Email subject lines are extremely important. Whether you’re applying for a job, communicating with co-workers or informing your customers of an upcoming promotion, your subject line is what determines whether or not your email is going straight to spam.
It’s little wonder then that marketers go all out when it comes to crafting email subject lines. In fact, according to Litmus’ 2016 State of Email Design, subject lines are the most A/B tested email element. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, many marketers fall through the crack with hilarious and even embarrassing results. Don’t believe us? Here are some real-world examples of embarrassing subject line mistakes.
Truncated subject lines
There’s a reason why the optimal length of email subject lines has been hotly debated over the years. Create a subject line that’s too short and it comes off as vague. Have a subject line that’s too long and it could be confusing or, worse, be cut off in the inbox in ways that are super embarrassing. Check out this truncated subject line from Café Rouge launching a special holiday promotion.
Talk about sending the wrong message. Here’s another from Yahoo Sports.
The thing to learn from this is, whatever your subject line, always conduct testing to ensure that it turns up right in your subscribers’ inboxes.
Improperly displayed emoji 😭
As mentioned in our previous blog post, emoji are a great way to add emotions to your emails and capture the attention of your audience. Unfortunately, not every email client supports emoji and, even if they do, might not correctly display your smileys and emoticons. That means, your subscribers may see a distorted image of the emoji, this ▢ or, worse, a long string of code in your subject line.
To avoid this, always test your emails before they’re sent out. That way, you can be sure that your subject lines will make your subscribers 😊.
Appearance of placeholder text
In short, a placeholder is a bit of text that can be added to an input field, and this text can be seen by your subscribers. While this text disappears once you start typing something in the input field, marketers sometimes miss this step. When this happens, placeholder text can accidentally sneak through to become part of the subject line like so …
Obviously, that’s not good nor professional. The only way to prevent this from happening is (you guessed it!) testing.
In conclusion, to avoid embarrassing mistakes, keep these three simple rules in mind when crafting those subject lines:
1. Keep your subject lines short and straight to the point.
2. Proofread and check every field of your email subject lines.
3. Test, test and test again whenever and wherever possible.