7 Subject Lines You Should Never Write

by | Sep 7, 2015 | Email marketing, Newsletter, Optimization, Subject line

7 Subject Lines You Should Never Write_ReportChimpHow many emails do you receive every day? Probably tons, and you have no time to read them all.

You’re not alone! 33 percent of your subscribers open marketing emails based on their subject lines alone. To boost your open rate, you’d better start polishing yours right away! But first, let’s see how NOT to write your subject lines. Never. Ever.


It’s happened to us all. We’ve all believed that the combination of “all caps + exclamation points” would strengthen our argument. In fact, it is nothing but trouble. Using all caps slows down reading, as people tend to spell the words letter by letter. Moreover, in the digital world, it is as if you were shouting. It’s the same with exclamation points. They give the impression that you are yelling and they won’t help you to further attract your readers. So forget about them and give your readers something tangible to feel excited about.

2. “Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Get Unique Potatoes”

It’s good to encourage your readers to dream of a better life. But in this case, it reads too much like an ad. This is exactly the kind of email you would immediately delete, isn’t it? Your subscribers will probably do the same thing.

3. “Hi Bobby! Get Free Potatoes! 50% Off!”

Refrain from using common or sales words such as “free,” “help,” “dollars,” “urgent,” “percent off,” “buy now,” etc. Also, forget about putting “hi” in your subject line. Such emails will most likely be either marked as spam or ignored.

4. “[BREAKING NEWS] The Most Effective Way To Gain Huge Potatoes (It’s not what you might think)”

A typical inbox shows 60 characters of the subject line; a mobile phone 25. This subject line is 92 characters long, and that is way too long! And since 50 percent of the emails are viewed on cell phones, consider striving for six to eight word subject lines.

5. “Please Open Me!”

You may yearn to get more opens, but don’t beg your subscribers. Begging is not a solution to your open rate problem. If you send them a campaign like this, they will think: “this email is junk” and delete it.

6. “Breaking News! This Will Never Happen, Ever Again!”

Sensationalizing your subject line could mislead your readers. They might feel disappointed if your email’s content doesn’t live up to the hype. What’s important to your organization may not be as vital to your subscribers. If you have groundbreaking news you should, of course, announce it as such. But announcing “revolutionary” news too often might erode their trust. And that would be a shame, wouldn’t it?

7. “Your Latest Potatoes Newsletter — June 2015”

According to MailChimp, boring subject lines tend to have a higher open rate. Still, this one is too generic and descriptive. It won’t entice your subscribers to open your emails. Things like dates, issue number or sender information, don’t do the trick either. Instead of just stating what your email is, tell your readers what’s inside. And focus on some compelling content, so they feel a bit of excitement.

To sum up

Finding the perfect subject line can be a difficult process. But believe me, you’ll always be better off if you refrain from using:
— all caps and multiple exclamation points
— sales and overused words
— long, begging, sensationalizing, and generic phrases.

Oh, and of course, you should pay extra care to grammar and spelling mistakes. They will ruin your credibility!

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