Email subject lines: 5 things to avoid

Crafting good email subject lines that will appeal to a vast, unpredictable host of customers is inherently difficult. The difficulty is trying to find a system or style to use every time without getting repetitive. I’ve already written about what you should include, but today I’m going to tell you what NOT to do.

Ease off the superlatives

If you’re anything like me, when you see an email titled “Amazing, Ultra, Super new product line released today!!!” I scroll straight past. However, if you want to represent your product and still seem authentic – stick to one.

Calm it down a little

Somewhat related to my last point; “TALKING LIKE THIS WILL NOT MAKE ME WANT TO OPEN YOUR EMAIL!!!!!!!”. I mean, if you were selling something face to face, shouting in their face wouldn’t be your go-to tactic.

Deceptive Familiarity

For those of you who are unaware, this is when a business/scammer will add ‘Re:’ or ‘Fwd:’ to the start of the email to trick you into thinking that you’ve already engaged with this person. Sure, this might boost your open rates but it will also create an immediate distrust with your client – the last thing you want.

Be careful with spam filters

Terms like ‘free’, ‘% off’ or ‘help’ will sometimes trigger spam filters, so be careful. So, if you you have a sale on try and describe it concisely – if the sale is worth looking into you shouldn’t have to sugar-coat it.

Leave the slang to your clients

Listen, if you want to appeal to a younger audience, telling them that our “cray-cray offers are on fleek” will bring you nothing other than embarrassment. Same goes for hashtags, they have absolutely no purpose in your email subject lines.


If you don’t believe me, try it yourself. It can’t hurt, surely? If you feel you need a helping hand with your email campaigns make sure you get in touch. Sharp Monkeys is a digital marketing agency based in Worcester.