It’s time for an email marketing smackdown … schoolyard-style.
There’s a raging debate on what the ‘no spam’ line under your website’s opt-in box should say.
On the one hand, you have the old standard, “No SPAM” — henceforth referred to as Spammy Sam.
(And his mates that contain the word “spam”: “We will never spam you”; “Guaranteed free from spam”; and so on.)
Spammy Sam is a big, burly bloke with a couple missing teeth.
He’s been in a few schoolyard scraps before, and he knows how this game works.
His fighting style is simple: he just comes straight at ya, swinging.
Some people think he should be a bit more subtle with the way he fights. Throw in a few more feints, mix up the punches. Their view is that putting the word “SPAM” up front triggers subscribers to think of ‘spam email’ anyway, and stops them opting in.
But Spammy Sam doesn’t care about any of that.
He’s not trying to hide the fact that he’s ugly and mean.
He’s just going for the straight knockout.
On the other hand, you’ve got “We respect your privacy” — aka Privacy Patrick.
Privacy Patrick is definitely NOT old-school.
He’s a bit of a pansy with skinny jeans and a hipster haircut. He likes to be very politically correct and doesn’t want to “offend” anyone. But lately, his woke style’s been getting kinda popular.
Privacy Patrick isn’t much of a brawler himself — he’d prefer to just TALK his way out of this one, and distract people altogether by creating a “safe space” where they’re not triggered with bad thoughts like “spam”. He’s not even sure how he got into this fight, and it’s making him kinda nervous.
But the crowds are gathering round, and a chant starts:
“Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!”
Privacy Patrick swallows.
Spammy Sam cracks his knuckles and grins.
The fighters circle and … BAM!
Spammy Sam lands a right hook straight to the jaw.
Privacy Patrick staggers back, crying.
Then a kid in the crowd pipes up:
The onlookers scatter as Daniel the Duty Teacher rocks up.
He picks up both kids by their collars (he’s not very politically correct himself … the kids often swear they can hear him muttering ‘bring back the cane’ under his breath).
And he snarls: “Cut this POINTLESS fight out RIGHT NOW or I’ll belt the both of ya!”
Spammy Sam runs off, scowling.
Privacy Patrick scurries away, blubbering.
And that is that.
Because here’s the thing:
Yes, in a pure sense, I believe not saying the word “spam” if you don’t have to is a good thing.
(I think my own opt-in box goes the pansy — er, privacy — route, but I’m pretty sure that was the default and I didn’t care to change it.)
That said, think about the kind of people you’re keeping out of your list if you rely on trying to hide the word “spam”.
They are people who read “No spam” and think “SPAM!”.
i.e. they literally have the OPPOSITE reaction to what you just told them right there in the copy.
Do you want some moron like that on your list?
Like, what if you decide to do a sale and say “No Refunds”?
Will they come back and try to refund because they saw the word “Refunds” and imagined a warm, fuzzy scene of you handing them a refund like Santa Claus when they bought?
Or what if you say “This product is NOT for people making less than $100,000 a year in their business”. Will they buy it because they read “less than $100,000 a year”?
That is the lunacy of what we’re talking about here.
Now, I doubt it matters all that much, which is why my own opt-in box seemingly contradicts this advice by not mentioning ‘spam’.
But even if it did, and the word ‘spam’ were scaring people away?
Personally, I don’t really want people like that on my list. And unless you like vanity metrics, I hardly recommend you do, either.
But, you do you and I’ll do me.
That’s why I’m the teacher, and you’re just a kid in the schoolyard.
Anyway, enough of this — it’s time to get back to class, you rascals.
And if you want to know how I get under the skin of my clients’ market so I can write copy that sells them WITHOUT having to rely on lame tricks in the opt-in box, put your email down here for a discount when I finally finish my product on that (I know, seems to be taking forever, but I’ve been busy lately, and it’ll take me as long as it takes me to get it done):
Now come on, it’s been three minutes since the bell. Get outta here!