The holiday shopping excitement may have started early this year, but we’re still in spooky season. It’s also prime time for email marketing and ecommerce promotions. Which means it’s the worst time of year to make a mistake with your subject lines. Competition is fierce and online shopping is up. Don’t fall victim to these common subject line mistakes, or your email campaign could turn into a horror show. Set yourself up for success this holiday season by avoiding these errors.
1. Incorrect Personalization
Have you ever received an email addressed to <NAME> or “Smith,” when it clearly should have been “Joe?” This is due to either a CRM system or personalization field not being set up properly. Make sure you first and last name fields are accurate, and that your connections are valid to avoid this common faux pas. Incorrect personalization is worse than no personalization at all, and can send emails to SPAM folders quicker than you can say “Boo!”
2. Typos and Goofs
Typos can happen any time of year, but the pressure is on as holiday shopping kicks into high gear. “Free shopping” instead of “Free shipping” is an expensive proposition. Always draft emails, including subject lines, outside of your Email Service Provider. Spellcheck isn’t enough; you may type a real word, but it might not be what you meant. And send a test email to double-check! You don’t want to leave even a Jack-O’-Lantern flicker of doubt.
3. Improper Truncation
There are guidelines and best practices for email subject lines and preview text, but different devices and operating systems can vary a bit. It’s important to test what you can and remember that less is more. And by that, we mean abide by the most conservative character counts, or risk a weight loss subject line that ends with “it’s time to die…” instead of “it’s time to diet.” Because that is a scary phrase any time of year.
4. Misleading Topics
A lot of research has been done on the words and phrases that get more email opens. These are great to implement. Just make sure they work for your business and your content. It’s a very scary surprise to open an email promising a “free white paper” or “sneak preview” to find nothing of the sort. Deliver on your subject line, or risk being haunted by the ghosts of unfulfilled promises.
5. Gimmicks and Gags
Some brands see great success with emojis and keyboard floral arrangements. But it depends on the company, the makeup of your email list, and the associated Email Service Providers. Odd character strings can often trigger the SPAM filter. And even if it doesn’t, it could raise a red flag to your email list. Avoid a smiley face leading to scary-low open rates by segmenting and testing a small portion of your list first.
6. Leftover Test Text
This final mistake may be the most terrifying of all. Yes, there are times when “test” is a valid word in a subject line, but more often than not it means a template or placeholder wasn’t updated. Always, always double and triple check before hitting send.