Is it Okay to Use "Free" in an Email Subject Line?
Last weekend, I received the above email message from Seth Godin. I like Seth, I read his books, and I'm working with him on two different projects but this particular message really caught my eye! What's that, you ask? Why the use of the word "free" in the subject line!
So, I asked Seth (nicely) why he chose to use that verboten word. Wasn't he at all concerned about tripping those nasty spam filters?
And, here is his response...
"I didn't say "free" because I was trying to manipulate attention. I wasn't offering one thing as bait for another. No buy this get that. No 'free' but it's not really free.
The reason I wrote 'free' was that it was free.
The reason that free is a bad idea most of the time is that marketers are often selfish, lying scum. They push to the edges and they manipulate. So free doesn't mean much any more, and people have been trained (rightly) to be skeptical.
Since I rarely write to create immediate sale or immediate action, many of my readers have put me in a different category. It's just me, no goal, no "it worked." More like, "think about this," or "here."
I had no ulterior motive. That makes it easier to tell the truth I guess."