At Influitive, we like to think we write interesting—and sometimes boundary-pushing—email campaign copy that gets the attention of other B2B marketers.

A lot of the time it does—but not always for the right reasons.

Watch the video below to see our team react to some of the negative responses we’ve received to our email subject lines. 

 Keep reading to find out how each of these B2B marketing campaigns really performed.

Re: Barely safe for work: our best assets exposed

We created this cheeky title to go with our Influitive Exposed case study where we “bared it all” and revealed exactly how we used our own software to grow our company 650% in a year.


However, being saucy can be a bit polarizing. Some people said this title was “clickbait” (Guess they were looking for something that was seriously NSFW). One individual said it created a “very disturbing mental visual..I just threw up in my mouth.”

We had good—but not amazing—open rates and downloads. However, we did manage to close a deal within a month after one vendor was impressed with our story.

Re: What ails you, ______?

We created this email as part of product campaign to teach prospects about a common affliction at most B2B companies: Anadvometitus (a lack of advocate marketing). 


We tested two different subject lines, and the one with the personalized title did better than our edgier title.

The subject line “Can’t get your numbers up? Try a dose of this…” may have hit a little too close to home for some of our readers, who found the message “insulting.” It just goes to show that being risqué isn’t always the best option.

Re: So I’ll pick you up at 7?

We wrote this email when we launched our referral solution. We wanted to relate asking for customers referrals to something personal for marketers. So we used a dating analogy to illustrate how awkward most referral programs are: they’re basically the equivalent of asking someone out for the first time on Valentine’s Day. Too much, too soon.

We decided to go with an awkward subject line that was a little forward. We knew it was a risk, but it definitely paid off. We had our best open rates (25%) and highest number of email responses ever.


While one CMO didn’t think it wasn’t “a good representation of our brand,” the daring subject line earned us a featured spot on MarketingSherpa and several other blogs.

Re: Had enough of all the holiday emails, ______?

Everyone hates the slew of last-minute, holiday-themed sales pitches they receive at year end.

However, we still needed to send one out…so we wrote a funny and refreshing email to acknowledge these awkward B2B marketing campaigns.


Our candor really resonated with our audience. We received a lot of genuine, positive feedback—and managed to book a few more demos over the holidays. There’s were a couple of Scrooges who weren’t fans, but the email struck a personal chord with most marketers. 

Re: The new rising star on your marketing team

Our email copy for our The Rise of the Customer Marketer ebook wasn’t particularly daring. We ran several targeted campaigns with slightly different language to appeal to separate audiences. It was a very popular resource because we made customer marketers look like rockstars, and the ebook helped us earn a Killer Content Award in 2014. The campaign also resulted in 20+ sales opportunities for us.


However, no matter what you do, you can’t please everyone (as you can see from the reaction in the video).


We really try to make it easy to unsubscribe from our emails…Looks like we need to be a bit more careful next time!

Exposed_UFInfluitive Exposed: How Advocacy Helped Our Company Grow 650%

Get an intimate look at how Influitive has mobilized thousands of our own advocates to submit referrals, write reviews, act as references and more.

We promise we won’t be shy as we reveal what worked—and what didn’t—in our own advocate marketing program, Influitive VIP.

Download the eBook now