Common Mistakes of Marketing with Email: Constructing a Subject Line

oopsEveryone, including us here at the Mission Suite, talk an awful lot about the “Do’s” of marketing with email, but we often shy away from the equally important “don’ts”. These negative approaches to marketing with email are easy pitfalls to avoid if you can spot them, but they’ve derailed far too many unwitting email campaigns in the past. Here we’ll discuss some of these common missteps so that you know how to market with email without making your reader immediately hit the “delete” button.

Believe it or not many studies, including this one from Bluehornet, have determined that the most important thing when marketing with email is the subject line. This simple line can almost entirely decide whether or not a consumer will even open your email once it reaches their inbox.

Effective subject lines will be concise and directed, which sounds easy enough. But even the most experienced email marketers will often include terms in their subjects that at first glance seem effective, but really broadcast Delete Me in big, bold letters. A few overused words scream “spam” and they will nearly always land your email in the junk pile. Let’s take a look at how to avoid these words and craft an eye-catching subject line.

In a world of flooded inboxes there is very little room for another boring “newsletter”. Consumers are searching for value and engaging quality content, not one more newsletter about what your company and its goals. When marketing with email avoid deletion and mold your subject lines to demonstrate the value that your email will deliver.

Avoid the word “buy” in your subject lines. You want to have readers reaching for their wallets, but not to make sure that your money-grabbing hasn’t already emptied them. No matter how good your product or pitch is, very few people are overeager to throw their money at you. Marketing with email should focus not on what readers can give you but instead on what you have to offer them. By focusing on the value you provide and creating a subject line based around that, you will garner many more opens and eventually many more sales.

In the same vein as avoiding the word newsletter also avoid using terms like “free update”. The sad reality of the matter is: no one really cares. No one really cares about how well your company’s been doing, or a major breakthrough you’ve recently discovered. That is to say, no one cares unless it benefits them. So keep that in mind when crafting subjects for marketing with email: always be demonstrating how you are going to help the reader.

A fairly simple way to determine if you have crafted an engaging subject line is to imagine it in your inbox. Would you read the subject on your email and immediately send it to the trash? Or would you be engaged enough to open it and read a little farther? Through daily experience with email nearly everyone has become well-versed in marketing with email, the trick is applying all of that latent knowledge to your next email marketing campaign.

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