Effective Email Subject Lines and How Not To Look Like Spam

A few years ago, email marketing seemed to be the newest and best marketing opportunity available to anyone with a computer and an email account.  However, thanks to SPAM, it has ruined email marketing for a lot of busiensses. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way to use email marketing to your business’ benefit.  The business just needs to make sure that it has a strategy and that it follows the strategy.

The first thing that every company needs to do is to follow the wishes of the person at the other end of the email.  It should be easy to get off the list.  The link should be visibly marked “unsubscribe.”  When that link is selected, the person should stop receiving emails from the company.  There really should not be any argument or questioning why, it should just be done as a form of common courtesy.  Maybe the company can send a confirmation email, but that should be the end of it.   Of course, the company can save itself a lot of this trouble if it only sends emails to people who have said they wanted them.  Creating a group who gets emails is a great deal for everyone involved.

Big Stock / fuzzbones
Big Stock / fuzzbones

The email sent out should be more than an advertisement.  Even when a person has signed up for advertisements, he or she is more likely to delete an email that only has advertisements in it without ever actually opening the email.  Instead of just an advertisement, the email can have an interesting tidbit in it or a good quote from someone famous.  These are not things that will take up a lot of room, but when done well, they will create interest in opening the email – and email is only good when it has been opened and read.

The subject line should be clear about what is in the email.  Subject lines like “Hi,” “It’s been a long time and “What are you wearing?” scream “spam” with the last one possibly screaming “stalker” or “pervert.”  Instead the line should read something like “Quote from famous guy and offer from store.”  Anything that is not misleading and allows the person to delete the email unread if the person is not interested in the content within the email.

The email should also include a positive identifier that the email is from where it says that it is from, and those who subscribe to the email list should know what that identifier is.  Large companies say that they will never ask for a person’s password in an email.  Other companies say that all emails will be addressed by name to the person at the email account.  Having a clear process for contacting people on the email list makes it less likely that they will click on a link that takes them to a page that looks like the business’ page but is actually someone trying to gather personal and credit card information in a fraudulent manner.

Email marketing can still be effective even with all of the scams in the virtual marketplace.  As long as the business is smart about its strategy, it can keep its customers safe, happy and in a buying mood by following the rules outlined above.  Common decency, even if it seems out of style, should be the first rule.  By following the wishes of the people at the other end of the email account, a company can avoid the hassles that come with being known as spam.


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