Last week I used the following subject line for an email that I sent out:
“More than one way to skin a cat”
Anyone who took the time to read the email saw that I wasn’t literally advocating that we all go out and round up some felines to torture (although I’m more of a dog guy, I do like cats …)
I was writing about there being multiple ways to grow a successful coaching business, and I chose a commonly-used saying for the subject line.
However, one person took the time to reply and announce that she was offended by my anti-cat subject line and was unsubscribing because of it.
It reminded me of when PETA tried to play language police last year and force people to eliminate the use of common animal sayings in exchange for bizarre and silly alternatives:
- “Kill two birds with one stone”, would now be “Feed two birds with one scone”
- “Be the guinea pig” would change to “Be the test tube”
- “Beat a dead horse” would now be “Feed a fed horse”
- “Bring home the bacon” would change to “Bring home the bagels”
- “Take the bull by the horns” would now be “Take the flower by the thorns”
Their campaign didn’t catch on and they were ridiculed for it. What a shock …
Since I don’t gel well with easily-offended/ultra-PC folks, I didn’t lose any sleep over losing that subscriber. If she’s going to get offended by that subject line, we’re not a great fit.
And if you’re putting yourself out there online, you should be prepared for the same thing happening to you too.
When you stop holding back out of fear of offending some people, your subject lines will chase a few away – but they’ll draw more in.
Since this is important stuff, I’m devoting the entire August issue of “Secret Coach Club” to show how you can write better subject lines that get your emails opened and your message consumed.
Besides email subject lines, what you learn in its pages can be applied to anything you write – so I guess you could say that you’re killing two birds with one stone.
The deadline to subscribe is tonight at midnight EST: