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Newsjacking Dangers

In our Mail Mastery class, we talk about an extended greeting. The idea is to say something at the beginning of the email which ties in to something current and relevant in the life of your target. It’s an extremely light version of what has become known as “newsjacking.”

Our goal when we add this to an email, whether going to a candidate or client, is to make sure a glance at the email will make the reader realize it’s not spam, a template reused from years ago, and is being sent by a human. Perhaps some example will help:

-I hope you’re safe and surviving Snowpocalypse.
-Sorry if this is hitting you late in the day, we were up watching the Superbowl late. Congratulations, by the way.
-Hopefully your week is going well, at least it’s Taco Tuesday.

These are all based on ones actually sent. But there can be terrible backlash in doing this. Snowpocalypse can be fun and even humorous in a forecasted storm that turns out to be minor. As soon as the relevant news you’re using is a disaster you are in dangerous waters. A number of companies were bit by this with their Hurricane Sandy sales a few years ago.

Can you imagine losing your home to a Hurricane while a store sends you an email with a coupon code related to the event? Now make that a family member, loved one, or pet. You’d be understandably outraged.

Send that email congratulating the sports win to the prospect in the right geography. They don’t need to be into sports to realize that it’s probably not a random email from a Nigerian Prince. You can be a vegan and recognize Taco Tuesday.

Just remember – the idea is to be relevant, but first be kind and helpful. Shock may get an email opened, but no deal is worth losing your humanity. In short, don’t be a jerk.

In the meantime, let us say something current and safe. It’s back to school time. Jason and I have four kids between us, and we are so ready for them to get out of the house and into the classroom. We hope to see you in one too!


Speaker, Trainer, Headhunter, Superhero

Jason Thibeault, acclaimed recruiter, trainer, coach, and superhero. Jason brings decades of experience in search, and is also a published author, a black belt martial artist and a former chess champ. His specialty is getting into the minds of people and unlocking the big picture and clearing the next obstacle. You’ll have so much fun with him; it won’t feel like work. 

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