It may very well have been the most viral blog of 2013; everybody I knew read it. Even today this blog and variations thereof are still online, posted by reputable organizations such as Time Magazine, The Washington Post, Inc.com, and many more.
When I saw this blog’s headline pop up in my Facebook feed, I dropped everything, just to read the blog. I cared less about the content but more about the headline. In my opinion, this blog had the most perfect headline compared to any blog I had ever seen, and that includes my own blogs.
By the time I had finished reading the blog, it had been shared on Facebook by a good dozen friends. Later on, I would find out that all my friends read it.
The blog’s title?
“What happens to your Facebook when you die?”
The simple truth is – it does not matter – to YOU. When you are dead, you are dead. If the heavens are connected, you might get a chance to connect with other deceased via “angel-wing-book.” But, you won’t ever peek into your Facebook again.
So, why was this title so appealing that not only I but also all of my sophisticated, interesting, and intelligent friends, who are aware that when we are dead we are dead, read this blog?
Because it is about YOU and YOUR future!
All of us are so interested in what will happen to us that we almost can’t help it to read everything about our future; we don’t even care to eliminate unrealistic options.
The late, great Dale Carnegie made a living out of telling people exactly that.
However, even though Carnegie published his groundbreaking book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” in 1936, people rarely apply the book’s knowledge to composing e-mails.
In the 21st century subject lines such as
“… Affordable Wireless Security…”
“… Reach existing and new customers via…”
“… Want to get paid to…”
aren’t nearly as exciting as “What happens to your Facebook when you die?”
The above mentioned three e-mail subject lines don’t link to YOU (the recipient); therefore most of you couldn’t care less. Much better phrased are the subject lines such as
“… Add your voice to …”
“… Get the Bath You Want …”
“… Do You have these items in Your Make-up Case?”
The first subject line sounds almost like an invitation, and if you care about the organization’s cause at all, you might be interested in finding out why your help might be needed.
Granted people who have just renovated their bathroom might not peek into the second marketing e-mail, but a large number of people who think about renovating their bathroom will check out the information.
And, while men might not be interested in finding out what they should know about their significant other’s make-up box’s content, most women will.
The latter three e-mail subject lines address YOU.
However, there is more to Dale Carnegie’s wisdom than that to be liked and appreciated, we need to demonstrate interest in others (“YOU”).
Dale Carnegie was really born Dale Harbison Carnagey. At age 34, already a successful speaker and lecturer, he changed his name from Carnagey to Carnegie, as in business magnate and philanthropist (Andrew) Carnegie.
With this simple move, he associated himself with huge success. How did Dale Carnegie come up with the idea? I don’t know, but already in 1916, Dale rented Carnegie Hall and held a lecture in front of a sold-out audience.
There is something to be learned from this too. Associate yourself with success!
Titles, names, slogans, or short phrases CANNOT be copyrighted.
Equally, the subject line of anybody’s e-mail cannot be copyrighted. Therefore, if you can’t come up with a brilliant subject line – study others’ and GET INSPIRED!
Please note that I do not suggest that you copy subject lines. That would not make any sense; after all, every subject line is meant to stand out. However, it is always a great idea to learn from others, most certainly from Dale Carnegie.
Gisela Hausmann is an Email Evangelist, a marketing expert, and a multi award-winning author. The author of seventeen books, she publishes books under her “naked” brand of books, meaning Gisela publishes “no-fluff” books. On July 3 she published
“Naked Words 2.0 The Effective 157-Word Email”.
Universal Amazon link: http://hyperurl.co/ehdi17
Gisela Hausmann graduated with a master's degree in Film & Mass Media from the University of Vienna.
© 2015 by Gisela Hausmann
If you liked this blog, please share below.