I tend to save the attempts I get from salespeople in their quest to try and get in the door with a prospect. In this case, our Director of Marketing Communications, Miguel, sent over a sales email he received.

The subject line was Titanic!, and the first sentence was Hi Miguel, Pretty good ice breaker, right?

Some of you reading will find this clever, and I actually think it is, on its face.

Others of you reading will find it annoying and ineffective. I agree with you folks.

One can certainly make the argument that “hey, he opened the email, that’s the whole point, right?”

True enough, but in Miguel’s case, he unsubscribed and I bet plenty of others did as well.

I’m of the mind that being cute won’t get you in the door with a prospect.

This reminds me of a supposed sales guru we had the misfortune of hearing at a seminar, where he said one of the best tricks (his word) he had for getting prospects to call him back, was leaving a voicemail with his name and number and then saying he had important information about that person’s test results.

And then would hang up. Not kidding.

Now, the Titanic subject line is not nearly as bad, but when it’s harder to break through to your prospects than ever before, every email, voicemail and LinkedIn connect becomes valuable real estate.

Why waste that valuable real estate being cute?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you can’t get creative-you should, but I’m a big believer in tying subject lines into how you might help that prospect, a business challenge you help solve, or at the very least that relate to your services.

I don’t believe in taking the risk of annoying someone when instead I could show them how we might help or at least provide a relatable reason for reaching out.

Also, once you send the cutesy subject line/email, you’ve usually had your one chance.

Will I remember you?

Yes-but for all the wrong reasons.

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Lee McKnight Jr
VP of Sales at RSW/US
I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.