Your prospect takes only a second or less to assess your email and decide if they want to open it; the wrong subject line can derail your efforts and make your marketing stats plunge. No matter how good the contents are, your prospects won’t see them if they are not interested enough to even open your email. The following poor subject lines and errors are common made and easily avoided, if you know what to watch for:

1. Spammy Looking Subject Lines

What do you do when you receive an email that looks like spam? Chances are you delete without even opening. From capitalizing odd letters in words to incorporating words like “free!”, “offer!”, “save!” and lots of exclamation points, the more spammy your subject line looks, the less actual people you’ll reach. Target your subject lines and tailor them to your prospect to make a better impression and improve your chances.

2. Sneaky, Fake Familiarity with “Re:” or :Fwd:

It may seem like sending an email that pretends to be a response to a customer query is a good idea, but it will actually scare away prospects. Even those that fall for it will feel duped when they read the contents and discover a marketing effort. Dump the fake “Re:” and take a targeted, direct approach that does not rely on deception.

3. Ditch Slang, Poor Spelling and Emoji

While these may work in the body or resonate with a specific audience, using slang and emoji instead of text or simply misspelling words will turn your prospects off. Even if you know your target group loves emoji, it won’t show up well on some devices – and may even present in a way you did not intend. Use slang with care and only if it feels authentic for your brand. All this being said, some brands have found great success by including casual language and emojis in their customer communications. Feel out your target demographic and react accordingly.

4. Using the Wrong Name in the Title

If you are using a program to send your emails in bulk, make sure your database is correct. If you miss-code the subject line or have errors in your information, you could be sending emails directed to “Bob” to “Mary” and vice-versa. Subject lines with mistakes in personalization are worse than no attempt at customization at all and can scare your prospects away.

5. Clickbait Subject Lines

It may have worked once, but save Internet users are tired of clickbait. Use subject lines that sound like clickbait with extreme caution – most of us will just click on by without opening if a subject seems to fall into this category.

Avoiding these common and annoying subject line errors can help you boost your mail metrics and ensure your prospects are actually opening the pieces you’ve worked so hard to create. Your subject line is the reader’s first glimpse into your content, and if you scare them away they’ll never get to learn about your great content, promotion or offer.