Why Misleading Email Subject is Bad For Online Marketing


This is something that internet users the world over probably face on a daily basis – you open your email inbox to see your usual funny forwards from friends and family, perhaps a newsletter from a website you subscribe to, and a number of emails with strange subject lines. You open these emails only to find they are advertising material that you haven’t asked for. If this grates on your nerves, why would you apply the same online marketing practices?

But what exactly do online marketers mean when they say ‘misleading subject lines’? Ever received an email stating one of the following?

• Notification of payment received
• CREDIT PENDING on your account
• Order confirmation – please save this email
• You must heed this URGENT warning

Have you ever opened them? Guaranteed, unless you have recently ordered something, they are from some marketer trying to sell you something by implying that there is some existing relationship between the two of you.

Basically, the only people who intentionally use misleading email subject lines are those that are trying to sell a product or service that is illegal or unethical. If you are trying to do neither of these things, how do you think writing a misleading subject line is going to help your online marketing campaign?

As soon as a recipient opens an email marked with one of the above subject lines, they will immediately see that the email is not what they thought it was and that the online marketer has lied in order to get them to click on it. All this does is lead them to delete the email, opt out of your mail list and the loss of their trust in the future. This is not a useful or a clever online marketing technique, so avoid its use at all costs.