Unwanted email is at an all-time high in my inbox, and the tricks utilized by online direct marketers to grab my attention have gotten more subtle.
When did it become OK to actually lie? And not just sort of lie, as some advertising has been known to do - creating a false need, then satisfying it within the space of a :30 spot. These are insane lies. The subject lines in the emails I receive now don't even resemble honest marketing anymore. Instead of "GET A FREE MEAT TWISTER", it's always "Are we having lunch?" or other seemingly disjointed, personal greetings.
As a result, I'm always surprised by which subject lines still grab my attention. My junk mail filter does its due diligence and captures a great deal of junk mail coming through but, as the devices grow more and more sophisticated, it falls off a little bit and lets some creeps through. Unfortunately, I'm no smarter. Even when the "from" field is a name that is completely unfamiliar to me, I hold on to it because it is, after all, still a name.
My expectations constantly come into question, too. I see a subject line, I build an expectation. I open the email and, more often than not, that expectation is exploded by real estate scams or high-lustre titties. But, just like all those people who infected their computers with the I LOVE YOU virus because, maybe just maybe, someone reall did love them, I constantly reach out at the hope of friendship or love from total strangers. Here's an example of an email I received, how I perceived it, and how well it held up to that perception.
Email Subject Line: Someone out there really likes you.
Me: Someone out there really likes me!
Them: Someone out there really wants you to pay $14.95/month to watch a dolphin fuck her ass on camera.