Good subject lines are unique to each brand, but there are some universal no-nos when it comes to writing them. A subject line will often determine whether your email is opened and given a chance, or put into the digital trash can to become “junk mail.”
Not many brands want their newsletters and email campaigns to become junk mail, right? And good news for you, we know of quite a few gutters to avoid on your journey to email marketing success.
Here are ten things you should avoid, or in other words, ten guaranteed reasons as to why no one will open your email.
Reason #1: Your Email Subject Lines Aren’t Exclusive Enough.
We all know that being inclusive is usually a great thing, however, inclusivity doesn’t always work best when it comes to subject lines. People like to feel special. Try words and terms like, invitation, limited time, deadline, or VIP could enhance your open rate.
Reason #2: Your Subject Line is Never Negative.
Yes, you read this one right. Sometimes having a positive subject line all the time might not work. Did you know that negative subject titles could have higher open rates? One marketer named Derek Halpern used a negative subject line to increase his open rate by 35%. Use phrases like the worst, completely wrong and impossible. Did you notice that the title of this article is a negative title? And here you are.
Reason #3: You’re Always Too Loud.
Sometimes being loud can be a good thing. A bright graphic, a powerful song. But when it comes to subject lines, being loud is a no-no. You don’t want to have your viewer feel like they are being YELLED or SCREAMED at. Doing so could even scare them away. And your email could end up unread and in the trash.
Reason #4: Your Subject Line Won’t Shut Up.
Subject lines should be kept as short as possible. Twenty-seven percent of emails are opened from mobile devices. And some mobile email tools will cut subject lines off at twenty-five characters. It’s not too great if the title is cut off for a fourth of your audience. Simple mistakes like this could result in unopened, unread, possibly trashed emails.
Reason #5: Your Great Subject Lines Lead to Not So Great Content.
Now, I know that we are talking about subject lines here, but hear me out. Great titles need to be backed up by great content or else the open rate will drop over time. It’s quite similar to books. You may find a book with the best title out there, open it up, the writing and story line are awful? You’ll probably find yourself a new book.
Reason #6: You Hate Bullet Points.
Some people get lazy when it comes to learning new things. It takes up a lot of their time and energy which most people don’t have. Why read five pages of information when it could be shrunk down into five bullet points? This article? We are keeping it short. We don’t want to bore you. Do the same with your emails. Your viewers will be grateful, trust me. And they might keep coming back for more.
Reason #7: Your Reader Doesn’t Trust You.
You want to build trust with your audience. If they like what they see, you will find that they keep coming back for more. Your audience will open your emails if they believe they will find valuable or useful information. If you don’t build trust and they don’t trust you, to the spam folder you’ll go. Try to keep your content themed and consistent so the reader can trust that they’ll know what they’re getting every time they open it up.
Reason #8: No Sense of Value.
Sure, your subject line and content could be fantastic, but if there isn’t a tangible payoff for your viewer, they will lose interest. You need to be giving them something real. Whether it’s knowledge they can apply immediately, or a great deal for something they really want or need, they need to be gaining something from your emails in order for them to return. No value will result in more unopened emails.
Reason #9: Wrong audience.
Sending out emails to the wrong audience will also result in unopened emails. Make sure that the audience that you have developed over time is the right fit for your brand.
Reason #10: No “from” field.
Do the best to your ability to make these emails personal. If your emails are being sent from “the company,” “information” or “sales,” it will be too impersonal for your audience. Like I said, it’s sometimes the small details that bring the big picture together.
You want to improve your reputation. Build a unique relationship with your audience, make sure that your content is of value to them in some shape or form. Even adding in some bits of humor couldn’t hurt, right? You don’t want to be boring. Boring emails are rarely opened.
Avoid and correct all of these mistakes, and you should be on the right path towards success.