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Contact South West Web MarketingHow To Write The Perfect Email Newsletter headline

Hi [insert name] welcome to our awesomely helpful blog post!

There’s an art to writing a good email subject line. If it’s a personal email to somebody that knows me, they’ll be expecting something obscure, weird or occasionally offensive. However if it’s a marketing email sent to a relative stranger, there are definitely some things you’ll want to avoid.

Consulting a number of experts, sources, our own research and my own personal experience, I’ve compiled this list of words (plus the odd phrase or experimental bit of text) that you should avoid when composing the perfect killer marketing email newsletter.

Why are email subject lines so important? Econsultancy contributor Parry Malm has this to say: “Your subject line is without a doubt the most important part of your email campaign. You get 100% eyeshare from it regardless of whether or not an email is opened. ”

Of course there’ll be some examples here that have actually succeeded for some companies within particular contexts and this is by no means exhaustive or comprehensive, it’s just a loose guideline.

Selling without selling

Free: this tends to trigger spam filters, especially if you’re a company that hasn’t been mixing up its marketing messages and bombarding your recipient's in-box with repetitive offers. Also according to MailChimp… Help, % off and reminder are regularly discarded. Basically anything too outwardly ‘salesy’ doesn’t work: “shop early and save 10%” or “holiday sales event” are failures.

Just describe the content of your email in the most straightforward and concise manner possible, without making it sound like an advertisement. Try ‘newsletter’ or ‘promotion’ instead, thereby rewarding your recipients with a discount after opening. According to Adestra, save, today and don’t miss are lousy for triggering opens too. Last chance: people hate to think they’re missing out on an opportunity they’ve already been emailed about.

Charity

Mailchimp has found that donate is a big loser for open rates. Help and assistance are also to be avoided. However in slightly more heart-warming news, fundraising is fine.

Numbers

Using numbers may help quantify your message, but constant sales and promotion emails can lead to fatigue. Mix it up as much as you can.

Tiresome internet slang

If it hasn’t dated already, chances are somewhere and for someone, it already has: LOL, amazeballs, WTF, derp, FTW, epic fail, epic win, cray-cray, totes, adorbs...

Deceptive familiarity

FWD: and RE: the artificial adding of ‘Fwd:’ or ‘Re:’ to trick you into thinking this is part of an ongoing conversation you’re engaged with already only creates distrust.

WRITING IN ALL CAPS - Keep the noise down!

Content marketing

According to Adestra, content marketing headlines that use report (-23.7% opens, -54.8% CTR) and webinar (-16.6%, -70.7%.) fail to live up to expectations. As do the words book and learn, you uneducated lot. Video, news and bulletin do work well though.

Erroneous personalisation

Personalisation means nothing if your data isn’t correct and you don’t have 100% confidence in it. “Paul check out these amazing offers!” when my name is Christopher, or even worse “[test] check out these amazing offers!” In fact using a person’s name doesn’t really impact the open rate anyway, and can come across as needy or begging.

Punctuation shame corner

All of these…

• Exclamation marks – the more the less I want to open it.
• Smiley faces - or emoticons or emojis or anything with a face in fact.
• Stars, squiggles, indistinct shapes – basically anything that isn’t actual text.
• Hearts – bleuggh!

[Putting anything in square brackets] or <these guys> immediately makes you think there’s been a coding error. Although just to add balance, I did learn that travel site Travelocity achieved a 10.7% lift in unique opens by using a little airplane in its subject line. Which proves that relevancy to content and uniqueness is imperative to proper symbol use. However, just remember that symbols appear in some email clients but not others. It may just be a waste of time anyway. Plus it’s annoying.

Miscellaneous

Awesome: Just stop using it. Everywhere and at all times. Apart from when describing this article! :)!!!

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Tags: SEO, Content Marketing, ECommerce, Newsletters

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