Archive for the ‘E-Mail’ Category

How not to write an email subject line.

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

The two most important factors that determine whether an email is opened are the From line and the Subject line. Obviously, if the From is someone they’re familiar with, the odds of the email being opened are increased.
The Subject line can also  make a big difference.  Here are some things to avoid.
•    The word “Free” is a killer.  Don’t use it.  It’s a prime target of spam filters and it’s likely your email won’t get through.
•    These seemingly safer words won’t trigger the robotic spam filters but will probably trigger the human spam filter at the other end: “Help”, “% off” and “Reminder.”  Studies show that the open rates for emails with these in the subject line are abysmal.
•    Although there are some exceptions, generally subject lines with more than 50 characters have poor open rates.
•    And avoid ending a subject line with a “!”.  People have an emotional response to exclamation marks, viewing them as pushy and hard sell.  Don’t use them!

Note: This post is reprised from the first issue of our newsletter, “On the Level”.  So many of our readers commented on how valuable they found the information that we’ve added it as a blog entry. What have your experiences been with subject lines? Let us know if you have anything to add.

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