How can we manage to make sure our customers aren’t trashing our great email updates and newsletters without even opening them up?

When we open our email inbox, we are inundated with messages from various businesses and media. It takes a great subject line to catch our eyes these days and anything less than the best goes straight to the trash folder. You may be putting them off with badly worded subject lines. Let’s look at the absolute worst offending, instant deletion types of subject lines you can give to your messages and help you get rid of them.

  • IMPORTANT, BEST THING EVER! – Try to avoid exaggeration, littering your subject line with words designed to inspire urgency often lead to disappointment for the customer when they open it to reveal something not at all important or urgent. This leads to distrust and unwillingness to open future emails from your company, or even worse, they might just hit that unsubscribe link.
  •  RE: RE: – It is an incredibly underhanded and spammy move to trick your customers into opening the email by pretending to reply to them. Yes, they will open it…. But they will never opening one from your company again. Definitely don’t do this, you will be better off by being honest and engaging.
  • SINGLE WORD – While you want your subject lines to be punchy and to the point, using just one word is not going to work. It is usually marked as spam and never opened; you may as well have never bothered.
  • EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!! – While we are sure that your product or service is very exciting, seeing too many exclamation marks is like being shouted at on screen. You also undermine your credibility if you think everything should get the exclamation mark treatment. It comes off as a very sales’y push and isn’t very professional. Use exclamations marks sparingly and only when appropriate.
  • REPETITION – Even if you are sending emails about the same subject, resist the urge to use the same subject line. At best they will get bored; at worst they will delete it without opening it, thinking that you have accidentally mailed them the same email twice. Try re-working your original line.
  • DOUBLE UP – Some people will repeat the subject line inside at the top of the email. Why? Your customer has already read the subject line and is looking for new information. Most people scan the first few sentences of an email to judge whether or not to delete or keep reading. Don’t waste this precious space on something they have already seen.
  • LESS IS MORE – While you don’t want to leave a one word subject line, you can’t write too much either, you want them to be clear on what the email is about but entice them to click through to read more.
  • EMPTY SUBJECT – Make it a point to write something in the subject line before you start composing your mail. If you accidentally send it out without a subject line attached, well….no one is going to be opening that!
  • BEGGING – Nothing is less attractive than desperation, and that comes through perfectly well in print too. ‘CLICK ME!’ is highly unlikely to get the results you desire. Try engaging your customer with something quirky, or a question.
  • PROOFREADING – No one is expecting you to be a perfect speller, but emails and subject lines are a situation you must use spellcheck. Even better, get someone else to check it over with a fresh eye. It will be very off putting to your customers when they are confronted with a glaring mistake straight away. After all, you don’t want to LOOSE your customers do you?
  • LIES – Baiting the reader with untrue information in order to get them to click through is no good for business or your brand. It’s genuine, old fashioned spam, and your customers will never forget it. You don’t need to trap people into viewing your information if you employ good subject lines, they will come voluntarily.
  • EMOTICON OVERLOAD – You want to come across as professional and appropriate. With very few exceptions, you want to avoid the use of cutesy symbols and emoticons. Smiley faces and hearts are fun, but don’t belong in a subject line. You can get your message across creatively without resorting to symbols.
  • CAPS LOCK – Writing your subject in all caps does not convey the sense of importance that you might think it does. Instead it shouts out and comes across as aggressive, definitely not the best way to sell something. Choose carefully worded subject lines to get your point across instead.
  • BORING, BORING, BORING – ‘Newsletter May 2014’ doesn’t really do much to inspire the customer to click through. While it is short and to the point, it needs a little more. Try ‘May Deals and New Designs.’ It gives the customer an idea of what to expect upon further reading of the email.
  •  COMPANY NAME – Your company name will already show in the sent by section as the customer reads through their inbox, you don’t need to waste important information space to give them information they already know by including it in the subject line. In addition to avoiding the above? Ask questions to engage, keep it punchy, honest and professional. You will enjoy a better quality relationship with your clients create a sense of trust and community. All important when trying to create conversion to sales.