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  1. February 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Wow, finally somebody else noticed or at least said it out loud… I thought I was alone on this subject.

    This is one of my pet peeves and I have started wholesale unsubscribing from lists that use these lame subject lines.

    It seems that a lot of list owners think that we are complete morons and perhaps they are correct but not you and not me it seems. Anyone that stays on lists that use these subject lines are going to get what they probably don’t deserve but by not unsubscribing they are encouraging this bad behavior.

    It is sad that email marketing has descended into tactics and techniques that formerly only spammers used.

    Next up you should write about all the emailers that constantly change their send addresses.

    My guess is that this is an effort to escape all the spam complaints caused by the subject line silliness… They are getting my unsubscribes as fast as the subject line abusers.

    Thanks Matt, keep the good posts coming,


  2. Sam
    February 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I agree. I hate mis-leading subj lines. I also dislike one-time-offers, but I can tolerate those, if I am told ahead of time that there will be an additional one-time-offer. But I really get ticked off when I am pounded with 5 or 6 more offers, one right after the other, when that happens I never make a purchase.

    Speaking of mis-leading advertising. I received an email a few days ago that had this comment in the body of the email. I have not listed the company to protect their privacy.

    โ€And your qualified participation is totally no cost!
    To qualify, it’s very simple – just purchase the xxxxx Packageโ€

    I thought my participation was at no cost?


  3. February 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    The one I hate the most is…
    “Bad News!”
    Frank Kern came out with some report that said that using that in the subject line got much higher open rates. Then for awhile all the gurus started sending emails like that. Every time I got one, I unsubscribed.
    Sorry, but lying in order to get me to open an email is NOT a good strategy for selling me anything.
    It’s a simple formula really:
    value x trust = sales

  4. James Dodd
    February 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Hi Matt,i have got to agree with your post,there seems to be some very unscrupulous marketers out there just trying to get you to open their emails.I often receive one saying i need your Paypal address ,as if i have got a pending commission,a neat little trick i suppose because obviously curiossity gets the better of you.Keep the good info coming,Jim UK.

  5. Jason
    February 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Hey Matt

    I’ve got one that’s even better. Try “Free Software” or “Your Free Software Download”. I don’t mind it when there is free software on offer, but lately I’ve seen these headings from people I don’t know and haven’t subscribed to (obviously not all of us are ethical and if I find out who’s giving out my details I’m going to figure out a nice surprise for them ๐Ÿ˜ˆ ) offering free software and there’s no damn download. And one of them is meant to be a “high profile” and “ethical” IM bloke. What shits me is they’re simply doing it to get people on their List with the tactic and not following through on the offer. Or they’re using it to fill you up with tracker cookies to then sell to their corporate mates. In all honesty, I genuinely hope karma catches up with them soon. I haven’t been subscribing to your newsletter long Matt, but so far, you seem like one of the more honest ones.


  6. February 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    There are some worse than those – and they don’t land in the spam box:-
    1 – You gotta read this!
    2 – The rest of your life depends on this!
    3 – Confirmation required (LIMITED TIME)
    4 – Congratulations! – You are approved

    Yes. These come from the few people to whose lists I have subscribed. Guess when I unsubscribe!

  7. February 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    There are some that are worse than these because they don’t end up in spam:-
    1 – You gotta read this, – I don’t talk like that so why address me like that?
    3 – Your gonna love this – I don’t have a ‘gonna love this’ and I’m not sure that I want one.
    2 – Confirmation required (LIMITED TIME) …. This one is particularly galling if you are waiting for a genuine confirmation email
    3 – Congratulations – your download included – (?)
    4 – Free – Instant access – Again, galling, because the access may be free but it isn’t instant nor is there usually any indication of what you have access to.
    These and others like them come from people whoise lists I have subscribed to. Guess whose lists I unsubscribe from!

  8. Gary Lewis
    February 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Hey Matt,
    I agree they are a little irritating. I like the honest approach myself.

    But to be honest, the misleading stuff don’t bother me a whole lot. Not to the point to where I need to devote any time to them anyway. Besides, it only makes the users look more unprofessional and spamy, which in turn makes me and you look better to our readers. So who are they going to unsub from, not us.
    whats the big deal? Let them cook their own tail.

  9. February 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Matt

    Your spot on there with the annoying, irritating, mis-leading email subjects…
    They are becoming more and more noticeable in my inbox…who they trying to fool?

    Others that get my goat are…
    Your VIP Link … It’s not a VIP link…anyone advertising it has that link
    Your confirmation is required … Why? I didn’t ask you for anything…lol
    … Get [email protected] to do NOTHING?! … Really?

    I’m sure the list can go on…and no doubt it will keep on getting longer and longer…why can’t we just have truthful subject lines…


  10. Seiss Taylor
    February 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I think misleading subject lines really cheapens viewers impression of the product being offered. I hate the misleading email subject lines. To me it is a sign of desperation. If they are that desperate for me to take a look at the product, then why should I be interested in something that they are having to lie about in the subject line. It destroys credibility. Why should I believe anyone that is already lying to me before I have a chance to even look at their offer. The fact is I don’t give them the time of day.

    Seiss Taylor

  11. Jean
    February 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Hey Matt, They all irritate me. Usually I just delete the email. But if I’m in a bad mood and have time I open them just to find and use the unsubscribe link. I’ve read posts from other marketers saying that the stats show that those types of subject lines increase the open rate, but I have to wonder if they do anything for the click-thru rate. Before I learned to recognize them and just delete I always opened, but never clicked thru.

  12. neville whyman
    February 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    They are all irritating, but the ones that really get up my nose are the ones that say you have a commission pending, I just delete them without reading, but what if I was actually deleting the real thing along with the crap, these types of subject lines are also a big let down especially if you are new to internet marketing and trying your best to get somewhere only to find out that the notice is an outright lie.

    I would consider removing myself from the list of any one using these tactics and be well rid of them as all they are doing is lying to you to get your attention and there is enough BS on the net without this lot as well.


  13. February 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Hi Matt,
    I don’t know about misleading subjects, but what really annoys me is all the online-pharmacy spam. I’ve got 17 email filters in place and the crap still gets through. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

    Tell me. Does hitting the “spam” button actually do anything?

    Best wishes,

  14. February 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    All of the misleading subject lines make me angry and I have just
    begun to unsubscribe from the lists they come from no matter
    who the idiot is that sent it ! (many are simply spam and contain
    no removal link- which just makes me angerier !)

  15. Glenn A. Dearie
    February 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I agree with you Matt! I have my Outlook email set so I can view the email body as well as the subject line. Therefore, when I get an email like those you listed, I scroll right to the bottom of the email & unsubscribe immediately. Also, another email that “gets me” is one with an interesting subject line & the body gives no more description than the subject line. You click on the enclosed URL to see more & all you get is an opt-in page & no further description of what you could get yourself “into”! That one gets unsubscribed too! Well, interesting to know experienced marketers are plagued by that “bull****” as well as inexperienced marketers.

    Thanks Matt!

  16. February 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Yep! I also find them all very deceiving. Some of those marketers are getting as bad as Nigerian spammer.

    Not only they send you deceptive subject line but they are sending multiple emails per days. I mean come on 4-5 emails per days…WTF

    I’m pretty sure most if not all of those emails are coming from *ad swapper junkie*… They will do anything to get you to open the email and click the link.

    They are very desperate because they have to match the clicks from the ad swapper junkie partner.

    Trust me I take mental note of all those “douchebag” marketers and I’ll make sure I never endorse anyhting from them ever.

    Cedric Aubry

  17. JeremyT
    February 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Matt,

    Yes, they are all equally misleading and drive me up the wall. I know very well what I’ve been promoting so a quick check of the sender’s email address and PFFT!!! their “skillfully” crafted email goes straight into the trash can.

    In a perverse way, I’m grateful the senders are dumb enough to think I’ll open such obvious nonsense. I can rapidly identify their email, unsubscribe from their lists and get on with something more productive.

    All the best,

    Jeremy T

  18. February 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Hey Matt,

    Good post and damn it these subject lines annoy me. At least with some spam emails you can reword them but these just scream spammy, and unfortunately you can mistake a real email with money for a spammy one :(.

    Anywho the irritating ones are usually just a “hey, long time no speak”




  19. February 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Hey Matt,

    I agree 1,000% with you! In fact, when I receive emails with these types of subject lines, I promptly send them to my trash bin. I don’t care if it’s from a reputable marketer that I do in fact like and respect. And, if they continue to use this tactic, I will go ahead and unsubscribe from their list.

    Take care,

    Fred S.

  20. February 20, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    This problem has become increasingly annoying. I especially dislike when they start with “Congratulations”. I also do not like being mislead to believe you are going to get something free only to find after clicking the link that there is nothing free at all.
    You can’t get return customers and last in business by misleading and manipulating. Trust and respect is most important.

  21. rudy de boer
    February 20, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I could make a good business sueing some marketers as I had to learn those protective techniques with my offline businesses. I am amazed at what is written that could be taken literally to court and suggest to those that do not check or edit their promotions to t ake care. One that seems to come through a lot is download a free product and then there is a charge attached to it. Many times it is not clear whether the product is free or only the access is free. Why a customer would pay to access a product without knowing what the basic content is I will never know. Doing so must kill 50% of possible future business. Another irritating factor is the lack of checking spelling and how it changes your sentence structure. Many times one misspell changes the whole context how your potential customer perceives it along with the customer’s observation as to the credibility of the writer. Some one wrote in a major squeeze page, “the most destructive system on products” . No thanks I will pass. One other comment is the number of viruses and trojans in attachments and links. Please, Please, Pleaseeeee check your content before forwarding products. Hope this helps. Rudy

  22. February 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    This cheap misleading subjects shows the their desperation. People not making money from there list are usually using this type of misleading subjects. IMHO.

  23. Marcia
    February 22, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Right on! Apparently I am not the only one who is sick of this. How stupid do they think we are? Like some of the others have mentioned I have started unsubscribing from every list that uses these inane subject lines.

    Thanks Matt for all your help and great information – and for not insulting our intelligence with blatantly misleading subject lines!

  24. February 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Great post Matt.

    I have already unsubscribed to many over this past month for these bogus subject lines. Looking at your list, seems we “were” on the same lists.

    Got one this morning from a pretty well known Warrior with the subject line about a Paypal Dispute being opened. Looked just like it came from Paypal. The content was about how to prevent disputes. Least the content was related to the subject, lol Needless to say I am no longer a subscriber and the person will have a hard time ever getting me back.

    Thanks again for the share.

    Terry Jett

  25. February 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    One other thing that some of your readers may have run in to is what happened to me several times (just last week most recently).
    I UNsubscribed from a fairly prominent current “guru” for the same reason as others above, only to find that he had then sold my contact info (guess he needed to find one last thing to try to use me to make money) to one of those ridiculous “Coaching Program” hard sell phone solicitation companies. How do I know… well I only gave out my current home phone to one person and that was the number they used to contact me. As soon as they start their spiel with “So are you tired of not making any money online?” I tell them to take me off their list and do not call again. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    So… even when you unsubscribe from some of these door-knobs they still find a way to bite you in the butt and annoy you.
    … Now where is my air-horn… I’ll fix the next caller… ha ha! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. February 22, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    I’ve found that the best way to handle these is report them to the mailing service that the sender is using (aweber, getresponse, etc), the sender’s ISP, and the government (at least if you are in the USA, [email protected]). Deceptive subject lines are a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. I’ve shut down a handful of large mailers by doing this. They’ll think twice about sending a subject line like that if they have to build their list again from scratch.

  27. matt
    February 22, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    I also have been just deleting these emails. I have also gotten emails from some prominent marketers complaining about them and advising there subscribers to unsubscribe from these lists. Don’t these people realize that their subscribers find these annoying, and that some of those they are annoying are prominent big name marketers? They are shooting themselves using these tactics. They may as well close their businesses.

  28. February 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Thanks for this little rant, Matt…

    These type of “sensational” deceptions in email subject lines have been a pet peeve of mine for several years.
    The quickest way to get me off your list – assuming I ever actually asked to be on it – is to send me messages with misleading subject lines…

    I say “assuming I’ve ever actually asked to be on it”, because I’m noticing a disturbing trend, wherein one receives a “confirmation email” as a first contact, (no doubt sent in hopes that you will think that it’s something you asked for, and be tricked into getting on their mailing list) or simply begins receiving messages from someone who has apparently either purchased or scraped your address…
    These purchased and scraped lists seem to be the biggest sources of the incessant ads for fake Viagra/designer goods/high-end watches and such nonsense, and these lists are frequently loaded into spam-bots, to further enhance our spam-deleting and blacklisting pleasure…

    I must admit, however, I occasionally get a chuckle out of some of them before hitting “delete”…
    I’m speaking of the “poorly constructed” ones, which have the intended meaning changed by the choice of words or sentence structure used.
    A great example of this comes from a recent newspaper headline, of all places:
    “Nurse Gets Prison For Sex”
    Really? They’re just giving her the entire facility for that use? Did she win some bizarre contest?
    We all know what they probably meant – but “what they meant” is not what they actually said… lol

    Although it has apparently become acceptable to send messages – or even set up websites – featuring errors in spelling and grammar, seeing such blunders immediately undermines the credibility of the product and the sender, for me…
    If someone doesn’t care enough about their business to edit their promos, what are the chances that they are going to be responsible after they make a sale, and provide support or even respond to messages – let alone be available to issue a refund, should you want to request one?
    We all make mistakes, at times, but with the proliferation of spell-checkers, grammar-checkers and online dictionaries, there is really no excuse for letting such errors stand…

    I also find it annoying when senders provide “secret links”.
    Tell me what it is you’re offering. If I’m interested, I’ll go look at it. You don’t have to try to trick me into it, if the product has any redeeming value to me…. Chances are, it is NOT a big secret, anyway – I probably have ten other emails in my inbox right now for the same thing. I no longer click links without a description of what I’m being sent to look at, no matter who they come from. If you don’t have time to tell me what you’re offering, I certainly don’t have time to go try to figure it out…

    A couple of previous contributors to this thread have asked “How stupid do they think we are?” – I think the real issue is how stupid they HOPE we are… lol

  29. matt
    February 22, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Here is one that really gets me. “i have a gift for you” or some variation of that and when you open the email, it is a link to something someone else is giving away if you subscribe to their list, or a link to a giveaway event, and the person sending it doesn’t even include a direct download link to the item they have in the giveaway. It might be a great product, but i am NOT signing up to your list again just to get it. If you are promoting something someone else is giving away, say so. Do not tell me you have a gift/free download for me and then give me a link to subscribe to someone’s list.

  30. February 23, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I have been trying to get off of a famous guru’s list for some time. Won’t give his name, but his initials are MF… which as it turns out are also the initials of the curse words that come to mind every time I receive another hype-filled email from him. I am supposedly unsubscribed, but somehow emails from him keep showing up.

  31. February 23, 2011 at 9:55 am

    hi matt,
    Past few weeks, i received many related subject title as you mentioned above. Frankly speaking it did catch my attention to open up and read further , at least click and view the website. Some even offer gift or free download , but those download is link to another affiliate program.
    what are their intention, build up subsciber list? need to sign up first before
    allowing you to read further.


  32. John Beer
    February 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I don’t give them the pleasure of getting me rattled.
    Quickly Unsubscribe and move on. Either that or Delete and move on.

  33. Jeff Moreau
    February 28, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Hi Matt, Good post. Got this yesterday. “Transaction ID 1423XVB”.
    The kickers for me, are when I see ones with the Clickbank transaction ID.

  34. March 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Hey Matt,

    I fully agree with you. These are all very irritating. I did a similar post on my blog about this – here.

    Almost every time I get an email with a subject line like these, I open them up and unsubscribe. I understand that these get fairly decent open rates but at what cost?

  35. March 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    lol …
    There are some classics there mate!
    Maybe one day they’ll learn the best subject line to send you woul dbe along the lines of…

    “Open Now Matt – Your FREE Guinness Is Waiting!”
    Provide of course that they DO include the free Guinness ๐Ÿ˜‰