The 5 Deadly Sins of Subject Lines

The 5 Deadly Sins of Subject Lines

5 Deadly sins

Are your emails not seeing the light of day even though they’re full of amazing, rock solid content that you’ve worked so hard to create for your audience?

Subject lines are like the advertisement for why someone would want to read your article in the first place. Without a compelling subject line, it’s possible that your readers aren’t even getting to the actual content itself.

Emailing marketing is an extremely useful sales tool and arguably the most effective means of generating site traffic. Everyone is trying to capitalize on this, so the key is to craft subject lines that will increase your open rates and click-throughs.

Here are the 5 deadly sins of drafting email subject lines:

1. Spam

The word “free” should be used sparingly because it may trigger spam filters. Other words that have been noted to hinder open rates are “help,” “percent off,” and “reminder”. Use compelling language to increase readership, and do so within the first few characters of your subject line to avoid them not getting read.

Here’s a report on the phrases that readers seemed to respond to the most. 


2. Boredom and Vagueness

Does a subject line that only says “Hi” or “weekly newsletter” compel you to open it? I didn’t think so. It’s the surefire way of your email ending up in the Trash folder. The subject line needs to be speak to a specific result and use power words!

Here are 5 subject line formula’s that work:

  1. Discover the secrets of [blank]
  2. [number] ways to get [blank result]
  3. [number] ways to [blank] on a budget
  4. How to [blank] in 10 seconds
  5. [number] tips to [blank] and get [blank result]


3. Excessiveness

USING ALL CAPS FOR YOUR SUBJECT LINE IS A BIT EXCESSIVE AS DEMONSTRATED HERE. Yes, it’s eye-catching, but not for the right reason. On a similar note, using ten exclamation marks at the end of your sentence is also bit excessive. It may seem like you’re screaming or being demanding, or worse, may take away from the professionalism of your business.


4. Deception

Don’t offer something when you aren’t actually going to give it. Nobody likes that email that offers a free pdf but then leads them on a wild goose chase for it, or an offer for a free weekend trip to Hawaii. In some cases, misleading statements may actually be considered deceptive business practice.


5. Draging it out

This should be an easy one to spot. You don’t want a long subject line that’s going to lose the interest of your reader. Also keep in mind that technology today is largely mobile device-bases. The maximum subject line length for phones range from 33 to 44 characters, and yet this email marketing metrics report shows that subject lines with 4 to 15 characters have the highest open rates.


follow_twitter_onYour words matter; choose them wisely


In the comments, I’d love to hear from you. What subject lines have you used that worked well? What are some of your best subject lines?