What not to use in email subject lines? Avoid these common mistakes


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safeguarding personal and confidential information has been at the forefront of my profession. Email communication has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives, making it more important than ever to be mindful of the information exchanged through email. One simple yet crucial aspect of email communication is the subject line. It can make the difference between your email being opened or ignored. In this article, I’ll be sharing my insights on the top mistakes to avoid in email subject lines. So, let’s dive in and ensure that we all communicate more effectively while keeping our information secure.

What not to use in email subject lines?

The subject line of your email is the first thing your recipient sees and can make or break whether they even open it. To make sure your email stands the best chance of being opened, there are several things you should avoid when crafting your subject line. The following are some of the essential things not to use in your email subject lines:

  • Unspecific subject lines: Avoid using vague, unclear subject lines. Your subject line should give your recipient a clear idea of the content of your email.
  • Forgetting preheader text: The preheader text is the short line of text that appears just below or beside the subject line in the recipient’s inbox. Use this text to provide additional context and entice them to open your email.
  • Not using the urgency of your subject line: Depending on the nature of your email, using urgency can be an effective way to grab your recipient’s attention. However, avoid false urgency or overuse of this tactic.
  • Inadequately preparing for mobile: With the majority of emails being read on mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure your subject line is optimized for mobile. Keep it short and catchy.
  • Subject lines are shouted in: Avoid using all caps in your subject lines, as this can come across as aggressive or spammy.
  • Making use of special characters: The use of special characters like emojis, symbols, or excessive punctuation can also come across as spammy or unprofessional. Use them sparingly.
  • By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create subject lines that are clear, concise, and effective in getting your emails opened and read.

    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. Avoid using irrelevant words or phrases that have no relevance to your email content. It may give a negative impression to the receiver.
    2. Don’t use all capital letters as it appears as if the sender is shouting or too demanding.
    3. Avoid using promotional words like “free” or “discount” excessively in the email subject line as it may trigger spam filters.
    4. Avoid using offensive or controversial language that could offend or mislead the receiver, such as cuss words or discriminating language.
    5. Avoid using vague or superfluous phrases that do not give away the intent of the email, as it could lead the receiver to ignore or delete it. Be precise and to the point.

    one of the most common entry points for cyberattacks is through email. Many people use email as a primary method of communication, both personally and professionally. However, email is not always 100% secure. Attackers can use email as a way to send malicious files, links, and messages that can compromise your computer or network. It is essential to be careful when using email, starting with the subject line. This article will discuss what not to use in email subject lines.

    Writing unspecific subject lines

    One of the biggest mistakes that people make in email subject lines is being too vague. An unspecific subject line makes it challenging for the recipient to understand the purpose of the email and prioritize it appropriately. It also makes it more likely that the recipient will overlook the email or delete it without reading it. Avoid using subject lines like “Hi” or “Just checking in.” Instead, try to be more specific. Here are some examples:

    • Good: Follow-up on meeting yesterday
    • Better: Send over the marketing report from the meeting yesterday
    • Best: Urgent: Marketing report needed by 5 pm today

    Notice how the subject lines become increasingly specific and urgent. This tactic will help your emails stand out in a crowded inbox.

    Forgetting to include preheader text

    Preheaders are the short summaries that appear underneath email subject lines in most email clients. Preheader text serves as a second chance to pique the recipient’s interest and encourage them to open the email. A common mistake is to forget to include preheader text or to use generic text like “View this email in your browser.” Avoid this mistake by using the preheader to expand on your subject line and add new information. Here are some examples:

    • Bad: Confirm your subscription to our newsletter
    • Better: Confirm your subscription to our newsletter and receive exclusive weekly content
    • Best: Confirm your subscription to our newsletter and receive exclusive weekly content
    • don’t miss out!

    Notice how the preheader text complements and enhances the subject line, making the email more enticing.

    Neglecting to use urgency in subject lines

    Urgency can be a powerful tool in email subject lines, but it should be used sparingly and honestly. Using false urgency can damage your credibility and annoy your recipients. However, if you genuinely have a time-sensitive message or deadline, incorporating urgency can help get your email noticed. Here are some examples:

    • Good: Reminder: Meeting at 2 pm
    • Better: Urgent: Meeting in 30 minutes
    • location change
    • Best: Action needed by 5 pm today
    • urgent email request

    Notice how the urgency increases with each example. However, it is essential to use urgency responsibly and only when it is appropriate.

    Failing to optimize for mobile

    More than half of all email opens occur on mobile devices, so it is crucial to ensure that your email subject lines render correctly on a small screen. Long subject lines can get cut off on mobile devices, making it even more important to be concise and clear. Here are some tips for optimizing your subject lines for mobile:

    • Use short, concise subject lines
    • Don’t use special characters or emojis that may not display correctly on all devices
    • Preview your subject line on a mobile device before sending

    Remember, your email subject line is the first impression that your recipients will have of your email. Make sure it is clear, concise, and optimized for mobile.

    Using all caps or shouting in subject lines

    Using all caps or exclamation points in your subject line is not only obnoxious but can also trigger spam filters, making it less likely that your email will reach its intended audience. Avoid using all caps, multiple exclamation points, or using excessive punctuation. Instead, focus on creating a subject line that is engaging and to the point.

    Adding special characters to subject lines

    Special characters like emojis and symbols can be used to add personality to your subject lines. However, they can also be displayed incorrectly on some devices and make your email look unprofessional. If you choose to use special characters, make sure to test how they display on different devices and email clients.

    Overpromising in subject lines

    Overpromising in your subject line is a surefire way to disappoint your audience and damage your credibility. Make sure that your subject line accurately reflects the content of your email. Avoid using deceptive language or sensationalized claims to get your recipient’s attention. In the end, be honest, clear, and concise in your email subject line, and you are sure to see positive results.