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Misleading Email Subject Lines

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writing-better-email-subject-lineA well written subject line that teases, shows immediate relevance, and uses copy that motivates can increase consumer engagement tremendously. It can also greatly disappoint if it misleads.

For example, take a gander at the screenshot below, from an email I received recently. While the content of the email is relevant to the item I purchased (flea prevention is the common theme here), the subject line led me to believe this was about something else entirely. “Important news about your order” typically translates to one of three bits of information – your item has shipped, your item is out of stock, or there is some other problem / clarification needed with the order. And that’s the only reason I opened the email. When I realized it was just a sales ploy, I closed out, deleted, and felt a bit deceived.


Was that worth it for this company? Does the “open rate” number someone in their marketing research department reads tell the story of a customer feeling duped?


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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire.

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