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6 common marketing email subject line mistakes to avoid

Tarun Mittal
24th Feb 2017
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You may have drafted the perfect marketing email. It may have the most appealing design, the most compelling copy, and the most enticing call-to-action. But unless its recipients open it, all your efforts are in vain. The subject line is the only tool marketers can use to convince their subscribers to open their emails. Creating the perfect email subject line, therefore, is of paramount importance. And since we've already covered that before, here are six common mistakes made while writing marketing email subject lines that you should avoid:

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Using all caps and too many exclamation points

Capitalising your subject line gives the impression that you're shouting at your email's recipients. Subject lines like ‘BUY NOW AND SAVE 20% !!!!’ come across as spam and your recipients won't bother opening it – which is the best case scenario. Do this repeatedly and your subscribers will mark your emails as spam in no time. The same goes for using too many punctuations, especially exclamation points. However, using an exclamation point or question mark once or twice in every 50 emails you send is proven to increase open rates by 10 to 20 percent.

Using spam-trigger words

To combat the barrage of irrelevant emails that people's inboxes receive every day, email services have developed sophisticated filters that scan for particular trigger words. If these words are found in your subject lines, your otherwise legitimate email is marked as spam. HubSpot has compiled an entire list of spam-trigger words out of which the most commonly used are 'buy', 'earn', 'click here', and 'subscribe'.

Click-bait subject lines

Writing click-bait headlines may have helped the likes of BuzzFeed and ScoopWhoop acquire massive audiences, but that tactic is not going to help your email marketing efforts one bit. Writing subject lines like ‘this product is going to change your life!’ and ‘follow this link and win an AMAZING surprise!’ will surely see all your marketing emails end up in the trash or spam folder.

Misleading recipients

If your subject line is something along the lines of ‘flat 50% discount for all our existing customers’ but the email copy solicits the recipients to sign up for a webinar to avail the offer, you've just annoyed a valuable customer and destroyed your credibility. Delivering what you promise every single time is essential for maintaining trustworthiness, which is something every brand needs to create an effective marketing strategy.

Lengthy subject lines

Your subject line has a second at most to convince recipients to open the email. Writing lengthy subject lines filled with unnecessary words is a sure way to get recipients to ignore your emails. Marketers should always follow the maxim of ‘keep it short and simple’ while drafting email subjects. It should convey all the important information, while generating curiosity, to the recipient in 50 words or less.

Grammatical errors

Another point that warrants a mention is proper grammar and spelling. While it may seem blatantly obvious that an email's subject line should be free of typos, quite a few of them aren't. To make sure that your marketing emails don't fall in that category, proofread your emails a few times before sending them out.

This rounds up the list of common mistakes you should avoid while writing the subject lines for marketing emails. If you can think of any other ones besides these, share them with us in the comments below.

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