2004 Volume 3 Issue 41
E-mail Subject Lines ...
What to say to get yours open
America OnLine has been working seriously hard and steady to eliminate spam.
As have all the major Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
In 2003 AOL blocked almost 500 billion - or a half-trillion - spam e-mails from getting to the in-boxes of its members. They set a single-day record for blocking spam at 2.4 billion in a 24-hour period in late April - just a year ago.
Yet, we must be real. Eliminating spam isn"t going to happen. Spam is not going away anytime soon. Down, yes. There will be less with filters and other technical methods. It is not disappearing.
So, in the between time, what are YOU doing to get your E-mail marketing message open? When the inbox of your prospect and customer is loaded with things they are not interested in? How are you going to get through the maze?
The balance of this article is what I learned by studying this subject. And combining my findings with my experiences.
Fake personal greetings, pharmaceuticals, body-enhancing hormones, and finance-related offers ranked as the most widely recognized junk e-mail subject lines by "spam watchers".
The AOL Postmaster team has calculated the Top 10 most widely sent spam e-mail subject lines (or "headers") in 2003 were these (in no specific order, with a recent example for each);
1. Viagra online (also: xanax, valium, xenical, phentermine, soma, celebrex, valtrex, _ zyban, fioricet, adipex, etc.) isndxm@hotmail.... sugper viagrga is fabuklous! In
2. Online pharmacy (also: "online prescriptions"; "meds online") harleysolisdp@b... Get pharmaceuticals online.
3. Get out of debt (also: "special offer") funtechstuff2@O... Is debt ruining you? Escape today!
4. Get bigger (also: "satisfy your partner"; "improve your sex life") Terrie.Laird@hot... I can finally please the ladies, and you can too! dORp8
5. Online degree (also: "online diploma") inpfip15tb@anent... Better Education Higher Money
6. Lowest mortgage rates (also: "lower your mortgage rates"; "refinance"; "refi") eiwgfoli@premier... Cut Costs with our Home Loan Booklet
7. Lowest insurance rates (also: "lower your insurance now") gjtehrnqn@hotm... Re:LowCost Term Life Ins. - Free Quotes
8. Work from home (also: "be your own boss") LisaRosa555inca@ ... ADV Earn $thousands be your own boss. ___________romance
9. Hot XXX action (also: "teens"; "porn") wtgzsiahvx@hotm... sell innocent week virgins getting other it anally see
10. As seen on oprah Surprising enough, I have not had any Oprah recommendations during the week-ten days I"ve been working this article! All the balance are real, "live" and examples of spam that arrives in my E-mail in-box daily.
Charles Stiles is the Manager of the Postmaster Team within AOL's Anti-Spam Operations group. He says taking this Top 10 list of most often-used subject lines in spam e-mails and placing them in your Custom Word Filter is a great way to reduce spam.
Stiles continues to see lots of interesting patterns used by spammers. Such as 'randomized characters' in the e-mail subject line; the use of word variations, including 'whitespace' insertions within words, to elude spam screens; misspellings of common spam terms; numeric substitutions for certain letters within common junk e-mail words -- such as a number '3' for an 'E' and a number '1' for an 'I', and a number '0' for a 'o'. Even the use of characters from the Cyrillic alphabet.
Here are a bakers dozen collection of the subject lines from the 500 or so spam messages I received in the 48 hours immediately before finishing this article (yes, that is an average of 250 per day ... some days I receive more than 300 spam E-mails);
cutreggdnaw@ju... Re: The First Bottle is on Us!
ezexyxdyfsbkde ... Care To Stop Looking Your Age?
eiwgfoli@premier ... Cut Costs with our Home Loan Booklet
gdwrqry@AOL.co ... Fw: receipt of payment
omansknlgu@em ... gift
iyhmukx1c@cisc... Newsletter 2004
absolutelyfamous... COLLECT YOUR WINNING
IOQVVZEZR@ho 2 off new week~end p~i~l~l maddox
firstname.lastname@example.org Low-car diet...without the diet
Lagnernow@the.I... Free state of the art Blackberry 5810 cell phone
deals150a@natio... Here's your chance for a Kodak Digital Camera - on us
FastCash@bn10gi... Get Your $500 Today
advance@busines... Aggressive investor alert makes it simple to outperform the Dow
My finger is poised over the "delete" button when I open a new batch of E-mail ... something I normally do 6-10 times daily. Messages are deleted instantly when there is nothing in the subject line, the subject line says "no subject", eupsdgikl@amer... (no subject), and every time the word "virus" is used, norman.meyter@... (Virus?) Re: hello. No questions asked, nothing further evaluated ... when those phrases, or lack of them, pop, I'm deleting. Period.
Also, I never download anything, no matter what I think it is, unless it is from someone I know. Business or personal ... if they are not using an address I recognize, I will not download whatever good (or not so good!) material they may be sending.
This changes the topic just a tad ... yet, fits with the goal, as stated in the title of this article; "... what to do to get your E-mail opened". Grand direct marketer and a super lady, too, Ruth Stevens, specializes in the B-2-B world. She says your address line can be more important than your subject line. And Ruth is right.
A recognized name of a person and/or company is much better than email@example.com. That has always been true in direct marketing - it is true with E-mail marketing, too.
Sending your message to those who do know you, or of you, or about your brand, your product, your service - prospects and customers - guarantees a higher look, read and action rate. It only makes sense! The same is true with direct mail and fax marketing ... when your message goes to those who can buy what you sell, and understand who you are, you get a higher response rate. Dah ... ditto E-mail. What this says, again, is the oft repeated phrase, your success depends on your audience. All else is important - your audience is most important.
Back to AOL's Stiles. He offered a few tips for those interested in improving their e-mail experience, and doing so by building a Custom Spam Word List. Terms that show the most often used words in your subject lines.
"When setting up any kind of anti-spam list, be as precise as possible and use your creativity to out-guess and out-smart spammers at their own game. That means setting up spam mail controls to block not just the word 'Viagra' -- but also 'v1agra', 'v.i.a.g.r.a.', and 'v-i-a-g-r-a'.
"Second, look at the spam you keep clicking on to delete and start a list of the words you see most often in your own mailbox. Then add them to your Custom Spam Word List. You can start by using AOL's own Top 10 list for 2003 (above).
"Third, when it comes to spam in your e-mail inbox -- report it, report it, report it! Your ISP can block spam better when you report spam more often."
Fyi to point three ... AOL members set a record for the amount of spam e-mails reported to the company in a single day at 20.4 million. This happened in mid-November of last year ... just before Thanksgiving.
There is no black and white answer to the black world of spam. Think what you should say in your subject line, combine with your address - and then send your E-mail to the right audience. It will gain you positive results. That, in summary, is what this DM business is all about. No matter the medium.
"It IS What's Next!"
Already I've shared this story with health care organizations, a database marketing business, a direct marketing firm, a DM association - and several others. And I'm ready to bring it to your group. (Visit It IS What's Next!)
When you have a need for a 40-90 minute program, I'll give you this different, interesting, meaningful, warm and true action presentation. To your club. Your company. Your organization. Your association. Any group you have. At any place. At any time. For any reason.
ItISWhat's Next!is available to you as a Keynote Address. As a special program. As an opening or closing presentation. As a different / unique session.
Interested? Visit the web site @ It IS WhatsNext! And E-mail me Ray@RayJutkins.com and let's make it happen. I look forward to hearing from you. Soon.
... a loose thought
Crazy Fads of the 1960's
Not all, still, many of you reading this remember the 1960's.
A truly revolutionary time in the lives of people around the world. Including those of us in the U.S.A.
This batch of happenings from that era I collected from www.crazyfads.com Enjoy this mini summary, and for more go to their web site for the full collection.
Bellbottoms These wide-legged pants were derived from Navy styled uniforms and became very popular with the young society in the 1960's. Elvis Presley, Sonny and Cher helped make bellbottoms a fashion statement for the hippies and counter-culture audience. They were typically made of denim until they were produced with corduroy and polyester so they could be worn in any situation. Bellbottoms were still popular in the 1970's during the disco years and even in the 1990's when the Gen X crowd was wearing them to be cool.
Platform Shoes Although popular in the late 1960's, these high-heeled shoes were more popular in the 1970's during the disco period. Originally, one to two inches high, they grew in height and variety even as people were being treated for twisted or broken ankles caused by lack of mobility. The platform shoe made a comeback among women in the 1990's and still can be seen today - in the 21 st century.
The Twist Chubby Checker made this dance style very popular when he appeared on American Bandstand (the TV series with Dick Clark) in the early 1960's. It originated in a small New York club called The Peppermint Lounge in 1961. The dance was featured in a few films in the early sixties but quickly faded when other dances such as the Mashed Potato and the Watusi were introduced to TV shows and movies.
Love Beads Love beads came in a variety of patterns and were given as gifts between friends or made by the person wearing them. They were worn around the neck and wrist and were very colorful. They could be purchased in a store or could be made at home. Love beads were a common sign of friendship in the 60's and early 70's.
Mood Rings The famous black oval ring that changed colors when the mood of the person changed. As the moods of society changed, someone thought we needed a way to monitor this change. Tada - the birth of the mood ring.
Surfing California surf music and films like "Gidget" made it cool to ride the waves, and all those beach party movies made us wish we could have an endless summer, too.
Tie Dye T-shirts Nothing said 'psychedelia' better than the rainbow explosion of swirling colors and bold designs of the ancient art of tie-dye. Tie-dye is one of the oldest forms of fabric manipulation and design. The concept is simple: dye can only penetrate loose fabric, and when portions are bound off by string, rocks, clothespins, or rubber bands, the dye cannot reach that part of the fabric. That untouched section could remain the original color, or you could then dye the pristine sections a separate color to create works of art.During the 60's, the hippies' revival of old ethnic crafts resurrected the art and put a new spin on tie-dye. The hippies' tie-dye was no subtle handicraft-they tie-dyed with several colors, layering one on top of the other for wild bursts of color and crazy visual trips. Hearts, peace signs, bulls eyes-anything could be done with a little creativity. Tie-dyeing became the ultimate sign of the times.The 80's returned to tie-dye when a new generation pulled out the crazy Dead Head shirts their parents wore when they were kids. Parents passed down the knowledge by turning T-shirts, sheets, socks and more into colorful pinwheels of fun. Even when it wasn't a widespread fad, tie-dye remained a style of choice for 60's holdovers and people who just wanted a little psychedelia in their wardrobe. Tie-dye will never die, and the sky's the limit.
Barbie Dolls By 1965 one hundred million dollars of Barbie merchandise was sold. Barbie is the one to help make Mattel the biggest toy company in the world. Created by Ruth and Elliott Handler (owners of Mattel), after watching their daughter play with paper dolls, realizing there weren't any 3-dimentional dolls to play with and dress. Barbie was named after their daughter.
Bouffant Hairdo A trend launched by First Lady Jackie Kennedy. It was a difficult style to wear, time consuming to achieve and required a great number of tools to concoct. Came to an end about 1964 after the assassination of President Kennedy.
Fallout Shelters With the threat of a nuclear war on the horizon, some Americans looked for ways to protect themselves from horrible destruction. They decided upon bomb proof, fallout shelters. Most looked like basic units, providing space only for necessities (which were generally only a two-week supplies). Others looked like small guesthouses, equipped with pool tables, paintings and wine cellars. The fallout shelter fad reached its peak in the early 60's as the Cuban Missile crisis loomed. But it waned in the 70's as various treaties were signed, calming apocalyptic fears.
Smiley faces Started in 1963 by creator H.R. Ball. He was working in Massachusetts for an ad agency when one of his clientele asked him to come up with a way to soothe employees. He was only paid $45 for the drawing, which he never trademarked. The Smiley Face has appeared on millions of items since, including a United States postage stamp.
Go-Go boots Created in 1965 by Andre Courreges, a leading French fashion designer. Worn by women from Los Angeles to New York and at nightclubs all over. Nancy Sinatra also topped the charts with her song "these boots are made for walking", establishing her as the poster child for go-go boots.
Granny Glasses Was once a fashion statement of vibrant youth, also known as Ben Franklin glasses. First appeared in the 60's in California. Adorned by such famous faces as John Lennon and Roger McGuinn. Within about 2 years from its beginning, the granny glasses had soon died out, and became undecidedly cool. They are back again in this decade.
Hair Ironing Once the troublesome bouffant had begun to look old, young girls in the northeastern states staged a revolt. Taking up hot irons and ironed their hair dead straight. The ironed tresses lasted about an hour. This fad diminished in the early 70's, followed by less dangerous styles.
Lava Lamps Invented by Craven Walker in the mid 60's, people were entranced with this device that consisting of an illuminated glass cylinder with a colorful, wax like substance. As it was heated it "moved".
Miniskirts Began the era of women's liberation. Miniskirts achieved the height of their popularity around 1967. By that point virtually every young woman was wearing one, most as a sign of rebellion. Demure was out, "letting it all hang out" was in. The new woman demanded the world appreciate her on her own terms.
Ouija Boards First brought about after many viewed the movie "The Exorcist", where a young girl was possessed by the devil while playing with a Ouija board. This game, once thought to be dangerous, outsold Monopoly in the late 1960's. The belief was it helped to communicate with the dead. The game was born in the mid 19th century ... it brought upon by a spiritualism craze that sweeped through Europe and spread to New York.
Sea monkeys In 1957, Harold von Braunhut discovered a true freak of nature and recognized its potential to become one of the greatest marketing opportunities in history. After watching the creature known as Artema nyos, a relative to the bryn shrimp. Out of water it would appear dead and once introduced back into water it would mysteriously come back to life, without any suffered ill effects. He then began to sale them through mail order, around the early 1960's, packaging them in a box labeled "Instant Life" and they were sold for $.49 thought comic book advertisements. The fad kept growing and now 40 years later, his freaks of nature are still charming kids everywhere.
Slogan Buttons First began in 1896 during the presidential race between McKinley and Bryan. But in the 1960's, it attained true fad status. The typical hippie backpack was positively bristled with them. The buttons gave voice to many sentiments and declarations, most of which were political.
Slot cars Well before the eras of video games, young boys throughout the world shared another obsession, the slot car. It's an electric toy-racing car that ran on a grooved track. Slot-car racing was a part of the British culture, but it wasn't until it hit the United States in 1965 that its popularity really took off. Many fans built their own cars, and constructed their own tracks. By 1967 the slot car had been sidelined, in this high tech world, that flashier and more powerful toys would rule the world.
Superballs Norman Stingley conducted experiments with highly resilient synthetic rubber. He accidentally produced an astonishing new toy. When compressed under extreme pressure, the substance would bounce like crazy. The compound was called Zectron, but the ball became known as the Superball. More than 6 million of these bouncing balls had been sold by 1965. At the height of their popularity, the balls even infiltrated the White House; Cabinet member McGeorge Bundy passed them out to staff members.
Troll Dolls Created by Thomas Dam, the inventor of the Dammit doll, names after Thomas. The dolls were established into a company called Dam Things in 1964. A year which more than one million of these trolls were sold in the United States. The doll was made for his daughter, cause he couldn't afford to buy her a birthday present. The doll was inspired by the legend of trolls whom inhabited deep dark forests and brought good luck to the human that could catch one. It would seem many humans at that time were catching them.
Turtlenecks Daily News Record magazine proclaimed 1967 the year of the turtle, as in turtleneck sweater. Favored by beatniks and flower children. At its peak, the turtleneck was worn by such high-profile celebs as Johnny Carson, Sammy Davis Jr., Senator Robert Kennedy, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen.
Black Light In the late sixties, black light put things in a new perspective - adding a fluorescent glow to the room. White T-shirts and teeth would light up the room with their bright white glow. Black light would reveal secret symbols or slogans on posters located in college dorm room. These lights also appeared in nightclubs and theater productions around the country, creating a surreal atmosphere. Coupled with a strobe light, black lights created a disorienting purple haze. Nowadays, you can still find these black lights in nightclubs. There are more fluorescent materials on the market - paints, dyes, and clothes, markers - that seem to come to life with the existence of the black light.
Balsa Wood Airplanes Model planes made from balsa wood. Kids would make them and fly them just like paper airplanes, but they would fly better. Companies stopped making them because kids were sniffing the glue used to make the planes.
Beatlemania British rock group that was a huge hit among the kids of the 60s. People would faint at their concerts, and even just from seeing them perform on TV.
Spring has sprung, a renewing of life on earth. The plants change their colors and blossom. Wildlife nests. The days are warmer. And Anonymous has a thought, no matter the season.
"You learn in life there are few plateaus;
you are either going up or coming down."
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection
from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/.
There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
... and one more Idea
An eon ago Burt Dubin came into my life. And has stayed. We continue to
One area of common ground is we're both speakers. And, Burt is a "teacher" ...
working with professionals helping them grow to masters - as well as new
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To learn more about what Burt might offer you, visit his exclusive resource
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Or send an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BONUS: when you invite me to speak at your special event,
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Time is a great teacher.
Along with mentors. The boss, fellow-workers. Friends. Just being around students at school, the members of a temple, mosque, synagogue or church, an association or club. A friends company. The competition. The neighbors. Kids. By osmoses much sticks.
My time in sales since age 12, in marketing and direct marketing since graduation, have allowed me to have a few thoughts to share. They're available in a collection of products. And you can own any or all!
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Programs on the strategy and tactics of planning. On direct mail. The whole creative process. Database marketing. Customer relations. And more. All available at special 21st century pricing.
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Magic Marketing Minutes
9ine Powerful Words
I began ringing door bells at age 12. Since that time I've had the opportunity to hear, learn, forget and then learn again, a number of axioms. One of the best is . . .
"I have a problem and I need your help."
These are the 9ine most powerful words in the English language.
They work best when offered with sincerity. When you have an honest approach to make, they will help you reach your prospect and your customer.
They work more because of the idea behind the words, rather than the words themselves.
They work because people do like to help other people. If you have a legitimate request, in most cases you'll have an opportunity to present your case to the person you feel will benefit most.
Let me share with you a quick story. I placed a mail-order buy over an 800 line with a credit card. The product didn't come. Since it was a present, and consequently was time sensitive, there was a minor emergency.
So, I called their toll free number again and talked to Betty. And I said to Betty: "I have a problem and I need your help."
Betty looked up the order and found it in her system. She then suggested theymake up another order and ship it express at their expense the next day. And guess what ... they did it!
The 9ine most powerful words in the English language went to work for me.
Rather than ranting and raving, screaming and hollering, yelling, being upset and complaining, I used the 9ine words. And they worked!
Try 'em. You too will find the 9ine most powerful words in the English language are . . .
"I have a problem and I need your help."