Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Email Subject Lines Are Important.

Recently, I had an end user complain about email delivery problems to an intended recipient.  The recipient, couldn't find the message in her spam/junk email folder and we received no bounce back to the sender's domain.
I looked through his sent items and noticed, every time he claimed his recipient had not read the email, the subject line had been left blank.   Sure enough this seemed to be the cause of the problem.  
We use email so much in day-to-day life that structure sometimes is disregarded.   While I agree email isn't meant to be as formal as a true letter, certain characteristics can prevent email from working as planned.
The Subject line of an email notifies the recipient what the email is about and can be used to identify the email at a later date. 
Additionally the subject line is used by Spam filters to determine if your message should be delivered at all.
 If your message is designated as spam, it may be deleted  at the receiving end without your recipient seeing it and with no notification to you (the sender).
Here are some common subject line spam triggers:
  • A blank subject line
  • Abbreviated months (for example, Apr. for April)
  • The word approved, or any derivation
  • Words like at no cost, free, low cost, reduced price or any derivation
  • Subject lines in all capital letters
  • Dollar Signs
  • Using words that attempt to create urgency:
    AccessAct Now!Apply now
    Apply Online Call free Call now 
    Can't live withoutDo it todayDon't delete 
    Don't hesitateFor instant access For Only
    For youGet it nowGet started now 
    Great offer Info you requestedInformation you requested
    Instantlimited timeNew customers only 
    NowNow onlyOffer expires 
    Once in lifetime One timeOnly
    Order nowOrder todayPlease read 
    Special promotion Supplies are limitedTake action now
    Time limitedUrgentWhile supplies last 
You should indicate urgency with the High Importance Button in your email client rather than placing it in the subject line.
  • One word Subject lines.
The most useful Subject lines are formed as short and complete sentences.
Thanks to a post by HubSpot here are some additional words that MAY cause your message to be flagged:
Additional IncomeBe your own bossCompete for your business
Double yourEarn $Earn extra cash
Earn per week Expect to earn Extra income
Home basedHome employmentHomebased business
Income from homeMake $Make money
Money makingOnline biz opportunityOnline degree
Opportunity Potential earnings University diplomas
While you sleep Work at home Work from home

BeneficiaryBest priceBig bucks 
CashCash bonus Cashcashcash
Cents on the dollar CheapCheck
ClaimsCollectCompare rates
CostCreditCredit bureaus 
DiscountEarnEasy terms 
F r e eFast cashFor just $XXX
Hidden assets hidden chargesIncome
Incredible dealInsurance Investment
LoansLowest price Million dollars
MoneyMoney backMortgage
Mortgage rates No costNo fees 
One hundred percent free Only $ Pennies a day 
PriceProfits Pure profit
QuoteRefinanceSave $
Save big moneySave up toSerious cash
Subject to creditThey keep your money -- no refund! Unsecured credit
Unsecured debtUS dollarsWhy pay more? 

Accept Credit CardsCards acceptedCheck or money order 
Credit card offers Explode your businessFull refund 
Investment decision No credit check No hidden Costs
No investmentRequires initial investmentSent in compliance
Stock alert Stock disclaimer statement Stock pick 

Avoid bankruptcyCalling creditorsCollect child support
Consolidate debt and creditConsolidate your debtEliminate bad credit 
Eliminate debtFinancially independentGet out of debt
Get paid Lower interest rateLower monthly payment 
Lower your mortgage rateLowest insurance ratesPre-approved
Refinance home Social security number Your income


Dear [email/friend/somebody] FriendHello

AdAuto email removal Bulk email
ClickClick belowClick here
Click to remove Direct email Direct marketing 
Email harvest Email marketing Form
Increase sales Increase traffic Increase your sales
Internet marketInternet marketingMarketing
Marketing solutions Mass email Member
Month trial offerMore Internet TrafficMulti level marketing
NotspamOne time mailing Online marketing
OpenOpt inPerformance
Removal instructionsSaleSales
Search engine listingsSearch enginesSubscribe
The following formThis isn't junk This isn't spam 
Undisclosed recipientUnsubscribeVisit our website
We hate spam Web trafficWill not believe your eyes 

Cures baldness DiagnosticsFast Viagra delivery
Human growth hormoneLife InsuranceLose weight
Lose weight spam MedicineNo medical exams
Online pharmacy Removes wrinklesReverses aging
Stop snoring ValiumViagra
VicodinWeight lossXanax

#1100% free100% Satisfied
4U50% offBillion
Billion dollars Join millionsJoin millions of Americans 
MillionOne hundred percent guaranteed Thousands

Being a memberBilling address Call
Cannot be combined with any other offer Confidentially on all orders Deal
Financial freedom Gift certificateGiving away
Guarantee Have you been turned down? If only it were that easy
Important information regardingIn accordance with lawsLong distance phone offer
Mail in order form Message containsName brand 
Nigerian No age restrictions No catch 
No claim forms No disappointment No experience 
No gimmick No inventory No middleman
No obligationNo purchase necessaryNo questions asked
No sellingNo strings attachedNo-obligation
Not intended ObligationOff shore
OfferPer dayPer week
Priority mailPrizePrizes
Produced and sent out Reserves the rightShopping spree 
Stuff on saleTerms and conditionsThe best rates
They’re just giving it awayTrialunlimited
UnsolicitedVacationVacation offers
WarrantyWe honor all Weekend getaway 
What are you waiting for? Who really wins? Win
Winner Winning won
You are a winner!You have been selected You’re a Winner!

Cancel at any time CompareCopy accurately 
GetGive it awayPrint form signature
Print out and fax See for yourselfSign up free today 

FreeFree access Free cell phone 
Free consultation Free DVD Free gift
Free grant moneyFree hostingFree installation 
Free InstantFree investment Free leads 
Free membership Free money Free offer 
Free preview Free priority mail Free quote 
Free sample Free trial Free website 

All naturalAll newAmazing 
CertifiedCongratulations Drastically reduced 
Fantastic deal For free Guaranteed
It’s effectiveOutstanding values Promise you
Real thingRisk freeSatisfaction guaranteed 

Thanks to HubSpot for the list of common Subject line Triggers.