On Friday I set up my autoresponder to send out an email just after midnight, it was to point out that a special offer deal on an eBook I had promoted earlier in the week was about to end. By sending a reminder I was hoping to bring in a few extra sales (which it did), in fact you will see this tactic used a lot, the main reason is because it works. I knew I was going to be out at the planned broadcast time so I set everything up on Friday afternoon.
My subject line was:
‘A Quick Warning Email’
Here is the rest of the email:
John Thornhill here.
I just want to quickly warn you that you have just over 24 hours to
take advantage of Lee McIntyres pre launch special offer for his
brand new eBook ‘Mailing Lists Unleashed’
This eBook is 79 pages of top quality info, just waiting for you to
copy Lee’s methods and top secret tips and implement them yourself
to get started with your very own mailing list.
But hurry, as the pre launch offer ends this weekend. Don’t wait
till the price goes up as you will kick yourself, head on over
there now and take advantage of Lee’s pre launch offer.
Until next time…
I woke up the next morning and checked my mail and I found my email had created quite a stir. I had gotten responses such as:
“A quick warning” email … Are YOU NUTS!?
I didn’t read this email, but I am sure of why I am sending this response.
DON’T EVER SEND ME anything else that is as stupid and ignorant as this email.
I haven’t actually read the email fully (no need too), but I can guarantee you (by it’s subject), as an intelligent person, I would never read it.
Are you getting needy? Do you NEED to make your house payment in England? Obviously, this is true as you are using incredibly OLD manipulation techniques. You must be really “needy.”
I USED to “like” you.
Yes, it’s true. There are still some of us “intelligent” persons out there.
You will never gain respect doing “this” type of stuff. Stop it.
“Luuuvvvvv” Someone that was trying to succeed, but inadvertently got on you email list”
“I received an email with the heading, “A Warning email!” the word “WARNING” made my stomach churn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“Calling an item a ‘warning’ email should be reserved for Scam alerts or Viruses, not just because something is ‘time limited’!
My feelings is that is as bad as misusing the Urgent flag on an email…”
I received about 10 similar emails, some to graphic to post but I’m sure you get the picture.
Anyway, I didn’t feel very proud of myself so I immediately sent a full broadcast apologizing for my mistake. Here it is:
I want to apologize for the subject line in the email I sent you
last night. The fact I used the word ‘warning’ has offended a few
people. I made a mistake as I’m only human and if I offended I
apologize. It won’t happen again.
There is a lesson to be learned for us all here. Choose your email
subject lines carefully when mailing your subscribers.
Until next time.
I then received about 100 replies.
Most along the lines of:
“Not a problem John….some folk must be on a short fuse !”
“That is bizarre – I just performed a quick search through the subject lines of many hundreds of internet marketing emails received over the past five years and there are literally dozens who use the word “warning” – it’s a common eye-catching word and whoever took offense is probably someone who just likes to wind people up for no good reason”
“No apology needed. In fact I think you should continue the infamous ‘warning’. The reading public makes it necessary to use all the means possible. In fact I had 2 ‘warning’ emails today. Hey Man, go for it”
“Certainly no offence taken, I clearly knew that the email was from you and anything in the subject line would be in the context of your usual emails. Looking forward to the next one”
And many many more similar emails.
Now first of all I don’t like upsetting anyone, and if the subject line did offend I apologize.
While I always try to create a title that makes you want to open the emails I send I never try to be ‘sneaky’ or use tactics that will cause a stir. While some marketers do this day in day out it’s not something I feel comfortable doing.
And if I can teach you anything here I want to finish by saying be sure to check out responses to any broadcast mailings you do. Listen to your subscribers as they are your business. And lastly, if you mess up be sure to send a second email apologizing.
This shows you are genuine and are human after all.
So what is the point of this Blog post?
The main reason I am posting this is because I would love to hear your comments. How do you feel about what happened? Were you offended? If so why?
Or maybe you never even realized there was a problem till I sent my second email apologizing. If that is you do you think some people over-reacted?
Please share your views.