Most Hated eMail Subject Lines 2

Please Don’t Use These eMail Subject Lines

A recent survey made a list of the eMail subject lines that business people hate. Hate sounds like a strong word, but in this case the emotion is strong. There are eMail subject lines that people really don’t like to see.

Opening, or continuing an eMail conversation with one of these subject lines will have an impact on that conversation. It may also have an impact on the business relationship.

If there are eMail subject lines that people don’t like to see then it would be a great idea to know what they are. In the second half of 2018, Adobe’s Consumer email Survey listed the following eMail subject lines as the most hated:

  • Not sure if you saw my last email…
  • Per my last email…
  • Per our conversation…
  • Any update on this?
  • Sorry for the double email…
  • Please advise…
  • As previously stated…
  • As discussed…
  • Re-attaching for convenience…

I’d also add a couple more to things to avoid:

  • If it is your first contact, do not put “Re:……..” in the subject line to try and encourage someone to open your eMail
  • Another approach people do not like, because if feels aggressive to the recipient is, “Just to Clarify…”

Can you see the common approach in these eMails?

  1. They all have a passive / aggressive approach
  2. They are all a bit vague

The same survey also asked where people opened work eMails and by implication whether they were paying full attention. The volume of eMails people get mean that people generally aren’t paying full attention. It’s the subject line which grabs attention. If you use a subject line (or similar) to those listed earlier then you have less chance of your eMail being opened and actioned.

Most Hated eMail Subject Lines

What are the best subject lines to use?

Be clear about the content of the eMail, be specific.

There is no magic list of subject lines to use. If there were, in a couple of years they would also be on the most hated list!

Think about who you are writing to. They’re busy. Your reason for writing is that either they have something you can fix, or they can fix something for you. Be specific about what this is in the subject.

Clarity and a reason for them to open your eMail is essential. If you follow this approach then you have the best chance of your eMail making it through the daily waterfall of eMails.

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