Is your subject line sending your email straight to the trash?

By Luke Petterson

Well, that depends. Does your email subject line length rival some Shakespearean lines, or is it concise and to the point? Does it frequently include the words Reminder, Help, Percent Off or FREE? For that matter, IS IT WRITTEN ALL IN CAPS? According to several best practices studies done on the open rates for HTML emails and newsletters, the above might get your email ignored in a long list of inbox subjects lines or even netted in a spam filter before it even gets to it’s intended recipient.

So, what’s to be done to increase your open rate and try to avoid those pesky spam filters?

First, don’t use the 4 words mentioned above – not only do they trigger spam traps, but open rates on emails with those words in the subject line have dismal open rates.

Second, NEVER USE CAPS. Not only is it considered rude (in ‘net etiquette, it’s the equivalent of YELLING), but it’s also a technique frequently used by spammers – not someone you want to associate with.

Third, keep your subject line short. Under 50 letters is ideal for most newsletters. Along those same lines, a subject that tells what is of interest inside generally gets better open rates than those that try to sell or tease.

Basically think about which emails you open and which you send straight to the round file when faced with that daunting list in your inbox – you’re not the only person pressed for time and annoyed by spam, so what would get you to open that letter?

Originally published on the Absolute Blog.