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The Monty Python guide to email subject lines
👉 and how you can harness it even if you're not a comedy genius
I love the title of this hugely popular TEDx talk from Nashater Deu Solheim: "What working with psychopaths taught me about leadership".
If you're even vaguely interested in leadership, how could you resist clicking play to find out what the connection is?
It's the kind of surreal juxtapositioning of seemingly incongruous things that Monty Python were masters of in their comedy. And before them, the Goons. And before them, Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll.
It's a technique you can use to get people interested in the topics of your emails or articles too. It's simple to do with just two rules:
The two things you link must be unexpected - that's what drives curiosity.
You must deliver on the promise and actually show a genuine link.
My email "What Jeremy Clarkson taught me about marketing" shows how it can be better to be loved by some and hated by others than to be just liked (or tolerated) by everyone.
I've linked comedians Stewart Lee, Dave Gorman and Bob Monkouse to marketing ideas on finding a niche, harnessing your personal experiences and giving away your ideas freely.
You can make surprising connections in your marketing too. And it will make it much more compelling.
Sometimes the connections will be easy and obvious to you. I find comedy and magic endlessly fascinating so I'll often read stories or autobiographies and pick up connections from there.
Or you can deliberately seek out connections for an email you're writing to liven it up a bit.
In the case of this email I wanted to talk about using these unusual links to drive curiosity so I racked my brains a bit for examples where unexpected things are rammed together.
And Monty Python sprang to mind. A bit of googling backed it up (and gave me a pleasant few minutes reading).
Maybe not the best analogy ever. I probably wouldn't be able to write a long essay on it. But it's easily good enough as a lead in to my point in an email.
Next time you write an article or email, see if you can make it more interesting and get more readers by making an unusual link and highlighting it in the subject line or headline.
It's surprisingly easy to do. And surprisingly effective.
Next time: something completely different :)
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