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E-mail Subject Lines – Attacking the Worst in Business

March 31, 2014 · 2 comments

in Email Marketing

In order for someone to open an e-mail and to be interested in its content, you need a subject line that is eye-catching and one that will grab your attention.

Knowing what to put in your subject line is a cleverness you will develop over the years. However, it is imperative that you know the difference between good line openers and simply atrocious ones.

Having a good subject line will ensure that someone will open your e-mail and that an opportunity you are looking for will not be in question. It is especially important for marketers, they deal with new clients all the time and they need to know how to attract potential clients with just a few words in the subject line.

Studies reveal the worst Email subject lines in business

According to a recent study by Adestra, a British marketing agency, people really dislike “forecast” and “report” in the subject line. It comes as no surprise really; nobody likes to think about reports, and the study has shown the term “report” might be the most poorly performing term when in the subject line. Try to avoid these words when putting together an e-mail.

“Newsletter” is also a word that should be avoided; the study has shown that people do not really like to see it appear in their subject lines. Furthermore, “newsletter” is usually understood as something that requires you to subscribe, which would mean more inconvenient e-mails, and customers want to avoid that.

Stay clear of CAPS

Using caps lock is important if you want to emphasize something, but if you overuse capital letters, it will come off as if you were being impolite and give out an impression of yelling. Instead, try to use words which are attention-grabbing and ones which will make people actually click on the e-mail.

All caps might mean that something is urgent, but rarely will you use something like that, instead opt for a different method to put emphasis on something. The last thing you’d want is to make an unprofessional approach to your clientele, so create a sense of urgency (only if needed) by using exclamation point or carefully chosen phrases that actually highlight your intentions.

Failing with misleading information

Subject lines which contain deceiving information might get the client to open the e-mail, but it will only create an aversion from the client to open future e-mails that either contain similar subjects or from your company in general.

Words such as “this week” and “monthly” are among the top which clients will ignore and will make them gladly dispose of the e-mail. Moreover, if a client receives a number of deceitful e-mail topics then they will surely unsubscribe from the mailing list, which will result in client loss in the long run.

Begging for attention is wrong

Desperation rarely works in real life, and there is an even slimmer chance that it will work with an e-mail. It is imperative that you avoid desperate subject lines. Begging the client to click on the e-mail will give off a bad and desperate image, which will result in client dissatisfaction and eventual client loss.

Absolute worst

Using “trial” and “discount” will only net you a prime position in the trash. People really hate these kinds of subjects as they tend to be misleading and usually require a lot more clicking to get to the point. In the long run, clients will get tired of these e-mails real fast.

However, on the top of the list, “free” is still the word you should be using whenever possible; but deceiving the clients that something is indeed not free will have poor results.

A subject line is not for novels

Try not to give away all the information in your subject; first of all it is very ineffective and secondly there is no purpose in an e-mail if people can just read everything without opening it.

Keep the subject line short and to the point, but make it inviting so that the receiving person will want to open the e-mail and keep reading what you have to tell them. This is especially important for marketers working on any kind of promotion. Place an intriguing and inviting subject to create an honest interest in what you have to offer.

In overall planning, think about the message you are trying to pass on, and the image you’re creating. You and your company are subjected to customer feedback one way or another, and e-mails are one way of securing the most profitable relationship for everyone included. Take these advice as a guideline for further communication introduction, and you fill find the tone that benefits you the most.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Leana Thorne April 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Thank you Kevin!
Well, if I got an e-mail with “Read this dummy” subject, I would definitely open it, just out of curiosity, like you said. But my response would probably be not so polite if the content of that e-mail continued to undermine my existence. And as long as we hold on to discussing opening rate, I believe this strategy would work – so good idea! Only if you’re in the mood for taking some risks, and you got my attention at least.

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Deon Christie February 1, 2016 at 9:17 pm

Outstanding article with valuable information because your subject line is what determines your open rate. Allow me to add that the “Reason Why?” tactic proves to be a winner with increasing your open rate, mucht like offering a solution to a problem you have already researched…

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