Email marketing isn’t my strong point, so I’m always paying attention to what things induce me to open emails and click through the links inside them. A couple months ago I saw this great idea.

It was an email from the CrashPlan folks. CrashPlan is an online backup service. The email subject line was something like “5 Expert Backup Tips,” and here’s what the email looked like:

CrashPlan

The email from CrashPlan

Note that only the first two tips are really fleshed out. The third tip is only partially written. The big thing is that there is a link button to tips 3–5. If you want to read the tips—and if you opened up the email you probably do—you need to click through to the sales page of the book being pimped in the email.

Clever. A little sneaky, but clever.

The takeaway? Promising something in the subject of an email and then making people pay or sign up for something to get it is lame. But promising something in the subject of an email and then having them click through to your website to read part of it? I think that’s something that those of us with a conscience can do and still sleep soundly at night.

As always, I’m on Twitter.