Some Truly Stupid Email Subject Lines

July 23, 2010

Do you ever feel that “enough’s enough” as far as stupid, misleading, or just peculiar email subject lines are concerned? I know I do. And it seems like I’ve been receiving more and more of them recently dealing with real estate investing. (Well, not really real estate investing. More like selling products to would-be real estate investors.) I guess it’s because the “ordinary” or straightforward subject lines don’t work as well any more.

It’s gotten like the headlines you see (if you choose to look) on tabloids like News of the World. Sort of a “Can you believe this? Can you top this?”

Here are just a few recent ones that have slithered into my in-box:

Scandalous Mexico Photographs exposed [Greg Clement. February 23, 2010. First line of e-mail: “I will unveil dozens of scandalous pictures from Team Realeflow’s recent trip to Mexico on Thursday’s “Wealth Protection” webinar with Jeff Watson.””]

My wife is scamming my brother and I. It’s B.S.! [Josh Cantwell: June 18, 2010.” In addition to being grammatically incorrect (should be “brother and me,” Cantwell’s e-mail doesn’t make any sense vis-a-vis the subject line: “I put together some free training videos and an ongoing case study of a REO that we just bought, and that my brother Mark is rehabbing with my wife Lisa’s IRA funds. This deal has some super cool, and one not so cool, twists to it, and it going to be a great case study for you to follow and learn from.”

My friend Lee has lost it… [Mike Ochsner: April 23, 2010. “I’m not sure if you were on the webinar last night, or if you came and left, because you were unsure exactly what you were seeing, but I’ve got to say, I was shocked by the whole thing. Lee has never, I repeat NEVER, done anything like this.” As in Casablanca: “Shocked! Shocked, I say.” In this case, Mike was shocked that Lee offered the some sort of discount  on an overpriced program–probably along the lines of the “$37,000 value for only $1,995” pitch.]

**Newsflash** Google Is Run By COMMUNISTS [Preston Ely: July 21, 2010. Explanation: “you’re not gonna believe this … so the other day, Google shut half my advertising campaigns down.  They wouldn’t even give me a reason.  Apparently they are communists who don’t like their advertisers making actual money. But that’s not all … Then I’m at lunch with this dude who tells me that Google secretly accepts bribes (I mean payments) from companies to ensure they get top organic rankings! Can you believe that??? Freakin crooks!” That’s a long-winded attempt to promote a book and a product that tells you how to get high rankings from Google.]

“Minnie Mouse Caught Cheating On Mickey With Preston Ely!” [Preston Ely: July 1, 2010. Here’s the explanation: “I used to love Minnie Mouse.  So much so that I wanted to punch Mickey in the whiskers and steal her.  There is a relatively good chance that you can’t relate.   I tell you this for the same reason I tell you anything, which isfor no reason at all.  I just happen to be hosting a huge real estate / internet marketing event in Orlando July 22-25, and it reminded me of my youthful Disney character crushes, of which there were many (*cough* Princess Jasmine *cough*).” Well, that may be more than we need to know]
“Caught On Tape!”  Preston, Britney Spears, & Marilyn Manson! [Preston Ely: July 5, 2010. OK, this is another one, though not quite as peculiar as Ely’s fascination with Minnie: “Don, I’m gonna be honest … the video you’re about to see if maybe one of the most scandalous I’ve ever made.  I almost wasn’t going to send this to you, but you’re going to learn soooo much that I just have to. It’s over two hours of me teaching marketing and motivation at the Freedom$oft event I hosted in March. You’ve never heard anything like this before in your life – I promise you.” I’m still not sure what Britney Spears and Marilyn Manson have to do with this.]
porn isn’t the answer [Preston Ely: March 25, 2010. Talk about a killer app: “Did you know that pornographers used to be the #1 generator of $$ on the internet?  True story.  Feel free to use that little fun fact at the water cooler today in the office.  Thankfully they’re not anymore.  Guess who is? We are.  You may not have known this, but my friends and I make more money on the internet than anyone in  the world.  We literally dominate it.  Google my name if you don’t believe me.  (preston ely)”

Do you think DC is sexy? Or does it look like he got beat with an iPad? [Than Merrill: May 11, 2010. “I know DC Fawcett really well…and he is decent looking guy, but he is definitely not Brad Pitt. And seriously look at this picture?  Who takes a picture like this? Who I say? Nobody normal that I know… However, today DC must be wearing some special cologne or milkbone underwear because I have never seen such madness. We ran a webinar with him this morning about his “Commercial Short Sale System and Partnering Opportunity” and as soon as the webinar ended the phones in my office blew up.”

Greg Clement & Jeff Walker Are Gay [Preston Ely: August 9, 2009. “Web definitions for gay: cheery: bright and pleasant; promoting a feeling of cheer; “a cheery hello”; “a gay sunny room”; “a sunny smile” What’d you think I meant? You’d be gay and cheery too if you had the bad ass SIMS system working for you like they have for themselves!’] 

COFFEE ENEMAS OR IRS ENEMAS…WHICH ONE IS HEALTHIER? [Dwan Bent Twyford: June 8, 2010. Honestly, Dwan and her husband Bill seem to be two of the more straight-shooting folks, and they send out far fewer e-mails than the folks above do. And perhaps the subject line isn’t misleading. From the e-mail: “If you have ever been on the receiving end of an IRS enema, you know how much control they actually have once they set their sights on you. Having personally gone through this. Join me on WEDNESDAY EDUCATIONAL DAY which is on THURSDAY this weekI never want to see it happen to you!
In a related category are the “Apology” e-mails. Often, these “apologize” for supposed computer crashes after an all-to-successful product introduction, or apologies for not having enough inbound lines for a webinar. You’d think these folks would get tired of playing the village idiot.

I am so sorry about what happened last week. [Greg Clement: February 9, 2010. This one almost sounds legitimate: “Last Thursday’s very important INTERNET training webinar was cancelled.  Jeff Walker got sick and couldn’t make it.”]

FW: sorry my fault [Greg Clement: February 2, 2010. “The email I sent yesterday had a link in it that didn’t work for a lot of people.  SORRY.” This sort of thing seems to happen a lot.]

Sorry, I sent you the wrong link. [Greg Clement: January 19, 2010. “I just sent you an email and it had the wrong link in it. Ignore the link that I sent you in the previous email, it won’t get you on the early bird webinar.”

*whoops* no links in that last one … (How to HIJACK Your Buyer’s Brain For Billions) [Preston Ely: June 3, 2010]

That’s the sort of e-mail subject lines being sent out now to try to capture the public’s clearly waning attention. Wonder what it’ll take next year? And, perhaps more seriously, it’s becoming more and more difficult to take these folks, their pitches, and their big buck products seriously. I’ll admit: McDonalds sells hamburgers with Ronald McDonald as a pitchman. But there’s a difference between a 99 cent hamburger and a $1,995 real estate program.

We Read This Crap So You Don’t Have To: Bryan Ellis’ Blog

June 4, 2009

This post is a bit different. It’s not about some outlandish e-mail I’ve received hawking the latest “get rich quick while you’re in your pajamas” scheme. Rather, it’s a blog posting from a Bryan Ellis, a real estate investment program promoter. I’ll admit I was surprised by some of what he said.

Here it is in its entirety:


Why I Won’t Participate In Product Launches With The “Gurus”

Posted by Bryan Ellis on Wednesday, February 4th 2009

Have you noticed that there is a “Guru’s Club” consisting of several real estate “gurus” who all promote each other’s products and services? Not only that – they all send the exact same emails to you at nearly the exact same time.

The net result is that you get duplicate copies of the same CRAP from multiple gurus. They make very little – if any – attempt to actually assist you in any way (as the example below will show). To the objective observer, it appears that they simply are gunning for your wallet, with no other motivation in mind.

I think a backlash to this type of marketing is likely in 2009 or 2010.

Before I continue, let me make something clear: I don’t have a problem with people selling products to their readers. I do it too – it’s the way that we bring in income to cover the high expense of providing this website and lots of free resources.

But I do have a problem with the complete disrespect that happens to these guru’s subscribers when the guru doesn’t even bother to try to send out anything of value, and instead sends out almost nothing but product pitches.

Remember this: If most of what you receive from your “guru” is pitches for the latest product launch, they are showing profound disrespect for you and view you as nothing more than a wallet with an email address.

I’ll now give you some examples of what I mean. I don’t mean any disrespect to these folks, and I’m sure they all have good information to provide. But these stats are prima facie evidence of their regard for you as a source of revenue and little else.

A Real Example:

One particular “guru” has sent me 10 emails during the past week or so. I’m not going to tell you who this is, but you see the subject lines used below, so you can probably find out by searching your own email.

Anyway, here is the date, subject line and topic of each of the most recent 10 emails sent by this guru:

Date: February 4
Subject Line: did you win?
Topic: Promotion of Gerald Romine’s product launch

Date: February 3
Subject Line: Millard Fuller (1935-2009) another good man leaves us
Topic: Paying respects to Millard Fuller
Note: This is the only email of the past 10 that isn’t purely promotional in nature.

Date: February 3
Subject Line: sell houses before you buy them? come on!
Topic: Webinar promotion

Date: January 31
Subject Line: Than Merrill is a dork
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 31
Subject Line: URGENT:how Than makes over 2 mill a year on the internet
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 30
Subject Line: gotta get this to you fast
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 30
Subject Line: Good Morning! Happy Friday!
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 29
Subject Line: WholesalingU kicks off today at 12nn
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 28
Subject Line: life’s too short to get rich slow
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

Date: January 27
Subject Line: a boatload of buyers drooling at the mouth
Topic: Than Merrill’s Product Launch

So the net result is that literally 90% of the last 10 emails I’ve received from this guy have been purely promotional in nature. And this isn’t the only example. There is a group of about 10-15 of these folks who do almost nothing but promote each other’s product launches, yet make little or no attempt to give anything else of value. This is, as I said a moment ago, very similar to treating you as a wallet with an email address. It’s disrespectful and very short-term thinking.

I am not completely free of guilt from this either. In December, I participated in Jeff Kaller’s launch of his short sale program. I did it because Jeff has some great info that I think is worthwhile. But if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t. There’s nothing wrong with Jeff or his products or services. In fact, I think they’re great and worthwhile, and I have every intention of continuing to promote him in the future (outside of product launches) because I believe in what he’s doing. But I’ve realized in the intervening period that sending you the exact same promotional material as everybody else is not good for you and it’s not good for me.

And like I said above, I’m not disparaging anyone from selling products. I do it to, and I’m even doing it this week. But come on, guys: Have a little respect for your readers.

You are welcomed to sound off about this below. Thank you for reading!

Incidentally, the responses and comments to Bryan Ellis’ blog are also interesting and revealing.

On our trusty old Crap-O-Meter, this one scores a very respectable 1.5 out of 10.