Dear Internet marketers: Stop sending emails with Re: prefixed in the subject …



Though this practice isn’t anything new, I’ve noticed an increasing number of Internet marketers prefixing their email subjects with “Re:”. For example: “Re: Make $1,000,000,000,000,000.87 for the rest of your entire life, ZOMG!”

Right, so here’s the deal with that whole “Re:” thing: it implies your message is either dishonest or not worth reading in the first place. The reason it implies that is because you’re trying to trick the person into reading the friggin’ email in the first place by making them think you’re just replying to something they sent you. I mean, that is what an email subject beginning with “Re:” typically means, right? A reply?

Of course, I’m not saying anything you folks engaging in this practice don’t already realize, and I’m sure you all have your numbers and CTRs that justify the practice for you, but do they ever *actually* convert better for you? Highly subjective, I know, but I’ve never given the practice any real weight, nor will I be convinced of its effectiveness to convert (that is, make a sale more effectively than not sending a first-engagement email with “Re:” prefixed in the subject) until I see some seriously-hard data across myriad niches/markets.

Anyway, I think most people would remember if they sent an email to someone that said “Make $1,000,000,000,000,000.87 for the rest of your entire life, ZOMG!” Plus, would you ever walk up to someone you’ve never spoken to before and start your conversation with the word “reply”? I mean literally say the word “reply” to them the very first time you speak to them. Maybe if you wanted them to look at you like you were smoking the crack-rock, you would…

With all that said, here’s what has ultimately motivated me to rant about this practice now as opposed to, say, 3-6 months ago: the people I’ve received these types of emails from are Internet marketers who I knowingly gave my email address to in the first place!

Why the hell are you trying to trick ME — someone who knew what you were about enough to trust you with my email address in the first place — into reading your emails now!? Sadly, reading through all of these emails has yielded content that is used-up/recycled garbage; confirmation of the “dishonest/not-worth-reading” I touched on above.


You know what that click was, Internet marketers using “Re:”? Me, unsubscribing from your lists; that’s what!

It’s one thing to be an Internet marketer and to build trust with people such that they will happily sign up for your newsletter or future emails; however, it’s another thing to shift gears and treat all of those people like they’re a part of the same lot of email addresses you scraped off the Internet. If anyone deserves a “get-out-of-jail-free” card, it’s the group of people who already trust you!

So, if you’re going to engage in lazy, spammy crap-marketing, at least make an effort to separate those who already trust you, from those you’re trying sell sensationalism and/or re-spun content to. Otherwise, you’re just going to start losing completely-trusting subscribers who are tired of you treating them like they’re stupid.

As far as I’m concerned, you can chalk this practice up as yet another example of Internet marketing shams, flimflams, and other BS. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Re: Thanks for reading my little rant for the day.

Stephen Chapman
SEO Whistleblower

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