19 terrible email subject lines

The author looks at her spam folder—and her inbox—to identify and chuckle at some real stinkers. Come along for deride!

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About once a week, I open my spam folder and scan the subject lines to see what not to write in an email subject line. The best email subject lines should be concise and straightforward and give the reader an idea of what the email is actually about.

Here are some examples of the worse email subject lines I’ve seen. These are from real emails:

Register to Win Your FREE iPod!! This one is so generic, I skip right over—don’t even see it.

Meeting Request: Introducing our new SEO Software. We need to meet to discuss your new SEO software?

Laura, did you receive my last email? My answer to this question is “no” and to hit the delete button.

Laura, can we meet? The personal touch is a bit creepy, especially since I have no idea who you are. And no, we can’t meet.

Positive thought for the day. Positive thoughts by email—what a great use of this communication technology.

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