Recently I received some feedback on the subject line of one of the emails we send out. To give it some context, this email is midway through a series where each email deals with a different reason to switch from a traditional fax machine to online fax. The subject line is “Where the @%*!& is that Fax”.
The feedback I received referred to our use of the “cursing” symbols as “poor taste, unprofessional, and offensive”. It further stated that they disagreed with our message so much that they have decided to go with one of our competitors.
This is the only feedback one way or another we have received about this email in the three plus months we have been using it. It averages about the same open/click/conversion rate of the rest of the emails in this stream. However, we have decided to change the subject line of the email to “Where is that Fax” and run a 2-week test to see if our numbers change one way or the other.
But I want to know what other people think. Is this offensive? Would you not purchase a product or service from a company that sent you an email using these symbols? Do you think you would be more or less likely to open an email like this when it came into your inbox?
I also want to know your thoughts on a deeper issue: As marketers, how far should we go to make sure we are offending the least amount of people? (I put it this way because I don’t think there is anything you can write that’s not going to rub someone the wrong way.)
I would say that our marketing department is pretty diverse; the age range spans a couple of decades, different backgrounds, and lifestyle choices are represented and no one raised an eyebrow about this subject line. So how safe is safe? I’d be interested to hear where you draw your lines when it comes to marketing and how quick you are to back down if someone does cry foul.