 replies
I absolutely HATE subject lines like the one I used to get you in here!

Everyday, I receive about five or six emails from marketers with non-descriptive subject lines, such as "Hey look at this", "Call me", or "This is the best!" The heck with all of those!

I have never stooped to using these with my lists. I would rather somebody have a general idea of what is in the email and not open it than have them open it and hit the unsubscribe button. They may not be interested in the content of that particular email, but at least they remain on my list and will eventually see something from me that sparks their interest.

What are your thoughts on this?
#cool
  • Profile picture of the author celente
    Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post


    Everyday, I receive about five or six emails from marketers with non-descriptive subject lines, such as "Hey look at this", "Call me", or "This is the best!" The heck with all of those!

    Yes, I think the classic example is people like FRANK KERN brian.

    I have studied him many years, inside and out and have a few of his products.

    Realistically, it comes down to 3 things.....

    1) People get to know you or your personality & or style.

    A good example is frank kern yet again. LOL. He is a bit of a laid back, light hearted tom foolery sort of character, but people know he puts out good stuff, but in all my analysis, he has a special magnetism to his personality, and people seem to be attracted by it.

    This comes through all his emails, as I HAVE SAVED EVERYONE OF FRANKS!, I just think he has taught in his own words "Get the damn email open" that is half the battle. Well I agree, I just think that is actually half the battle, but we want people opening emails and clicking links. Once people know who you are and your style, I do no think you have to use special tactics, just be different for the other gurus to get your emails open. Personality rocks, and that is the good thing about the internet, you can set yourself apart from the others.

    Once people know you persona, you can play on that, use it to get people more interactive and curious.

    2) Testing

    Not many people will do this. The subject line that I have used with BAD NEWS or another one of my favourites is THIS WILL SHOCK YOU TO THE CORE and they do work. They are not tricky headlines, or gimmicks if you can work in something shocking or bad news into your email itself. But I think people can get annoyed with this, and I agree can turn people away.

    You do not have to be sneaky at all. Testing these can give you many advantages in that you know what emails will get open and read and people clicking links. There is a huge difference there. After many tests, you will find that some type of headlines short or long and the language used always get a better response or open rate and sales on the other side, so it would again not be about trickery, but about using what you have found to work, and tossing out styles, headlines and copy / words that you know simply do not work or get a crappy response.

    3) The SWIPE Effect & Story

    I normally like to swipe email copy from other larger marketers. Especially those with big backends, and funnel and membership sites.

    WHY?

    I can tell you they have tested and I spot a pattern. They use 2 things....

    1) Case studies (social proof, Examples & Results in advance)

    2) Stories. (Real life stories with stats)

    A subject line with From Broke Lawnmower Man To Millionaire In 12 Months!! might be a good classic example, because its more direct, and tells or give the subscriber what the content is going to be about, and gets them warmed up already.

    This is the story type tactic that I like, as ever since we were young we were brought up reading and listening to stories. When you sit on a train and over hear idiot teenagers, all they seem to do is tell stories about their friends and or families. Stories are everywhere and people are very receptive to them, especially sales messages and in sales pages. Tell a good story and use results in advance and you will get lots of sales.

    Also I like case study words too, as marketers use this all the time and they do well for us. As it is telling the user or get them thinking, "hey look at this average joe, if he can do it, so can I!" you want to get inside their head and take away the skepticism, no wonder these sort of lines do so well.

    I have seen a subject line like : We teach a newbie live to make $200 in just 3 hours - VIDEO Proof here. So newbies struggling want to see the exact steps of the case study and want to follow along. Again you are not tricking them, but just using 'results in advance' and sort of telling a story.

    All these tactics a great form of marketing communication to not only get emails open, but make sales and keep people on your lists at the same time so you can market to them over and over again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Theduke2011
    I usually reply just because it could be important. But yeah, I totally agree with you on the whole subject line situation. I rather have someone send something that the message is relevant to then just "Hey".
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Huynh
    Your goal is to build a good relationship with your list so that they can just look at your name as the sender and open your emails without regard to the subject line. A classic example is Frank Kern, as Celente pointed out. Frank does send out bad subject lines once in a while but because I see his name as the sender, I'll open the email anyway.

    Besides that, I know that ambiguous subject lines do increase click-through rates. If the subject line is very different from the topic in the email then I become very annoyed and may unsubscribe depending on how I perceive the sender. Ie > Payment received....
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  • Profile picture of the author DotComBum
    I don't like this tactic too, Usually I don't click on something which I don't know what it will lead me to.
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  • Profile picture of the author Walter Parrish
    Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

    I absolutely HATE subject lines like the one I used to get you in here!

    Everyday, I receive about five or six emails from marketers with non-descriptive subject lines, such as "Hey look at this", "Call me", or "This is the best!" The heck with all of those!

    I have never stooped to using these with my lists. I would rather somebody have a general idea of what is in the email and not open it than have them open it and hit the unsubscribe button. They may not be interested in the content of that particular email, but at least they remain on my list and will eventually see something from me that sparks their interest.

    What are your thoughts on this?
    I'm totally with you on that one.
    To me those subject lines look like spam, and many that choose to operate that way tend to come off as spammers because they are sending 2 to 3 a day or more.

    I don't even give a ratz azz if frank kerm came through with that subject line he would get treated like the rest of the spammers. lol

    I agree with Gary to an extent, but most that are doing great where your recognize their names, turn around and do the same thing with the subject lines.

    It's poor taste and makes them look desperate and if you're desperate I don't want to look at what you have to offer, because you'd offer me anything to make a buck.
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  • Profile picture of the author shane_k
    I agree with Walter to me these kind of subject lines look like spam. and when I find them in my email I usually delete them right away.

    But hey the do work a bit I guess because I am here, lol

    Actually the headline did catch my attention, and I was going to pass, but when I hovered my arrow over the link I saw the first paragraph and saw the words, "I absolutely HATE subject lines like the one I used to get you in here!"

    So truthfully it was that, not the subject line, that got me to open up the thread.

    Usually I just ignore them
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  • Profile picture of the author warriorkay
    I can't remember where I read it but I think Frank Kern once said
    one of his email subject lines that got the most opens was "hey"...
    or was it "dude". And yes, it sure works very well for some. I guess
    the "curiosity killed the cat" part of us makes this work,

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    • Agreed, it's a delicate balance, but, personally, we never go vague and cheap with list emails. You have to remember, you're building a brand, and that brand should have integrity, and staying power. Ensnaring people with vague, somewhat dirty, marketing one-liners is not the way to maintain integrity and staying power. It might work for the quick buck, and, if that's your thing, then best of luck to you. But it's not ours. So I can't so much condone it. 'Tis all.

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    • Profile picture of the author Walter Parrish
      Originally Posted by warriorkay View Post

      I can't remember where I read it but I think Frank Kern once said
      one of his email subject lines that got the most opens was "hey"...
      or was it "dude". And yes, it sure works very well for some. I guess
      the "curiosity killed the cat" part of us makes this work,

      Kingsley
      lol and that's one I delete right away too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ed Micah
    I came in because of your name, not because of the subject line -- absolutely hate it.

    That shows how important it is to build up your reputation with your brand/name!
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  • Profile picture of the author ratna
    Same as Ed Micah, I got here because I saw your name first. And when you said it is cool, it must be really cool

    So I think at the end subject line probably matter, but it's not as important as the trust factor we put on the name of the person who post the message.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joan Altz
    Using tricky subject lines is bad because so many spammers use them. You don't want people associating your emails with spam.
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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    Back in 1978 I was wrong about something. Are you guys suggesting this might be another instance of such a thing? Tell you what... I am going to test it out. I will come back and report my results.
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    • Frank Kern has been successful with openers like that. But...he mails like what? A few times a year? At least to me. I think it's played out with marketers, like many on this forum who, mail daily. My 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author gcbmark20
    Hi Brian,

    Makes 100% sense to me of what your point is about these cheesy subject lines.

    I received one of those yesterday and I didn't even bother opening it.

    Great to see someone expose this kind of marketing as it can help some newcomers understand what not to do with email marketing.

    Thanks Brian and keep exposing these kind of marketing tactics!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post


      What are your thoughts on this?
      I think you're really cool.



      I have to admit - as an email opener I probably would have passed it over.

      Although lately I wouldn't have even got to it yet as I have about 20k emails to clean out. lol
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  • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
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    • Profile picture of the author SP ESP
      Unfortunately I think this technique has been taught in so many courses that now every man and his pet ferret is using it.

      Frank Kern has a lot to answer for! If it works for FK it may not work for you and you might just look like a complete numpty (and spammer) for doing it.

      Better just go off and check through my own subject lines now I come to think of it!
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    • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
      Originally Posted by JaRyCu View Post

      I've trained a reflex into my right hand on emails like this:

      My eyes look at the sender, read the subject, and then my hand automatically positions the mouse over the "send to spam" button.

      Then I never see that subject or sender again.

      -- j
      Even with lists you've subscribed to?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ali Rangwala
    I came into this thread due to a combination of your name and the subject line. I thought you wouldn't risk opening a thread saying something was cool if it wasn't actually cool, so I wanted to find out what the cool thing was lol. You let me down Brian!
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    The one that will instantly get you an unsub from me is "You Have A Commission" or something along those lines and when you open it it says "Don't you wish you were receiving these types of emails daily?"

    I am like "I do prick" Click!

    When I receive a valid email of that type I open it and try to show my appreciation to the buyer by personally contacting them and making sure the product is helping them and assuring they are getting the most out of it. I spend valuable time doing this every day and do not want my time wasted by someone using the headline as an emotional trigger .. could just be me though.
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  • Profile picture of the author mickyl
    I agree with you, and since I'm not a native english speaker I find it even more frustrating! it takes time to read emails when it's not your mother tongue, so I rather know if the content is really relevant before I wste my precious time on rtying to figure it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Martin Stellar
    It's simply an aggressive and effective way to get opens - nothing new there.

    To me there's a bit of an ethical point to it: People who rely on that type of hard strategy are playing numbers. That in itself isn't bad, but very often that kind of subject is used as a kind of bait-and-switch: Get you to open the email, but the rest of the email has really no relevance to the subject.

    Effectice, but not a very nice practice.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Thats funny, I was just about to say "nice headline".

    I definitely like it better than headlines like:

    "5,000,000 views, 13,000 subscribers, 237 sales".

    Numbers never feel personal to me. They always feel like they have an agenda behind them. So I prefer headlines that sound more personal or casual. Probably because I hang out on WF too much.. and all I see are numbers that are designed to manipulate.
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  • Profile picture of the author twistedpixel
    ▶ What about using an arrow like this to draw attention to your subject line?

    If used in conjunction with copy that tells me what's inside, I tend to notice it more in my inbox.

    Here's a free web site I found earlier today that lets you search and copy all the unicode symbols to use in your email subject or body

    BabelMap Online (Unicode 6.2)
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