Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fail ad #003 - email marketing at its worst

Thanks to CEO of Socialtext, Eugene Lee, and his Twitter post for pointing out this Fail Ad that Zoli Edros has blogged about on Cloud Ave.

People received the above email ad in the USA which, when reading just looks like a badly worded spammy email, but when you find out the actual email subject line was ...

"If you want to keep your job, use Spoke"

... it is just plain bad.

This arrived via Twitter - the public soap box that kills brand reputation quicker than you can say "This subject line cost me my job". Here's how it goes: bad ad goes out to the public > Someone points it out on Twitter for being crap > their followers (we're talking in the hundreds) tell their followers (hundreds multiplied by hundreds) and step three > your brand reputation tanks.

I agree, you need a killer subject line to entice people to waste two minutes reading ANOTHER email, but the subject line needs to also inspire confidence. There's a reason all your viagra/debt/gambling spam starts with "big", "win", "huge", "now", "rich" - it's a simple formula that even the worst spammers know about.

So, Spoke, I would strongly suggest that you call up one of your customers that do email marketing for a living and get few pointers on how to actually write a proper subject line.

UPDATE: 14/11/2008

OK, So after sleeping on this post I think it may be a little harsh. Email marketing is a tough gig, so while I still think it's a very bad subject line, maybe the best criticism is some constructive feedback. Here's a few alternative subject lines that would also have worked:

"Be accurate in uncertain times - use Spoke"
"Uncertainty brings change - keep up with Spoke"
"Improve your targeting even in a changing market"

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