This email recently showed up in my inbox. Take a gander at the subject line.

As a self-employed person, I depend on paid invoices. Without them, I couldn’t pay my bills. So, I tend to notice words like invoice and paid in my inbox. Throw in a re: and my brain instantly assumes it’s a real email reply that needs quick attention.

Of course, it’s not. It’s sales email sent en masse to everyone on this person’s email list.

It’s a marketing trick.

Marketing tricks work, but does that make them right? Business coach Becky Mollenkamp shares her take on trendy email subject lines.

In fact, this is becoming a common trick. I’ve seen more of these subject lines in my inbox lately. This one was simply the straw that broke this camel’s back.

(I quickly unsubscribed from this person’s email list. I also left his Facebook group and unliked his Facebook business page. I wasn’t messing around.)

Deleting those who do this from my world just doesn’t feel like enough. Folks who employ these tactics are teaching others to use the same marketing tricks. (This guy, as an example, has a masterclass on how to “monetize your expertise without needing a massive audience.”)

Marketers do things like this because it works. The open rate for this email was probably sky high. I can only hope the unsubscribe rate was also through the roof, but I’m sure he was willing to take that risk. Fool enough people into opening the email, and you’ll likely also get a decent number to sign up for a free masterclass on how to make big bucks.

Sure, it works. Guess what else works? Stealing. You can pocket a candy bar at a grocery store and probably get away with it. Does that make it okay? Do the ends justify the means? Not in my book.

There’s more to this blog post than just me griping about marketing tricks. I have two reasons for bringing this up:

1. Don’t fall for this marketing craze. Don’t open or buy from these types of emails. It only feeds the beast and gets more people using the tactic. Also, if some marketing guru tells you to this, think long and hard about whether it aligns with your values. Is this how you want to show up in the world?

2. I’m making a pledge to you. I promise that I won’t do this to you. If ever you get a re: from me, it’s because I’m actually replying to an email you sent me. If ever you see an “invoice paid” from me, it’s because I’m sending you actual money. I will always do what’s right, even if it means a smaller open rate and fewer sales.

If you love (and use) these types of subject lines, that’s fine. Every entrepreneur has the right to conduct their business how they choose. But, we’re of two different schools of thought about business, and I’m probably not the type of business coach you want to follow. No hard feelings, for real.

To everyone else, thank you for not sending me emails like this. Thank you for delivering a service or product that’s so good it doesn’t require tricks to sell. Thank you for providing value and for keeping it real.

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Marketing tricks work, but does that make them right? Business coach Becky Mollenkamp shares her take on trendy email subject lines.