WE’VE ALL SEEN THE SUBJECT LINES FROM OUR INBOX SCREAMING “SPAM!” AT US. “FREE IPAD!” “BAJILLIONS OF DOLLARS ARE WAITING TO BE CLAIMED, GRAB YOURS NOW!”
We are trained to recognize them and in general, Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail are also trained to recognize them and send them straight to the junk pile. Subject lines are important, we know that. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the magic formula for writing a 100% successful subject line. At eROI, we test and test and test for our clients and I wish that we had the key (aside from offering a free iPad).
The Guardians of the Email Fiefdoms all have their proprietary filters and just because you have the words “free” or “uncle in Nigeria” in your subject line does not automatically relegate you to the junk folder.
Deliverability is a cumulative thing with many factors. The main one is your reputation. Do you send unwanted payday loans or are you offering your (hopefully) opted-in subscribers something they need and want? It’s not 1990 and an engineer is not manually adding spam keywords on a punch card into their mainframe. Google and others have some pretty smart people working for them
and artificial intelligence is a real thing.
The key here is putting yourself in the client’s shoes. What would YOU like to read and what would you like to open? Make it relevant, test it, track it, measure it.
SUBJECT LINE BEST PRACTICES (SOME OF THESE SHOULD BE OBVIOUS):
Keep it short. 50 characters or less is best.
- Avoid excess use of spam words such as “free,” “cash,” “click, “guarantee.”(Ultimate list of Spam words)
- Set expectations for the contents within. Three things should be in alignment
- Subject line
- Email content
- Landing page
- Use spell check and then have someone else read it for errors.
- Test, Test, Test the open rate
- Adjust based on tests