PR pros, stop using ‘Re:’ in subject lines

It’s a sleazy tactic that will only make you enemies.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

For years spam artists have used “Re:” in subject lines to trick people into opening an email. People will open the email because they think it is a reply to an email they sent. Many phishing attempts use this tactic.

Here are some examples I’ve received in the past few days:

Re: HomeDepot Replacement-Windows-Special

Re: AUTO-DEALS — Cars-Below Kelly-Blue Book Value

RE: Your-Energy Bill-was recently-lowered-by 80%

Re: Automobile Bonanza Sales

A sleazy PR and marketing spam tactic

Sadly, many public relations agencies and marketing firms are now using this deceitful method. They’ll send pitches disguised as a reply to a message.

The sender specifically designs these emails to be confusing. Yes, in normal use “Re:” means “in regards to.” However, at the beginning of an email subject line, the only correct use of “Re:” is in reply to an email.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.