False, Vulgar Titles Getting Out Of Hand?

20 replies
So today I look in my email and this is what I see "1 day left for jacking off - Hey guys,

If the responses to my last e-mail..."

When I opened the email because I realized it was not "porn" email it talks about some software called the Video Jacker.

My main question is "Do you think marketers are pushing the envelope so much that it's getting downright ridiculous?" or "Does this stuff really work?" It just irritated me but I might be the minority when it comes to reactions like that.

What are your thoughts on this?

I ask because I almost deleted it first thinking it was porn spam.

Afterglow ~*~
#false #hand #titles #vulgar
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Originally Posted by Afterglow View Post

    My main question is "Do you think marketers are pushing the envelope so much that it's getting downright ridiculous?" or "Does this stuff really work?" It just irritated me but I might be the minority when it comes to reactions like that.

    What are your thoughts on this?
    We lost two comedic stars recently, Robin Williams and Joan Rivers.
    Both are recognized as greats in their own way. Rivers pushed the envelope
    and made a carrier out of it. I respect her hard work and accomplishment
    but I don't like her genre of jokes. I don't think that you are "funny" if you have
    to be "vulgar" to be funny. Robins didn't have to "go there" to make his
    audience laugh.

    It's the same in the marketing world. Some marketers think that to get
    attention they must shock you--(and yes it works) but I don't see that
    as "real" marketing. Anyone can get attention by breaking the rules of
    "normal" decorum. It's easy to get attention by running on the field
    naked before a packed stadium. But it takes real talent to get attention
    while being "conservative".

    Speaking of another comedian, I always appreciated the way that
    Bill Cosby never used curse words in his comedy. His acts are
    "family friendly" and The Cosby Show was top rated in its day.

    But to each his own I guess.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Don't kid yourself. Joan Rivers knew how to work clean if she had to, and Robin Williams could work bluer than the Caribbean in a tourism ad. The key is that both had the talent to go either way to fit the audience.

      Too many would-be copywriters are trying to bring a dull knife to a gunfight.
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      • Profile picture of the author @tjr
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Too many would-be copywriters are trying to bring a dull knife to a gunfight.
        There are also plenty who bring M16s to a coffee date.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Franklin
    Bill Cosby, definitely had it right, I saw that email too and would have unsubbed, had there been a link to do that in one go.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I limit the amount of lists I'm on, so only the best few email marketers actually get read on my computer. The rest get unsubscribed or sent to spam. You always have one of those options available to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    Shock and Awe copywriters.

    Being turned out by the droves. It is a lack of real ability, but, if they get some results, they can hang out the copywriter shingle and make some bux.

    On the other hand, it is a vulgar world we live in.

    The time of courtesy and civility have passed the masses over, it is up to the individual now.

    gjabiz

    PS. 20 years ago I wrote a pamphlet called Your Civility Rights, perhaps I should revise it and offer it for free as a courtesy to the rich jerks of the world (and the poor ones too).
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  • Profile picture of the author @tjr
    In my personal opinion dirty jokes/plays on words like that are what a writer uses when they have nothing of substance to say.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Holmes
    You want me on your list, don't say anything you can't say in front of your Grandmother...

    As Zig Ziglar said, “You are what you are and you are where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You change what you are and you change where you are by changing what goes into your mind.”

    I'll thank people to keep it clean, vulgar just means that you're reaching for an audience that doesn't include me.

    So if you want me to unsub from your list, you know what to do...
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    1 day left for jacking off
    I'm always a day late!
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  • Profile picture of the author cobra tatham
    Just simply ignore and move on. Unsubscribe and you're done! Everyone has their own angle and if it works for them then all the more power to them.... but they may find their unsubscribe rates rising as well. Testing, testing to see what works.
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  • Profile picture of the author TopTier Profits
    I still don't understand how it's 2014 and people are still getting "offended" by words.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ben Holmes
      Originally Posted by TopTier Profits View Post

      I still don't understand how it's 2014 and people are still getting "offended" by words.
      I'm afraid that says far more about you than it does me. Not trying to get into an argument, merely making a point. You can't tell by the mass media or Hollywood - but most people are *still* offended by vulgar language.

      A little travel might be surprising to you, if you get out of the area you're in, and see the country.

      Again, not trying to argue, merely make a point that I think you don't see...
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    • Profile picture of the author miklanderson2
      Originally Posted by TopTier Profits View Post

      I still don't understand how it's 2014 and people are still getting "offended" by words.
      Maybe it's because some of us were raised right and don't want our in-boxes polluted with trash. I wouldn't be offended by it (it takes a heck of a lot more than that to offend me), but I would probably leave the list because I prefer not to be on lists where the marketers resort to such tactics to try to bump up their open rate.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Gordon
    In my opinion, there is a place for that kind of headline.

    It is with the senders who have provided enough value and built up enough good will to take a bit of a shocking approach to get my attention for something uniquely appropriate to that kind of headline.

    They generally will acknowledge (in the copy) that this is not for everyone, and maybe even apologize for using such a trick to get my attention. But then they will dazzle me with the justification for doing so, and leave me feeling like it was entirely justified.

    In other words, most people are utterly unqualified or not talented enough to pull it off.

    But, I wouldn't say "never".
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Unfortunately, that's the world we live in now. It's getting so competitive more people feel they have to almost "shock" to get your attention.

      I call it the Reality Show mentality. Most of the top rated shows are the ones with the biggest vulgarity, fights, shocking scenes and cussing or bleep-outs.

      Understand there's a whole generation who thinks that's normal, even cool or creative. The last half of Generation X, plus Generation Y and Millennials.

      Using your example, some would say the only mistake or missed opportunity wasn't in the vulgar headline. He missed the sale because he didn't hit your urgent need or sweet spot accurately.

      If your water pipe just burst and your room was taking on water and you noticed a vulgar ad headline. But the copy read ...

      Quickie Plumbing ... "At your door in 5 minutes or repair is free".

      Would you call them? Or Pass?

      I'm sure some people who got that email at least read the copy, maybe even bought - who otherwise would have deleted it.

      Not to defend it but shocking headlines is one of the best ways to overcome ad blindness. Although I personally think it's often lazy copy writing or marketing in most cases.

      Thanks for sharing your experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by Afterglow View Post

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Vulgarity suggests the user is coarse and unrefined. It brings to my mind a person's lack of education, social graces, dignity, and respect for others' feelings. Vulgarity is not taught in the classroom to my knowledge.

    So when I see vulgarity in print or online it suggests, IMO, that the user is either unrefined himself or he is faking his vulgarity to somehow make a statement or invoke a response, neither of which sheds positive light on the person.

    Those who choose to be vulgar choose to limit their audience, certainly an alternative for any marketer, but you have to shake your head wondering why someone would choose to limit their prospects when it is not necessary.

    Vulgar words are often black listed and trigger spam filters which is another way of limiting the field of prospects.

    Sure, there will always be those who say "get off your high horse" or "wake up to today's world" and castigate those who have moral or religious standards against vulgarity. No one is suggesting you change your ways.

    But it seems evident to me from the majority of the responses in this thread that there are plenty of people offended by or that dislike vulgarity to the point that using it seems pointless when there are so many other better marketing strategies.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author miklanderson2
    I don't mind it when marketers use the occasional curse word to get their point across or make a slightly off-color joke from time to time, but sending an e-mail with the term "jacking off" in the headline is crude and uncouth.

    When I read the original post, it instantly struck me as someone who was trying to draw attention to his headline by being edgy, but missed the mark by a longshot. It might increase the open the rate a bit, but I'd be willing to bet a number of those opens would be from people like me who would open it out of morbid curiousity, but wouldn't buy from the e-mail and more than likely would be leaving the list shortly thereafter.

    In response to the people who defend this type of stuff as being part of life in 2014...That may be your take on it, but there are still a large number of people who don't like it and will be offended by it. Is it really good business to send an e-mail that risks alienating a good portion of your list?
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by TopTier Profits View Post

      I still don't understand how it's 2014 and people are still getting "offended" by words.
      Are you serious? Getting offended by words is an industry unto itself.

      Pulling out the wrong word at the wrong time has cost people their jobs, gotten them sued, and, if they happen to be well known, it can cost millions in endorsements.

      Donald Stirling told his mistress in a private conversation that he didn't want her bringing black people to sit in his seats at Clippers games. He was fined and banned from the NBA.

      Paula Deen used a six letter word decades ago and it got her kicked off the Food Network.

      There's a product whose ads ran for years on the radio, and their tag line is perfect for this thread.

      "People judge you by the words you use..."
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      • Profile picture of the author discrat
        There are differing views on shock value in Headlines.

        I think a little bit of "unpredictability" can be advantageous.

        But I side more in the camp of using Headlines that tell EXACTLY what the subject of the Email is going to be about.

        In other wards

        1. 6 Exact Steps to Build your Email List to over 10K

        is better than

        2. The women love me because I have a Big one. You want to know how ?

        Historically, tests haves shown higher Open Rates where the Subject lines clearly express what is going to be discussed within the email


        - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    it all depends on the market you are serving, you really have to have a good understanding of who your audience is.

    If you were in the pick up artist niche you could say a lot of things that you wouldn't say to a christian based audience. So just keep your audience in mind when creating content.
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