What are your thoughts on using "DUDE" in your email subject line?

39 replies
This is a trend I first saw Frank Kern using a lot... Now, before I get the "If Frank does it, then it works" -kind of responses, I want to know what YOU think of this? Do/would you use this?

Personally, to be honest, I use "dude" in my social life when I'm around friends. But I don't believe the word "dude" has any place in the professional business world, and thus you'll never see me using it in newsletters or articles, ever. Personal opinion.

However, I've seen more and more emails (and spam mails) reading something like this: "DUDE! You have to see this!"

When did all the marketers become surfer dudes? Just asking.
#dude #email #line #subject #thoughts
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    They are sheep. Frank does it so they think it works.

    What they forget to understand is that Frank has a very different type of relationship with his list than most people. Would you walk into a local business client meeting and call them dude? No. So you shouldn't be doing it with your subscribers either.

    The amount of people you risk alienating by using a word like that will far outweigh those that find it endearing. A lot of my data and the data of others actually shows your typical IM'er is in the 50-65 age group nowadays because of the state of the economy. Can you really see those people being warmed up by being called 'dude'.

    The other thing Frank had going for him at the time was that nobody else had used it when he did and he was also portraying himself as a surfer 'dude' (that was his angle) -- so it all fit in to his message. Having said that I don't think he ever used it to address people in his emails, I only ever saw him use it as a subject line -- it was merely a pattern interrupt he was testing to get more people to open his emails.

    Dude, don't do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    What matters is what language your target market use
    most frequently.

    If the market you're targeting use words like 'dude' a lot,
    then test it out.

    If your target market don't use 'dude' much or ever, then
    using 'dude' in your e-mails will only alienate you from them.

    Also, you do realize that the surfer dude of Frank Kern is
    a fabricated persona right? Instead of being a laid back
    'surfer dude' Frank Kern has busted his balls and worked
    his ass off night and day for years.

    Personally, I find the word 'dude' too informal and no one
    that I actually know calls me that. I'd never use it.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Frank probably meant Dud, lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ettienne
    Originally Posted by WillR View Post

    They are sheep. Frank does it so they think it works.

    What they forget to understand is that Frank has a very different type of relationship with his list than most people. Would you walk into a local business client meeting and call them dude? No. So you shouldn't be doing it with your subscribers either.

    The amount of people you risk alienating by using a word like that will far outweigh those that find it endearing. A lot of my data and the data of others actually shows your typical IM'er is in the 50-65 age group nowadays because of the state of the economy. Can you really see those people being warmed up by being called 'dude'.

    The other thing Frank had going for him at the time was that nobody else had used it when he did and he was also portraying himself as a surfer 'dude' (that was his angle) -- so it all fit in to his message. Having said that I don't think he ever used it to address people in his emails, I only ever saw him use it as a subject line -- it was merely a pattern interrupt he was testing to get more people to open his emails.

    Dude, don't do it.
    Yeah I remember that first email where he used "dude" in the subject line, but then the opening line read something like: "So I've decided to test using "dude" in a subject, let's see how that goes "

    Something like that. But now I see more and more people (99% are spammers, though) using it. I don't mind it personally, but as you said, I believe that 99% of people won't appreciate being called dude. As you said, most marketers (or people looking to make money online) these days are aged above 30 (age 50-65, as you said, there are lots of them).

    It's not a smart strategy, unless you're selling surfboards/skateboards as an affiliate, only then will it possibly be a smart move.

    And yes, Frank is many, MANY years ahead of most of us with 500k+ subscribers (probably 1mil+ by now), so risking that dude-strategy with a small list can be disastrous I think.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ettienne
      Originally Posted by verial View Post

      You will alienate women.
      Believe it or not, but there are a lot of women who use dude (meaning, calling other girls "dude"). But yes, not in the internet marketing business (maybe if you sell hippie/gypsy stuff).
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    • Profile picture of the author seriousjake
      Originally Posted by verial View Post

      You will alienate women.
      Great point. I also think its usage is highly specific your target demographic.
      Gamers, stoners, etc sure. 40 year old forex traders, maybe not so much.
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      • Profile picture of the author ScottieDog
        I wouldn´t use it, but then I wouldn´t use the expression "hit me up" either, but many seem to like that one.

        Doesn´t show professionalism imo, but then as others said, would depend on your target market.
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    • Profile picture of the author emini_guy
      Originally Posted by verial View Post

      You will alienate women.
      There is a couple in my hood who address each other as "dude." The guy actually tends to call his (I guess) spouse that way more often. Sounds kinda creepy to me, but whatever.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaxNiche
    I have no idea about it.However I don't like a person calling me dude in his first email.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul nicholls
    the thing is, most people know frank within our industry so what works for him may not always work for you

    i sent an email to my list a few days ago joking around about calling them "dude" and said if i ever call them "dude" in any of my emails please unsubscribe lol

    i always keep my emails quite entertaining and just say things how they are, if you come across as too official of try to be too serious that will put people off as well

    find what works for you, but don't just call people dude if that is not the way you speak

    weather you call people dude, mate, buddy, my ol mate, my rockstar, (darling if you really want to) what ever you want just make sure it's something you continue to do because that is what your subs will get used to and they will know that is how you talk
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    This was already discussed in depth in this long thread

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...l-me-dude.html
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      This was already discussed in depth in this long thread

      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...l-me-dude.html
      The appeal that a subject was discussed in depth before
      doesn't seem to hold much water with the Warrior crowd.

      I've tried before and it doesn't work since those who
      contribute to the thread may have missed the old one.

      You'll see ...

      -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author rising_sun
    Banned
    Mr.,Miss.,Mrs. are professional language to contact with anybody at the time of first conversation.
    Please don't get out of professional for this kind of business ,professionalism can make you advance.
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  • Profile picture of the author SparkletMedia
    Banned
    If you have a huge list like Kern then I suppose you can get away with it. Let us not forget Mr Kern has successfully branded and positioned himself as an expert.


    Spark
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Ettienne View Post

    What are your thoughts on using "DUDE" in your email subject line?
    When I first saw the thread title, I guessed wrongly that it was going to be a comic/ironic question, not a serious one.

    No, there are no circumstances under which I'd consider doing this.
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    • Profile picture of the author TomYevsikov
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      When I first saw the thread title, I guessed wrongly that it was going to be a comic/ironic question, not a serious one.

      No, there are no circumstances under which I'd consider doing this.
      You don't look like the "Hey dude wazzap" kind of woman, honestly.
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      • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
        I don't know about "Hey dude" but apparently "Hey honey, I saw you on Facebook" seems to work well on a male audience.

        Split testing shows that "Hey, Big Boy" works even better.

        Martin
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve B
          I remember a long previous thread about this same subject on the WF not too long ago.

          The origin of the word comes from "dude" ranches out west. My dictionary says a "dude" is an eastern city slicker visiting a western ranch.

          Now how many people does that really fit?

          My guess is, the ranchers were using the term in a negative way to label the outsiders as someone very different that had no clue about life in the west.

          My point in bringing this up is the fact that "dude" to many old geezers like me is not a complimentary term.

          So why even take the chance of offending your audience? It's like talking politics, religion, or race . . . if it might offend your readers, don't do it.

          Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    I think using the word "Dude" or "Crazy" in subject lines is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen.

    If I ever see anything like that, my respect for the product owner plumits out of sight.

    That's probably horrendous overkill, but I'm just being honest.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
    Originally Posted by Ettienne View Post


    When did all the marketers become surfer dudes? Just asking.
    I´m definitely NOT a dude.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Desi
    I think it depends on the message and the audience. Perhaps it would work with that program I've seen about "picking up women". But for my stuff it would offend and alienate a lot of people. Know your target and communicate with them the correct way.
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  • Profile picture of the author markcr
    Banned
    It's shocking!

    "dude, bro, pal,"

    Not very professional is it? What is it University lingo? Would you seriously think they are professional business people?
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  • Profile picture of the author kaellyn
    I think there are circumstances where it could work. If people are on your list mainly through your blog or info products, and you have a "dude" sort of personality in your blog/info products, then showing that personality in your emails probably won't hurt anything. It's what people expect of you. They're most likely on your list as much for you as for what you're selling anyway. If you go all formal and business-y, you may turn them off because they want to feel a connection with you.

    On the other hand, if people come to your list through a more formal business route, they're probably expecting a business relationship. If you've always been formal and you suddenly start throwing "dude" at them, you'll come across as contrived at best and flat out dishonest at worst. Who wants to buy from someone they can't trust?
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  • Profile picture of the author mgreener
    As has already been stated, it totally depends on your style and the relationship that you have developed with your list. For Frank Kern, it is totally natural. In this case, copying what one person does successfully doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you (unless you already have that persona and style).
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  • Profile picture of the author Christophe Young
    I'm subscribed to a few newsletters in the Dating advice for men niche and it's rather common to be referred to as "Dude" in a lot of them. Some of these guys are pushing or well over 40 which makes it seem silly but for that niche, it's probably fine.

    I've never done it myself as I prefer, "Hey man" or just "Hey." "Dear Friend" sounds a little too informal but I just go with what I'm comfortable with.

    Dude, some of these guys are like helluh smart marketers!
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    • Profile picture of the author Gijsbertus
      Dude, Mate et all ... would only use this if I knew the person really well.

      In Europe you can't adress people with these kind of words anyhow.
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      • Profile picture of the author seriousmny
        Your email list is your money. I wouldn't address my customers with "Dude" or anything close to that. Frank like someone said up above, has a different relationship that he has with his list.

        That's the key. He's developed a relationship. People won't get ticked off when they see its coming from Frank. For the rest of us, we need to develop a relationship with our list and not just bite off of Frank's use of the word "dude" and send it out to our list. We may lose some people.

        It takes hard work to develop a list and I treat my people with respect by not spamming them and addressing them correctly.

        If over time you develop a more laid back relationship with your list and they are okay with you calling them "dude" then go for it, but to just off the cuff start changing the tone in which you correspond with your list may be a bit risky.
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        • I can see that it would depend on your list--age and other demographics.

          Personally I'd tend to discount the offer even before I'd read the email, if that was in the subject line. I'm the wrong demographic!

          Testing it out is a great idea, only way you'd figure out if it appeals to your targeted audience.

          Mary
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            What are your thoughts on using "DUDE" in your email subject line?
            I think it's fine if you are selling male enhancement products. Pretty dumb if you have women in your target market.

            Now, if you use dudes and dudettes....
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      • Profile picture of the author icandi
        Originally Posted by Gijsbertus View Post

        Dude, Mate et all ... would only use this if I knew the person really well.

        In Europe you can't adress people with these kind of words anyhow.
        Totally agree, I think it depends on the demographic and locations of the recipients, personally I tend to ignore emails with slang and familiar headers. Maybe it does work well for some, wonder if anyone ever split tested this...
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  • Profile picture of the author bhmseoservices
    Not professional at ALL.
    Even in your industry you don't put words like "Dude, bro, man, coolio, Yo Mang, Word Up".
    Industries on the internet are like real business people and not a "ghetto" street gang.

    In my personal opinion everyone should be addressed by name, or Sir, Mr. Mrs - etc.
    it's all about how you present yourself on the internet, much like how you make an impression when you first meet with someone; the same can be said for an email.
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  • Profile picture of the author TomYevsikov
    Firstly, I'd never use DUDE although it's my style.

    The problem with dude is that I cannot possibly know who'd like that and who'd not.

    The truth is that I don't look carefully at my demographics so I take a big risk by sending DUDE to my list lol.

    Although I really like the subject line -"Hey"

    It works great for me.

    Frank kern...it's his style and I'm pretty sure he is from the first ones to use this in the IM niche.

    HOWEVER, the most important thing is the FROM field.

    Whenever I receive an email from frank kern I don't give a damn what the subject line is and same goes for some of my subscribers.
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  • Profile picture of the author rmolina88
    I don't use it, dude.
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  • As a newbie it certainly isn't an expression I would think of using. In fact I haven't built my list yet but when I do my plan is to look at the way I am being marketed to and try and use some of their techniques and subject lines and put my own spin on it.

    I think only once you have positioned yourself as a superior in a particular field can you then get away with with using some slightly more risqué techniques.
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