A Snarky Peek at My Inbox

“Have you been getting my emails?”

Yes, I have, thanks for asking.

What’s that? You’re asking because you emailed me an offer… and I didn’t act on it?

Let me make sure I understand – your offer was so irresistible that I stand out for ignoring it?

And the most likely explanation is I didn’t receive the offer – because if I had, I would have bought it?

Oh boy, I’d better buy it then!

Urgh, no thanks.

“You’re running out of time”

For what?

I don’t care about missing an opportunity I have no interest in.

Want to push the ‘scarcity’ button in my brain? It’s not hard:

“You’re running out of time to turn 2020 around”

“You’re running out of time to launch your new career”

“You’re running out of time to learn from “

If the only thing you have to say about your offer is it ends soon, then good. Maybe you’ll stop sending me mediocre emails about it.

“You’re running short on time, William”

You don’t say…

“New Offers Added This Week!”

Wait a minute… you said the same thing last week!

Okay okay, enough joking around.

But any chance you’re gonna tell me what those products are? Or are you just bragging about having new stock?

“Only a few hours left… “


“We’d love to hear your thoughts”

I bet you would. What’s in it for me?

You know, some folks pay for market research. Are you asking me to give you insights about my preferences for free? If so, pass. If you’re offering me something for it – even a chance to win something – maybe lead with that.

“This is AMAZING!”

Aww, that’s nice, I’m happy for you.

Oh, you’re trying to sell me something? Strange – you haven’t said anything about anything. Next time, lead with why.

Okay, that’s enough of that.

These emails all arrived in the last couple of days. And these days weren’t anything special – I get this sort of garbage all the time.

Fun fact – most, if not all of those emails were written by professionals. Someone was paid to type (or probably copy and paste) “this offer ends soon lol” dozens of times over.


So here’s a free insight:

You’re better off writing terrible subject lines than rehashing this weak nonsense. If your email looks the same as every other one in your prospect’s inbox, they won’t read it. As long as your bad headline is unique, it’ll stand out.

Even better, obviously, is being both different and good.

Because that’s the funny thing. When I ignore all my email notifications and the equally formulaic emails like the ones above, the emails that remain are beautiful.

The subject lines are intriguing, quirky and unique.

I pause when I read them and wonder, huh, what’s all that about?

For the best ones, I stop scanning and open that email right away.

Yeah, yeah – I’m not representative. Plenty of folks lap up boring emails telling them to “buy now!!!!!”. If you have a big enough list, you can get away with this tepid alternative to competent marketing.

But, I don’t know. Maybe you have a smaller list. Maybe you like standing out from the boring flood of emails.

Or maybe you like money.

In those cases, it pays to put even the tiniest bit of effort into your email marketing.

I’ll say it again – you want your emails to be good. But if you can’t manage that, at least don’t use the same vague and boring subjects as everyone else.