Think of all those cheesy phrases you’ve used in the past to break the ice and initiate conversation with somebody who caught your eye. Here are a few of the cheesiest, sleeziest, overused, and somewhat cliché pick-up lines that come to the top of my head…

If I received a nickel for every time I saw someone as beautiful as you, I’d have five cents.

Do you have a BandAid? I just scraped my knee falling for you.

If being sexy was a crime, you’d be guilty as charged!

Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only ten I see!

Now, if someone approached you with any of these “all-to-common” pick-up lines, would you fall into the trap and continue conversation? Or would you just laugh in their face and walk away?

First impressions are everything. According to researchers from NYU, It takes the average person 7 seconds to make 11 major decisions about another person. Once you make a bad first impression, you are constantly fighting an uphill battle just to get a second chance.

So why would anyone take a risk and use a poor and overused opener to get the attention of his or her audience?

This brings us to the topic of the importance in crafting an attention-grabbing, unique, and remarkable subject line if you intend to reap the benefits of email marketing. A good subject line can be the difference between an email campaign with extremely poor deliverability and open rates and one with “out-of-the-ballpark” open rates that contribute heavily to your bottom line.

Consider the following subject line that was used to promote a sale for Spiegel, an online retail clothing store.

Outwear SALE, NEW MARKDOWNS! Wear-Now Styles From $29!‏

Although it may be obvious as to why this subject line was listed under the 2011 Subject Line Hall of Shame, here are a few things that you should avoid when you are brainstorming subject lines to promote your offers.

1. Make sure everything is spelled correctly. If you are promoting a sale for “outerwear,” be sure not to mistakenly try and sell “outwear,” something that doesn’t even exist.

2. Refrain from the use of capital letters. Are you really trying to shout at your customers? I don’t think they would appreciate that. Also, as if capital letters weren’t enough, do you seriously want to stress your point further with an exclamation point?

3. Ever since the Can-Spam Act of 2003, spam filters have been more effective in blocking emails with what is considered “spammy” words in subject lines. It’s a good idea to avoid these entirely if you want to increase your deliverability and open rate. A few of the most common words or characters that tend to get trapped by spam filters are free, dollars, $, sign-up, advertising, sale, click here, call now, act now, order now, register now, guaranteed, subscribe, etc.

4. Just a word of advice, make sure that your subject line is not misleading and is actually relevant to your offer. The last thing you want to do is to try and pull a fast one on your potential customers, especially when your subject line is the first form of communication with your audience.

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