Avoid These 6 Email Subject Line Mistakes

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, 6 Tips for Writing Email Subject Lines, the subject line in your survey email invitation is an essential aspect of your entire campaign. It is an element of the survey research process that could make or break your expected survey response rates.

What are the chances that respondents will actually open your survey email invitation and complete your survey? Unless you create a subject line that grabs respondents’ attention, they are likely to ignore it or delete it. Therefore, it is in your best interest to carefully plan your subject line.

As you work on your plan to create the “perfect” subject line that complements the content of your invitation, keep in mind the following 6 mistakes to avoid

  1. Single word subject lines – Single word subject lines such as “survey” are too vague. Communicating your intentions with just one word is ineffective and can cause potential respondents to ignore or delete your invitation.
  2. Spam keywords – Avoid using spam keywords and phrases. Typical spam keywords include: free, money, percent off, gift, deal, and sign-up.  The spam filter may not block all messages with these keywords, but keep in mind, the respondent may perceive these emails as spam if it makes it into their inbox.
  3. Spelling and grammatical mistakes – Spelling and grammatical mistakes in your subject line and in the content of your invitation can have a negative impact on your survey response rates. Spelling mistakes in a subject line give the perception that your organization does not care about their projected image or can be perceived as being lazy, which can deter potential respondents from opening your survey invitation and completing your survey.
  4. Not linked to content – Subject lines must have a direct connection to the survey in your invitation. For example, if you send a survey invitation requesting the completion of a healthcare study, then make certain that you indicate this in your subject line – “Please complete this short study about healthcare”
  5. Making it look automated – If your subject line looks like it was generated from an automated online email service, recipients will assume that it was. This takes away from the “personalization factor” of your survey invitation. Avoid terms used by automated email services such as “You’re invited to take our survey” or “An invitation to complete our survey.”
  6. Beg for attention – Begging for attention is extremely unappealing. Avoid using subject lines such as “Please take my survey.” Begging for attention will only deter potential respondents.

Carefully plan the subject line of your next email survey invitation by keeping these 6 critical mistakes in the back of your mind. Avoiding these mistakes can have a great impact on boosting survey response rates.

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