Reverse Psychology

“Don’t buy anything for Dad this Father’s day”

That’s the subject line of an email I received from Cactus Outdoor Clothing yesterday, and whoever wrote it deserves a medal.

They deserve a medal, because they managed to cut through the barrage of Father’s Day email marketing efforts, and flip the ‘buy this thing for Dad’ approach completely on its head.

The email from Cactus goes on to explain that most Dad’s simply want to spend time with their family, so you don’t need to buy them anything. But if you must buy them something, outdoor gear would be a great choice.

Well played Cactus Outdoor. Well played.

As a business, you recognised that consumers are sick and tired of being sold to, so you took a different approach – and your subject line had my attention instantly.

And even though you said not to, I want to buy something from you. Maybe a mountain bike bag for my next trip.


If you’d like your email campaigns to cut through inbox clutter like this one from Cactus does, let’s meet and brainstorm your approach.

ps – here’s the email from Cactus Outdoor. There are a few other things I’d change, but the most important thing (the subject line) is first class.

Let's make some cool sh*t

Let's make some cool sh*t

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