If you even begin typing in a search for spam terms to avoid in email subjects, it becomes immediately clear that email marketers spend a lot of time worrying about getting past spam filters and in front of their readers. But as Hubspot recently pointed out, there are really 2 sets of filters between you sending an email and your contacts reading your message.

The first is the complex filtering system used by email clients, which is sensitive to words, phrases, symbols, and styling (like all CAPS). The second barrier is your contacts’ own filter that determines whether or not they will open your message if it does reach their inbox.

There are infinite lists of words to leave out of your messages in order to avoid being kicked into the spam folder, so we won’t add to that torrent here. If you’re curious, a Google search is all you need.

Instead, we’re going to look at the traits of the messages that do make it into the inbox and are opened by readers. The what, when, and how, if you will.

In terms of the ‘what’, in the aforementioned Hubspot article, they offer a list of the 6 attributes to consider when crafting your subject lines. In short, they are:

1. Deliverability
2. Actionability
3. Personalization
4. Clarity
5. Brevity
6. Consistency

As for the ‘when’, the infographic below from Mailer Mailer offers some surprising insights. It appears from their research of 1.2 billion emails sent in 2011, that Sunday is the optimal day when it comes to both open and click through rates. The best time? Midnight.

To answer the ‘how’, see the chart at the bottom of the graphic It appears that brevity really is key with subject lines. In their research, 4-15 character subjects performed the best, with a 15.2% open rate. So try to keep it short and sweet.

What kind of insights can you share from your own email marketing efforts? We’d love to hear about them!

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