Two of the Biggest Mistakes in Subject Line Creation

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Email Marketing

When you get an email in your inbox, the From line and subject line are typically the first things you see. These elements are important because they help you make that important decision about how to move forward with that email:

  • Should you open it?
  • Should you delete it?
  • Should you mark it as spam?
  • Should you just ignore it?

During our recent Focus roundtable, the topic was the importance of email subject lines. Andrew Kordek, Chief Strategist and Co-Founder of Treadline Interative, and DJ Waldow, Founder and CEO of Waldow Social, discussed with Craig Rosenberg of Funnelholic the two biggest mistakes marketers make when it comes to creating subject lines.

What are the biggest mistakes email marketers make with their subject lines?

Mistake #1: Treating the subject line as an afterthought. 

According to Andrew, “the biggest mistake that marketers make today is waiting until the end to do the subject line” and then rushing through it. He encourages marketers to consider subject lines during the email creation process.

“Don’t treat [an email subject line] as an afterthought. Don’t wait. Make it part of the process,” adds Andrew.
Mistake #2: Not testing your subject lines.

According to DJ, “In general, if you have the tools available to do subject line testing and you’re not doing it, that’s a mistake. So many email providers today make it so easy to test, especially when it comes to subject lines.” Unless the email is so urgent that you can’t wait a couple of hours for the results, DJ says marketers should test most, if not all, subject lines.

“See what works best for your audience; don’t try to guess how they’ll react.”
A lot of people treat email as if it’s cheap, free and easy, but as Andrew reminds us, “it’s your brand and reputation every time that [an email marketing campaign] goes out the door.”
Get more insights about email marketing and creating compelling subject lines: Listen to the full Roundtable recording, “How to Write Email Subject Lines that Convert.”


What tools have lead to your email marketing success? Where do you still struggle? Share your story by leaving a comment below.