Don’t Let Your Message Get Lost In An Inbox


Subject line




Many business owners are looking for ways to promote their businesses without spending lots of money on marketing tactics. One thing you can do is utilize the tools you already have at your fingertips and incorporate them effectively to get the word out to your clients.

That’s why I highly recommend, email marketing. But before you begin, repeat after me … it’s the subject line is what matters most. According to Jupiter Research, 35 percent of email users open messages because of what’s contained in the subject line. Jupiter Research also mention’s that,  including the company name in the subject line can increase open rates by up to 32 percent to 60 percent over a subject line without branding. 

So what are some key things to remember when writing a marketing email to your clients and prospects?

  1. Keep your subject line short. Just like Twitter and it’s 140 character limit, email subject lines also follow a character limit for success. Limit your character count to no more than 40 characters. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t even question it. If you look in your inbox right now, my guess is subject lines that are longer than 40 characters, quickly get passed over.So get to counting those letters.  Which leads me to the next point.
  2. Make your subject line attention-grabbing, eye-popping and timely. We have all done it. Created an email with the subject line that was boring. Looking through current emails that are in my inbox, examples include: Hello, February e-news, Need Help? and of course my favorite of all time, Good Day. If you really want to catch your customer’s attention and get them to actually open your email, you need to communicate directly and call out their name in a crowd. A crowd of emails that is.  Personalization: Speak directly to the reader. (i.e. James, need a new accountant?, Carol, have you tried Toasty O’s yet?)  Curiosity: Create an reason to read further … open that email! (i.e. Laura, is a blue car right for you?, A Hippo is your perfect pet )  Urgency: Now is the time to open the email as tomorrow may be too late. (i.e. Just three days left to tango, John; Ads Due Tomorrow, Discounts Today, Jim)
  3. Watch Your Wording: Avoid words without meaning or words considered as spam. You don’t want the words you use to work against you when you write a subject line. It’s a proven fact that even if your subject line isn’t considered spam, using certain words can affect your open rate negatively.  Don’t use the following words according to MailChimp’s 2007 study documented on Email Stat Center:

Help , Percentage Off and Reminder

And when it comes to SPAM … the following words should be avoided:

50% off!
Click Here
Call now!
Earn $
Eliminate Debt
Double your income
You’re a Winner!
Reverses Aging
Information you requested
“Stop” or “Stops”
Lose Weight

Multi level Marketing
Million Dollars
Cash Bonus
Promise You
Satisfaction Guaranteed
Serious Cash
Search Engine Listings


It makes sense to spend some time thinking through those 40 characters before you send out your next marketing email. It’s more than just words, bottom line you want your customer’s to open the email from you. Take a look at your past efforts and make a commitment to think through future wording. It can make an impact on you business. Make sure it’s a positive one.

Here’s to superb subject lines,

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages



Filed under Advertising, Business Development, copywriting, Marketing, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Don’t Let Your Message Get Lost In An Inbox

  1. Ron

    Wow, so that is how my spam filter works. I’ve wondered but never did any research on it. Thanks for the enlightenment.

    PS I’m a little confused with “… it’s the subject line is what matters most.” ????

    PSS I really enjoy the blog. It keeps me grounded when I am considering possibilities for earning money.

  2. Always happy to help inform. The reason I say “the subject line is the most important” is because most people look at the subject line first to determine if they open the email or not. Therefore if you don’t have something intriguing here, many people won’t open, especially businesses.

    I am glad you enjoy my blog. It’s nice to have such valuable feedback. Keep reading and thanks for your support.

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