If your emails are going into the spam folder, you may want to re-evaluate the subject lines you choose. E-mail service providers have their own filters in place to detect possible spam mails. The most important part of an e-mail’s content that can affect your campaign is the subject line as it is the first thing that a recipient sees while going through all the emails in their inbox. If your e-mails are going directly to the spam inbox, there is a very high chance that your message would be deleted even before the recipient opens it.

In order to avoid the spam filter, you need to lower your spam score. Ensure that your email subject line follows these best practices to reduce the chances of your email going into spam:

  1. Don't start your subject lines with questions such as “Do you like/want/have…?" as this triggers a particular response from the spam filters.
  2. Don't use more than 2 punctuation marks in your subject line. Multiple punctuation marks raise your spam score. Make sure you avoid using exclamation marks in the subject line, especially when it is preceded by a question mark (?).
  3. Avoid using all caps. This will definitely trigger the spam detectors, and could be off-putting to recipients.
  4. Make sure your subject line is relevant to your email content.
  5. Avoid subject lines which begin with “Re:” or “Fwd:”, especially when sending to first time customers as this could get marked as spam right away. Subject lines starting with "Re:" or "Fwd:" are considered deceptive because a lot of marketers use this tactic to trick customers.
  6. Keep your subject lines short and sweet. A subject line with approximately 20 characters works best.
  7. Don't use spam words in your subject line. E.g. “Completely free,” “$” sign and any % that’s more than 100.
  8. Use keywords wisely. Don't bombard your subject line with a bunch of keywords since this could get your email straight to spam.
  9. Try not to use hashtags in your subject line. Research studies have found that subject lines containing a single hashtag had lower engagement (opens/clicks) rates. In one study, average engagement rates were only 10.5%, compared to engagement rates of 17.2% from emails with no hashtags. Hashtags don't serve a real purpose in email subject lines and could also interfere with a recipient's ability to search for your email.
  10. Be careful with emojis. Emojis could be viewed differently for every browser, and some browsers may not even recognize the emoji resulting in the emoji being blocked. Test how your emoji would look on various browsers with this list.

Tip: Look through your e-mail account’s spam folder and observe the kind of subject lines that these mails have. This will give you an idea of what not to do, and combined with the tips provided above, you will surely create a perfect subject line.

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