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From Oops to Opportunity: How to Fix Common Email Mistakes and Capitalize On Them

Apr 3, 2024

Once in a while, you see a very specific type of email roll into your inbox. Its subject line screams something like “Oops! We made a mistake!” and its contents apologize for whatever was previously sent. Mistakes like this happen to all of us. 

However, there are many more common, subtle email mistakes that marketers fall prey to. These happen when email subject best practices fall to the wayside, are unknown, or are simply ignored. As a result, subject lines can sound spammy. Content isn’t personalized. You can’t strike the balance of what to say and when to send

Below, we explore three honest oopses in email marketing. And—most importantly—we show how to turn things around, creating opportunities by way of effective email subject lines that drive engagement and revenue.

write your best email marketing subject lines and fix mistakes with AI

Oops #1: Your Subject Lines Sound Spammy

You likely already have a feeling of what makes emails, well, feel spammy. In a world where 180 billion spam messages are sent every single day, we’ve all seen our fair share of them. 

Crafting effective email subject lines that keep things real is the most critical way to avoid spam filters. To do this, you need to first understand what triggers spam filters, then use the tools at your disposal to write subject line copy that not only avoids getting flagged, but draws peoples’ attention in their inboxes. 

Ensure your email marketing subject lines aren’t at all spammy by simply avoiding the following:

  • Avoid spam trigger words and phrases: Words and phrases associated with deceptive or overly aggressive marketing tactics, such as "Earn $" or "100% Free" are two examples.
  • Excessive capitalization, punctuation, and clickbait tactics: While a fun use of capital words/letters and exclamation points sometimes work (millennials love it), deploying all caps to the point of excess will get your emails flagged. Tread carefully here and don’t write content with clickbait-y promises either.
  • Lack of compliance with CAN-SPAM Act: Simply make sure that your subject lines reflect what’s actually inside your email.
  • Ensure your sender name is familiar: What’s one of the easiest ways to get flagged as spam? What inspires people to unsubscribe? They need to know who you are. Do use your brand name (unless you’re mega famous). Don’t change your sender name too frequently. But do try to spice things up from time to time. You can get some great tips on sender name strategies here.

Of course, with best practices in mind, the fastest and easiest way to create great email subject lines that won’t get caught up in a spam filter is with generative AI. Backstroke’s email subject line generator allows you to pick exactly whom you’re sending to, so its outputs are custom, compelling, and super clicky to your subscribers. Try it now.

Oops #2: You’re Not Optimizing Subject Lines for Mobile

Sure, we constantly glance at our inboxes while on our work computers, but mobile devices account for 60% of email reads. That leaves a lot of opportunity to optimize content for smartphones’ small screens! 

To optimize for mobile devices, be sure to: 

  • Keep it short and sweet: If your audience tends to check email on their smartphones, as 59% of millennials do, your most effective email subject lines’ length will be around 25-30 characters. This is because mobile devices typically display 40-50 characters.
  • Distinguish the device your audience uses: iPhone? Android? Owners of these devices have varying content preferences. When using Backstroke’s email subject line creator, simply select their preferred device. AI will craft content that drives Apple or Android people to click and convert.
  • BONUS TIP: Strike a balance on when to send: Just below Backstroke’s mobile device filter, you’ll see a filter where you can select how frequently your subscribers check their email. This understands exactly how much or little audiences similar to yours want to hear from you, and crafts contents around those preferences.
Backstroke's AI email subject line filters

While we know that 61% of consumers enjoy hearing from brands weekly, each type of email list contains nuance here.

Oops #3: Personalized Email Subject Lines Aren’t On Your Agenda

Personalization within marketing drives 5-15% more revenue, according to McKinsey. And companies with faster growth rates acquire 40% more of their revenue by way of personalization. 

With these metrics behind content personalization, combined with the data available at marketers’ fingertips and advancements in natural language processing, crafting personalized content for every single subscriber is easier than ever. 

In fact, Backstroke’s subject line checker offers one-click filters that apply audience insights to the great email subject lines it generates. These include:

  • Gender: Men? Women? Both? Decide in a click.
  • Income: How much is their household making?
  • Age: Select from Boomers to Gen Z . . . and everyone in-between.
  • U.S. Region: East Coast? West Coast? South or Midwest? You can target based on geo-location
  • Emojis: Does your audience ❤️’em? Hate ‘em? 🚫Feel indifferent about ‘em? 🤷
  • Slang: Make your content slay all day by applying the slang filter . . . or stick with a more classic copy approach.
  • Seasonality: Are you sending during a special season? Want AI to reference warm weather in the interesting email subject lines it generates? You can tell it to.
  • Personality Sliders: Do your subscribers prefer content that plays it safe or stands out? Slide the personality scales around to tell the generator exactly who you’re sending to. 

Go Forth and Create Opportunistic Emails

You’ve acknowledged the oopses. And you’re armed with how to turn them into opportunities. Now’s the time to go forth with this knowledge and generate the most effective email subject lines for your subscribers. 

Thanks to the power of AI, it’s easier than ever to turn your digital marketing efforts into effective, revenue-driving opportunities. In fact, Backstroke’s customers are driving revenue with our email subject line generator right now.

Click here to learn how and to see their successes.

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