Discover the Dark Art of Email Marketing


E-shot Titles Importance cannot be overstated


Motivations are key to Email Marketing Success


Improve your Email Marketing

An A-typical reaction experienced when the Russian bride e-shot lands in your inbox
An A-typical reaction experienced when the Russian bride e-shot lands in your inbox

E-shots, or email marketing is a proven way of getting results.  If you can get it right you can increase sales, sign-ups, attract website visitors, and you do not have worry about search engines imposing a penalty for when you look at your computer screen in a funny way.

Getting it right however, is the trick.  E-shots are, let’s face it god damn annoying, especially if you have received the e-shot out of the blue as it were.  This post looks at ways you can get your e-shot recipient to open your email and act.

E-shots need a Great Title like Rolling Stone Guitarist Keith Richard Needs Jack Daniels

Your E-shot title has to be irresistible. Anything less and it will probably get binned.  In the world of us copywriters, the power of the title is explained like this:

You receive three emails, which one do you open first?

  • An email from a personal friend
  • A bill
  • An e-shot selling you something that you don’t really remember signing up to. Perhaps you were pretending to be Keith Richards when you did.

Clearly without an ‘open me now or regret it for the rest of your life title’ you’re on a loser.  Your e-shot, even if it is selling dates with Angelina Jolie will be deleted along with the Russian bride e-shot that frequently does the rounds.

So how do you get someone one to open your e-shot?

To get someone to open your e-shot you have to understand what motivates the people you’re sending it to, your target audience.  Is it money? Is it a cause? Is it a product or service? Is it a cure?  Who cares what it is, just work out what will make them open the email.

To give you an example, last year I wrote an e-shot which was sent to executives.  To get them to open it, I used the title ‘Do you want a good pay rise?’

This little gem made one in three open the email.  And here’s why;

It tapped into their motivations.  Now the personal email from Cameron Diaz can wait.  We’re talking money, and money is one of the motivators for most executives.  It isn’t just the amount of it and the fact that money is a vehicle for doing what you want.  It is the fact that money is a measure of success.  Success was the prime motivator for one in three executives to open the email.

Other titles that have worked well in the past include, ‘Is your boss a psychopath?’ We won’t dwell on what the motivators were here!


Motivations are complex and sometimes hidden.  Psychiatrists and psychoanalyst have built careers on this subject.  Books have been written and films made.  Possibly the odd e-shot sent too.  Part of being a good copywriter is understanding the buttons to press to make people act.

Of course once they’ve opened the email you have to lay out what you’re selling and get them to click through and do what you want them to do.  This is another blog in itself.

Once you can understand what motivates your target audience however, you can get them to do whatever you want.



I am a UK based writer and digital marketer, with experience in promoting various businesses in the online sphere. My skills include but are not limited to copywriting, blogging, search engine optimisation, social media marketing, in-print writing, ad writing, and landing page optimisation. If you want to succeed online, get in touch.

4 thoughts on “Create E-Shot Titles that Shoot from the Hip!

  1. Hi Richard

    This is a brilliant article. An e-mail about dark arts or a freedom-promising pay is definitely hard to beat.

    I am just thinking that some titles could be so provoking or using words that make your spam filter jump. Is there a list about them? Some weeks ago I shared an image of a circus artist from the 20ies. They comment (not mine) was “A guy with balls”. Maybe it is coincidence but Facebook did not display the image, but only the comment.

    Kind Regards

  2. To my knowledge there is not a list. I understand however, FB is particularly sensitive where provocative images are concerned. I’m really glad you liked the post. I was pleased with it.

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