There's a raging debate going on amongst my marketing colleagues recently, but as near as I can tell – none of them have put this issue to their subscribers. So I thought today, I'd ask you to weigh in on the subject and give me your opinions – because for me, that's the one that counts most!

At issue here is the topic of Email Subject Lines…

We all know that IM is fiercely competitive and a lot of people are vying for your attention in your Inbox daily. So it seem that for many marketers, the gloves have come off and the subject lines have gotten more, um, shall we say… extreme?

Instead of simply being creative or compelling, some marketers have started using lines like:

You've got commission (…when you don't)
Here are your order details Sally (…when you haven't bought anything)
Hi Joe – RESPONSE REQUIRED (…when it's not an opt-in confirmation email)

And so on… I'm sure you've seen the ones I'm talking about.

Essentially, the email subject line is designed to trick you into opening it – or at the very least to make you think that opening the particular email is the second step in something you already initiated.

But here's were the debate gets interesting…


The marketers who have been using this (testing it, as they call it) are standing firm that it works. They are saying that once the email is opened, it is explained inside and that there is nothing deceitful about it. But their bigger argument is that it is increasing their open rates and that their subscribers are NOT complaining.

Hmmm, really?

This fascinates me, because I know with my own subscribers if I make one little oversight or typo – I get called on the carpet about it – and LOUDLY, at that! (And maybe you hold me to a higher standard – which is fine by me!)

But I can't even imagine what would happen if I sent an email saying "You've Got Commission," and my readers really don't. I feel like I'd be burned at the stake (and in my mind, rightfully so.)

You see, Greg and I have always had a standing principle – you send me an email saying I've got commission, you darn well better HAVE commission waiting for me or I am heading straight for the unsubscribe button. But years ago, use of that technique was few and far in between.

Now, it's more like the order of the day and it's got everyone talking, testing and pondering…

I am a member of several very large Skype chat groups that have a mixture of beginners and veterans alike, all chiming in on this debate. And some marketers who have been the most vocal about this issue have caved and in their own words, "gone to the dark side." 

They've been steadfast in saying for awhile that they wouldn't resort to subject line trickery. But in frustration, desperation, (or for whatever other reasons I don't know) they've thrown up their hands and essentially said – "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

Why?

Because people (you – our very own subscribers) have been responding to it. You've been supporting the stats that this form of getting your attention and getting you to open our emails daily is working.

Which leaves those of us who ARE remaining steadfast with a lot of unopened emails (my self included). I mean, I'll be the first to admit, that open rates have dropped in the past 4 or 5 years since we've been online, and it's getting harder and harder to get the bountiful numbers of days gone by.

But still…

I'm going to state right here, right now… I want you to open every email I send! But I want you to do it because you know there's value inside!!!

I want you to look forward to what I have to share and know that I work hard to bring you my best. And I wouldn't do anything to you that I don't want someone doing to me – and that includes getting me to click on an email under false pretense.

In short – I want your trust and your loyalty – and I believe everything else will take care of itself.

But am I off base here? Is my Pollyanna, puritan underbelly showing? Do I get brownie points for being ethical – or am I foolishly leaving money on the table while others pass me by?

I think not! Then again… as they say, numbers don't lie.

But it's your turn to weigh in on this discussion, because I'm giving you the first opportunity I've seen anywhere for your voice to be heard on this topic of email subject lines.

(Although the bigger test is for you to simply NEVER miss opening one of my spectacular emails :-) – that way I'll know for sure that you are on my side of this debate LOL! )

SO NOW IT'S YOUR TURN TO COMMENT BELOW…

Thank you,
Stephanie

 

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