Top 3 Email Subject Line Pet Peeves That Needs to Stop

Photo Credit: @kxcxks

Have you ever gotten a text in all caps and wondered, “Why on earth is this person shouting at me?” That’s exactly how your subscribers feel when they see an all caps subject line in their inbox. Last week we uncovered the secrets to crafting a compelling subject line, but now it’s time for a lesson on what not to do. Even if you formulate short and sweet subject lines, and test them amongst your audience, making these common mistakes can still hurt your open rates.


Don’t cry “Freebie” or “Urgent”

Creating a little mystery to spark intrigue is one thing but blatantly tricking your audience is a major no-no. You may get them to open the email and scan it for their so-called “free item” but chances are your open rate will drastically decline in the future. Even writing URGENT in an email that doesn’t require immediate action can cause readers not to trust your business, and this is the last thing you want for your reputation.

What to Do Instead

Subject Line: [Customer Name], We’ve got big news!

Preheader: Take a peek at this interview with our CEO


Don’t be mistaken for spam

Subject lines that read “open me,” or “hey, let’s chat” are not the least bit clever and your subscribers will most likely keep scrolling past your email. Your subject line should consist of keywords that capture their attention and make them want to read more. There’s also a chance that this type of subject line will send your email straight to the spammer.

What to Do Instead

Subject Line: Thanks for stopping by for your [Service]!

Preheader: Tell us about your experience


Don’t use all caps

This will grab your audience’s attention all right, but not in the way you may have intended. It’s okay to cap up a specific word for emphasis, if appropriate for your brand voice, but writing your subject line in all caps suggests that you’re shouting. How would you feel if someone wrote you an email and said: “HEAD TO OUR SITE & SHOP 50% OFF. TODAY ONLY” Aggressive isn’t it? Instead, try the formula below.

What to Do Instead

Subject Line: 50% Off Storewide Sale! Ends Midnight.

Preheader/Preview Text: Ready. Set. SHOP!


Now that you know how to craft your email subject line learn how to master the rest of the email to keep your audience interested.








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KWSM is a digital marketing agency made up of brand journalists. We specialize branding, positioning and ongoing marketing execution in order to generate leads. Our offices are located in Orange County, CA, San Diego, CA, Las Vegas, NV and Atlanta, GA, but we serve clients all over the country. Read More