How To Make Your Subject Lines Sound Less Like Spam

by Ben Smith January 22, 2016
January 22, 2016

Spam. Ugh. Is there anything worse than opening up your inbox and seeing an email that clearly looks like spam, but somehow managed to slip through your filter? There is! When you see that its from one of your favorite brands. And then all the sad feels set in.

Which brings us to today’s lesson! Here are some words and phrases you should be wary of when generating subject lines.

4. Offers

When you’re loading up a message with some head-spinning crazy offers, it’s easy to want to make sure your subject line reflects them to a T. Unfortunately, if your subject line is scant on any other type of vernacular, you could be doing more harm than good. Using words like “Call,” “Deal,” or “Trial” can be a pitfall if they aren’t backed up by non-spammy words. So a subject line like: “Call Today For An Amazing Deal On A Trial Period” could put you in some dangerous waters.

Also be careful of using “No.” Pairing “No” with any number of words (like catch, experience, or gimmick) can make subscribers think twice before clicking on your email.

3. Welcome

Here at WhatCounts we love a good welcome email. But even a friendly “Hello”to your new subscribers can start you off on the wrong foot. Like, literally, that word alone is a bad idea and needs to be dressed up. Also don’t call them“Friend.”

It’s understandable: You want to come off as personable, but it’s really kind of the opposite “Dear Friend” sounds like you just plain forgot someone’s name. There are plenty of other ways to make a greeting for a welcome email sound personable without even using a person’s name. Even something as simple as “Welcome To Our Email List” is more effective.

2. Financial

Sending a financial based email can be kind of tricky. Ever since someone sullied the good name of Nigerian Princes the world over, folks have become wary of financial scams through email. So for starters, be careful using numbers like “Thousand(s),” “Million(s),” and “Billion(s).”

And also look to avoid sounding like a credit trap. Phrases like “Consolidate Debt,” “Pre-approved,” and “Financial Independence” are the wrong kind of buzzwords a financial institution should be using in their email campaigns.

1. Additional Triggers

Obviously, this is a small sample of words and phrases that can give your emails the wrong kind of look. Ultimately, your subject lines should be reflective of your brand and you: Is the voice consistent with other aspects of your company and is final choice something you would click on yourself?

Before you depart, here’s just a quick smattering of other combinations that you should think twice about before sending them to your email list:

  • Visit our website
  • Increase traffic
  • Any pharmaceutical
  • Cancel anytime
  • Act now!
  • Free [literally almost anything unless the rest of the subject line is solid]
  • Great offer
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