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Stop Sabotaging Your Email Conversions: 7 Subject Line Blunders

by Article by Remington Begg Remington Begg | March 10, 2017 at 9:00 AM

The subject line. The gatekeeper of email. If you’re in the business of email marketing, you probably know just how much of an impact this little piece can make on your conversion rates. According to research from Hubspot, 33% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone.

33% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone.

In many ways, the subject line of your email is more important than the body of your email. After all, a great newsletter or offer is worthless if it never sees the light of day, or your reader’s eyes.  

So the next time you’re about to send your email, consider these 7 email subject line blunders that could be sabotaging your email conversions. They’re your golden ticket to standing out in a crowd of flooded inboxes.


7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Email Conversions


1. Your headline isn’t short and sweet

There’s a lot to be said for minimalism – users need you to be clear and concise in your subject lines, as time is always a factor. Studies have shown that 6-10 words is best, and open rates drop after 60 characters.

2. You’re using too much sales jargon

It can be tempting to provide peppy, exclamation-filled subject lines stuffed with a bunch of sales jargon, but it’s not. Instead, go for the simple or question-based subject line. Heck, you may even try a statement. Did you know, the most successful email subject line from Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign was a simple, “Hey.”

3. You’re not personalizing appropriately

Take this blunder with a grain of salt. By that, I mean only personalize when appropriate. You definitely don’t want to freak out your email subscribers. Make your email more like a conversation. Whether it’s using the person’s first name, last name, or even their location data, all of these “personalization tokens” have been shown to significantly increase open rates.

4. Your subject line is missing creativity

When it comes to creating a stellar email subject line, creativity is KEY. You don't want to bore your email subscribers to death. Get this: according to Hubspot, a common problem with newsletter emails is a slow decline in open rates. This means no one is opening the email in the first place. To avoid this plague, try testing out creative, funky copy.

5. Your grammar is off

That’s right. Avoid the spammy nonsense grammar. All caps subject lines are so 2003. Not only do you risk the chance of your subscriber marking you as spam, but you can also trigger their ISP to mark you as spam as well. *GASP* This means no more emails.

6. You’re leaving out a "deadline"

Sometimes a deadline can differentiate your email as priority. Try this tactic by sending out an initial announcement, letting people know about an upcoming date. Then send a follow up reminder a few days later with a tight deadline to act.

7. Your headline is too serious

This makes the seven-ish email subject blunder because we only advise this type of email subject for some. Be funny. Make a joke every now and then. However, use this tactic sparingly and ONLY if your buyers persona can handle it. For example, if your email list contains a group of very serious professionals, this may not be the subject line for you.


Your Subject Line Is Your First Impression

Believe it or not, your subject line is your first —and maybe even your last—impression on buyers. Not only that, your subject lines can define the perception of your brand and provide your business with valuable insight as to what type of messaging and language your buyers respond to.

The next time you write an email campaign, try using these 7 email blunders to avoid as a checklist for success. If your emails aren’t getting opened, they’re probably not getting seen. We know that you have great content to share, you just have to prove it in your subject line.

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