Four Sure Fire Ways to Tick Off Your Subscribers with Email Subject Lines
Email marketing remains a steadfast component of any marketing guru’s arsenal. While a variety of more advanced and seemingly effective strategies have emerged in recent years, the classic email still offers true effectiveness where it counts: a targeted list of those who have demonstrated interest who can be contacted for free. With that being said, email marketing can be tricky in today’s world of constant bombardment. With so many people receiving so many emails, the audacious and bold strategies we see from some are sometimes necessary, but sometimes detrimental to their cause. Email subject lines are the first thing someone sees when they receive your email – how should you (not) approach it? Below, we’ll talk about five sure-fire ways to alienate your subscribers so that you can avoid this fate.
Spammy Subject Lines
It can be easy to forget that every email user slowly becomes accustomed to the tactics of all email marketers. One of the most common bad subject lines revolves around the “spammy” or “opportunity” angle. This pertains to email subject lines that start with “Congratulations, you have…”, “You have been chosen”, “You have a [xxxx] waiting”, “Sign up now”, and many others. In many cases, this type of headline tries to convince someone that there is something of importance specifically awaiting them, when in fact, it is a mass email. Your email may even get caught by a spam filter if you’re not careful.
Scarcity Subject Lines
Pinging servers with emails is a mass strategy, yet some are convinced that their subscribers will believe that everything is a last-minute opportunity. The scarcity subject line revolves around the concept that there are “Not many left” of a certain product, that this will be “Ending soon”, that someone only has “One last chance” to grab a great deal, and so forth. Most people instantly recognize this for what it is, and there is no real evidence to suggest that using this subject line actually increases conversions.
Ridiculous Claims Subject Lines
While this may at first sound similar to the spammy subject lines, the ridiculous claims subject line opens with a more blatant and obvious irritant. If you have ever seen those comments on blogs (and everywhere else) about how “my aunt makes $858 per hour working 30 minutes from home….” type posts, then consider this subject line to be similar in nature to that. The subject line tries to lure people in by asserting that something that is clearly unrealistic is a mere click away. Most people have learned that these attempts are not credible; consider your credibility debunked with an audience if you use this.
Adjective/Scream Subject Lines
These are most commonly seen where individuals are trying to generate attention or outrage over a cause or pet project. Perhaps the most common way in which these are used are in political emails. Examples include “UNBELIEVABLE”, “SHOCKING”, “YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENED”, and so on. The adjectives and accompanying words with these subject lines can be quite creative and eloquent at times, evoking the desired mental imagery and (hopefully, for them) a call to action. Unfortunately, this tactic has been way over-used and people are increasingly ignoring those who are pinging servers with these subject lines.
In order to avoid making the biggest mistakes in subject line usage (and in order to preserve your dignity and credibility with subscribers), be sure to avoid screaming and sensationalist subjects, ridiculous claims, the illusion of scarcity and spam-like attempts for attention.