digital marketing
By Carrie-ann | Jun 14, 2017 | Email marketing

Email marketing and words to avoid.

Writing a good subject line for your emails is essential, but there is certainly an art to it. So which words should you avoid?

In a world where most companies are having a sale most of the time, consumers are less likely to respond to the word sale in a subject line. Research carried out by MailChimp suggests that words such as reminder, help, % off and free all tend to set spam filter alarm bells ringing. While you can use the sale word, it is best to do so sparingly, in a clear and concise manner.

Words such as perfect, wonderful and good can all significantly reduce open rates. Others, such as awesome, are also so overused they have lost their true meaning.

Monday and Friday
Include days of the week in a subject line and open rates will drop instantly. The worst culprits are Monday and Friday, most likely due to events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when the sheer volume of emails promoting them can really put people off.

Assist, Help and Donate
According to MailChimp, these are all a big no no for open rates, so should be avoided. Instead replace these with words like ‘fundraise’, which does much better.

If you use numbers too much, customers can begin to tire of them, which reduces their impact. Instead, mix up your messages as much as possible.

Internet slang
Even if a particular word is trending on social media, using it in your email header could backfire. Terms such as bae, flex, basic and so on very quickly fall out of fashion, so it is best not to use them. Hashtags also serve little purpose and can actually confuse recipients.

Deceptive terms
Putting Re or FWD in the subject line gives people the impression that the email is in response to an ongoing conversation. When they open it to find it is a marketing email, they feel deceived. This creates distrust and the chances of them opening your next email are next to nil.

Studies show that using the intended recipient’s name in a subject line makes no positive difference to the open rate. In fact, it can come across as too needy. Add to that the chance of getting it incorrect, and it’s best to steer clear of this method altogether.

Symbols and too much punctuation
Hearts, stars, random shapes and an abundance of exclamation marks all reduce open rates, as do square brackets. Many symbols simply won’t show up in some recipients’ emails, while others may look like an error. Emojis are also an area in which to tread carefully. Some have a positive effect on open rates, while others have the opposite effect, so do some research before including them.

Content marketing
When sending out content marketing emails, subject lines which use words such as webinar, book, learn and report all tend to disappoint recipients. Conversely however, the words bulletin, news, content and video all work well.

While all of this can feel very confusing and hard work, some careful research and a watch on open rates will help you to determine the most effective words over time.