Subject Line Mistakes to Avoid when Sending Emails

Home » PR Fuel » Subject Line Mistakes to Avoid when Sending Emails

Chances are that email is one of your most frequently used communication tools. You probably use it to send your press releases to reporters and to market to your customers and prospects.

One of the most important parts of any email is the subject line. Not only does the subject line play a huge role in determining whether or not someone will open your email, it also helps determine whether or not your email will be delivered in the first place. A bad subject line could actually cause your message to get flagged as SPAM.

With so much riding on your subject line, it’s important to make sure you get it right, and to do that you need to avoid these big mistakes.

Mistake #1: Using spammy words

Including certain words in your subject line can trigger SPAM filters and prevent your emails from being delivered. Some of the words you should avoid include:

  • Free
  • Buy
  • Money making
  • Opportunity
  • Make money
  • Cash
  • Hidden
  • Success
  • Sex
  • Click
  • Guaranteed
  • Win/winner/won
Save 30 percent reach 1.7 million journalists

For a complete list of email SPAM trigger words, check out HubSpot’s full list.

Mistake #2: Using all capital letters

Some people mistakenly believe that using all capital letters in their subject line is a great way to get the attention of the recipient. What they fail to realize is that using all caps is a great way to trigger SPAM filters, and even if your message gets through, it’s annoying, makes you look shady, and just isn’t professional.

Mistake #3: Being unclear

The purpose of the subject line is to let the recipient know what your email is about. You want to be clear and compelling so the recipient will open your email to read more.

Too many times, senders sacrifice clarity in an effort to be clever or to make their email seem more important than it really is. Here’s a pretty easy way to determine if your subject line is clear enough. Show just the subject line to a friend or colleague who hasn’t read the email, and ask them to tell you what they think the email is about. If they’re unable to answer correctly, it’s probably a pretty good indication that your subject line isn’t clear enough.

Mistake #4: Being misleading

Want to lose the trust of your recipients immediately and permanently? Lie to them. Your subject line should always match the content of the email. If you’re misleading in your subject line, your recipients will feel duped, killing any chances of them responding to your offer and earning their mistrust forever. Be clear and honest.

Mistake #5:  Not getting the length right

When it comes to subject lines, size matters. If your subject line is too long, it won’t display fully, and the recipient might not understand what the email is about. If it’s too short, you might not do a good job of conveying the message of your email. From my experience, you can typically come up with a good subject line that’s about 5 to 10 words in length.

Are there any other major subject line mistakes I left off this list? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here:

Send A Press Release - Save 30% !