Wishberg, an app for maintaining and sharing your wishlist, sends out email alerts with a subject line that reads like this:
You have inspired Pravin Jadhav for a new wish!
The mail is basically an alert for saying someone wished for what you wished. In Twitter analogy this is something like a Retweet. What’s important here is the heading does not say “Pravin wished for what you wished” but it says that “I ‘inspired’ Pravin”. The earlier message sounds more like the follower is same as you and does not make the earlier user superior but in the latter case the original user is made to look intellectually/socially more superior because he has now “inspired” others.
I don’t have the statistical details on the open rate of these mails, but I am assuming it must be pretty high. I have gone to check Wishberg everytime I get these mails.
For a system a click is an action but for the user the copy is the action. For example, earlier Facebook used to ask users to “Become a Fan” but that is now changed to “Like”. The end effect for the system is same in both cases but for the user a “Like” is less obligatory than “Becoming a Fan”. In the same way an endorsement button could be “Like” for FB, RT for Twitter, +1 for G+, Like/Dislike for YouTube or Agree/Disagree for a discussion. An agree/Disagree would not make sense on Youtube video. Similarly, someone Likes what you said is not as powerful as someone agrees to what you said in a debate. The “share” vs. “recommend” action on Facebook is another one to think about.
A thoughtful change in copy can change the user activity manifolds.