Whether we’re talking about solo ads or anything else, you name it, most of the times there’s nothing dramatic in making mistakes. We all make mistakes.
However, the difference between a loser and a winner is that the latter learns from mistakes and takes action to correct them.
Since learning from other advertisers’ mistakes will save you some time and money, today I’ll share with you the main reasons that make me decide not to open a solo ad. It’s all about the most important part of an email message – the headline (or the subject line)…
1. It tries to mislead me. Examples of misleading subject lines: “Notification of payment received”, “Your download request was approved”
2. It’s so simple that it doesn’t convey any real message. Example: “Check this out!”
3. It’s a dumb subject line that doesn’t even make me laugh. Real examples: “Mother knows best”, “I want to die in my sleep like…”. By the way, a subject line that makes me laugh can make me open that solo ad. Real example: “Open it, dammit!” LOL
4. It’s written ALL CAPS. Even if you’re a newbie there’s no reason to yell at me. You don’t want to yell at your prospects, do you? ;-)
5. I’ve already seen that subject line many times. What can I learn from a copycat? Can a copycat help me in any way? That’s quite unlikely…
6. It contains an obvious lie. For example, it guarantees me (and anyone else) a certain income. Nobody can do that.
7. It reveals the topic and I’m not interested in it.
8. The headline is misspelled, sometimes on purpose. Some internet marketers still think that misspelling the word “free” or other words is something good and will avoid the spam filters. I doubt that I can learn something from people living in the past.
9. It contains multiple exclamation marks or dollar signs. That gives me the impression that there’s some hype inside. Maybe some teenagers or newbies are an appropriate audience for that type of spelling.
10. It doesn’t talk to me but to a complete different audience. For example: “Never made a penny online?” or “Want to lose weight?”
11. It contains a code such as [FIRST_NAME] or it is so long that the email software removes the last word or words from the subject line. That’s not the advertiser’s fault, but that’s how life is. Be careful who you do business with!
12. It tells me how great the advertiser is or it tells me how the advertiser struggled (example: “I struggled for 8 months”). I simply don’t care. Offer some help, some solutions to my problems or tell your amazing story to someone else who has some free time for it.
13. It offers me all kind of freebies that I don’t need. Pay attention here, you know that piece of advice… give something for free in exchange for the people subscribing to your mailing list. It’s not that easy ;-)
14. It tries to sell something to me. You read it well, but don’t get it wrong. I buy things online but I don’t waste my time checking every sales letter that lands in my Inbox. Your willing to sell something is not enough ;-)
15. Finally… To me… my family and myself are the most important people in the world. If you don’t take this fact into consideration… you’re out of my Inbox within seconds!
That’s it about solo ads headlines… Stay tuned in order to find out my reasons for reading the ad copy – or at least starting to read it – but then not clicking on some of the links from the solo ads I receive. [updated; link added to part 2 of the series]
Of course this is my view and it’s not necessarily congruent with John’s, Mary’s and Peter’s views. Take it with a grain of salt. Ask your friends and colleagues and try to find their opinions. Different types of audience may have different opinions and may need different approaches from your part. What is a mistake for a certain audience… may not be a mistake for another one. Finally, I invite you to share your view using the comment feature below.
To your success!
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