We Read This Crap So You Don’t Have To: “Bad News” E-mails

There’s an interesting blog on the AWeber site by Danny Iny titled “Can ‘Bad News’ Lift Response Rates?” You know: The subject lines in e-mails that announce “Bad News.” Iny suggests that it meets three criteria for effective headlines:

  • It’s question-based, rather than answer-based.
  • It’s problem-based, not solution-based.
  • It evokes curiosity.

But Iny notes that the technique doesn’t always work, and that there are two major problems with “bad news” subject lines:

  • No context: You might receive bad news from family, friends, business partners, or clients. There’s already care, concern, and a relationship. You don’t care about e-mail marketers, you con’t care enough about them for any news to be particularly bad.
  • Destroys credibility and trust: You run the risk that your audience will stop trusting you. Often the audience will feel (correctly) that either you’re manipulating them or you’re lying to them.

Iny says he’s used “bad news” twice in his career. It failed once and worked once. He’s planning on using it a third time. He advices: “Use with care.” Iny argues that “Bad News” subject lines can work if you’ve built up a solid relationship with your audience, provided lots of value, and that you actually have news to share that could be legitimately seen as bad.

Yeah. Right. And marketers who share legitimately bad news occurs about as often as pigs flying.

We read this “Bad News” crap so you don’t have to. Here are some excerpts from just a few recent offenders:

Lots of Bad News today: 1st Warning: Closing down in 8 hours

#1 I just spoke to Nate again. There’s good news and bad news. Good news is Nate has about 10 – 15 spots open for his MONEY MATRIX PLATFORM which funds and sells your properties for you to his buyers.

#2 I also just spoke with George and Gary. Today is also the very last day to watch the webinar training I did with George about “The Bankers Code” Way To Building Passive Wealth Thru Private Lending.

Josh Cantwell

*****************************************

BAD NEWS

This is an urgent update for my long time subscribers only.
Please read the entire email carefully as it is time sensitive.

We ALMOST had to deliver you some bad news, but it looks like we had a small (but high impact) miracle occur that you need to know about now. [Comment: I wonder if Larry did an A/B test with the headline “It’s A Miracle!”]
You want to do more deals and create more freedom right? Keep reading…
You ALMOST lost your chance at free VIP passes to an exclusive event where deal makers are born. It happens only once a year and is invite only.
Bad news is there’s only 10-15 spots open and he’s closing down as soon as they are filled so YOU HAVE TO GO NOW to get a spot in the Money Matrix. If a complete wealth building platform is what you have been looking for then here you go

Larry Goins

***************************************

Bad News.

If you have a 401K that is now a 201K, believe it or not, you can still safely earn above-average double-digit
returns
in this market. How you ask?

By being, “the bank.”

Too good to be true? Think again.

Now, while this might sound a little strange right now, let me assure you that many folks just like you
across the US, are self-directing their investment dollars into things like, real estate, or small businesses etc., and they are earning very high returns.

Craig Fuhr

[Comment: I couldn’t find even a whiff of bad news in this one.]

************************************

Good News, Bad News . . .

Over the past three days I’ve shared a short video presentation about the most valuable skill any entrepreneur, business owner, or marketer can possess.  Today I’ll share some good news and some bad news.

First some bad news.  It took me 10 years to develop and hone the skill of creating copy that sells.  10 years of studying and testing to figure out what works (and what doesn’t work). [Comment: That’s the bad news? That it only took you 10 years to become a copywriting expert, and a very, very highly-paid one at that? I’d have thought the bad news was the decades you spent selling suits before you moved into marketing.]

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a decade of hassle and frustration wasting your time and money figuring out what works.  I’ve already done that for you and I’ve created a “step-by-step” system that removes all the guesswork, waste, and frustration out of “Creating Copy That Sells” Once and For All so you can be creating profitable marketing campaigns FASTER than you imagined possible.

All you have to do is click on the link below to watch this short video presentation:

=>WATCH THIS NOW

More Bad News…this video will be removed at MIDNIGHT EST on Monday night so I recommend you watch it NOW.

Dedicated to Creating Copy That Sells,

Bill Glazer

***********************************

All “bad news” e-mails are crap. I don’t think I’ve ever received a legitimate one. Even ones with “Only 4 slots remaining” isn’t bad news . . . except for the promoter who hasn’t yet filled up the program.

As I said, those are only a few samples of the muck that gums up my in-box. As for Iny’s blog, the only criterion a marketer should use when deciding whether to put “Bad News” in the subject line is: Is it really bad news? Truly bad news? Honestly bad news? If it isn’t, don’t use it.

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2 Responses to We Read This Crap So You Don’t Have To: “Bad News” E-mails

  1. Craig Fuhr says:

    Don’t know how you got on my email list, but welcome. Strangely enough, this was one of my most highly read emails. Is it total crap? Yes! Highly effective? HECK YES!!

    • wordsmth says:

      Thanks for your feedback. (And for your honesty!)

      I do recognize that people do continue to use marketing techniques if they work, and the “Bad News” subject line clearly works. I also mentioned Bill Glazer in the same blog–and I’ll concede that he, along with his partner Dan Kennedy–is one of the top copywriters in the country. (I even noted that in my posting.) So, while the original blog from Danny Iny did caution that “Bad News” subject lines can backfire, my gripe is that they’re misleading and don’t impress me. But, they do work on others. Congrats on your success! Thanks again.

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