Writing Blog Titles from Spam Subject Lines

by Jason Boom on January 31, 2008

Spam PhotoHave you seen the CopyBlogger exercise where they have you write blog post titles using Cosmopolitan magazine’s cover headlines? The exercise was interesting to say the least. Remember that post was lingering in the innovative parts of my brain when, suddenly, I checked my email. There was nothing new in the inbox. However, the spam folder was reaching close to two hundred. I investigated.

We’re all familiar with spam titles with characters and numbers to bypass the un-l33t spam filters of most mail clients. But Google mail has a smart spam killer. It doesn’t fall for such juvenile attempts. In fact, I don’t remember the last time a spam message made it to my inbox.

I scanned the folder of caught spam. I found only one affiliate blog feed in the midst of all the junk. Note to self: Do not sell too ardently in my posts, otherwise, the Google spam gods will strike it down. Aside from the integer messages, I found little of interest in the spambox. Then I saw it, the golden spam title glowing amidst all the rubble.

Don’t Wait for a Miracle

Out of close to 200 messages, only one title had any resonance. Yes, don’t wait for the miracle. It was a decent call to action. Of course, it is a bit trite, but we are talking about spammers here. They couldn’t charm the pants off a hamster.

The title also had an undercurrent to it. From the title, you know they will offer a quick fix to a problem that you otherwise thought would take a miracle to reconcile. Now you can do it with whatever they’re selling. Assuming you bought the title, you would be one step closer to believing the subsequent sales pitch inside the email. Did I open the email?

What Miracle?
A title is only a good title if it is followed up by a decent message. Not surprisingly, the spam message fell flat like a pancake on a plate. It was served cold too. The miracle was just as you can imagine — sexual in nature. How miraculous!

The miracle for the rest of us? The dissection of this message tells us that strong titles act as the good smelling food down the hall, while the unfolding of the article fills the stomach. The post’s message should not — ever — make us vomit.

About the author

Jason Boom Jason writes not only about himself in the third person, but also about marketing, site building, SEO, and other topics related to marketing online. He's been an avid fan of blogging since the early days of Blogger. You can connect with Jason (me) on Twitter and Google Plus.

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