6 Ways to Write the Worst Possible Subject Line

Today’s my birthday (seriously, yes, I know)! In the course of doing research for a new post, I realized something- there’s a ton of information on how to write the best possible subject line, but what about those people who just want a really mediocre subject line? I’m going to support those people in today’s post: 6 options for writing the worst possible subject line.


Testing your subject line internally? Go ahead and just make that your subject line. Why waste time and effort being creative or making your email seem interesting? People love schadenfreude, give your clients what they want!

You’re sure to get your email ignored or deleted if you make sure to send out the same test subject line you used when you were testing it internally.

2. Use the same subject line. Use it again. Now use it again.

Nobody likes variation in their inbox or information on what they’re about to click on, so it’s important to make sure you find an extremely boring subject line and stick to it. As a bonus, that will help your prospects with developing client mail filters to make sure they never ever see your emails. Consider some lines like:
-Update for
-Deals for %%first_name%%
-Weekly newsletter

This is a great way of making absolutely sure that your emails don’t stand out in the inbox at all. Keep using the same tired subject lines and you’re bound to keep your engagement low. Maybe they’ll even unsubscribe from your list!

3. Use thoughtless, lazy personalization

It’s clear that personalization in emails is a great way to get prospects to open your email, so surely you should use it in all of your subject lines. Be sure to pepper it in randomly, especially if it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Some terrific options might be:
-(first name), get a great deal.
-Come shop, (first name), (last name)
-Dear (first name) from (company_name)
This is an especially great idea if you know you have a less than clean database. Nothing’s better than sending an email subject line with something like “grdtyfjhcgvbjknl, get a great deal”. It shows that you don’t really put much stock in having a clean database and definitely aren’t interested in legitimately being personal with your email sends.

4. Try to fit as much of your email as you can into one line

People don’t have time to read your email, so it definitely makes a lot of sense to write a novel within that subject line. Bonus points if you don’t add any spacing – that’s precious real estate that you could be filling up with letters! The best practice here is to keep your subject line short and to the point, to convince your prospect to open that email. However, if we’re not trying to write a good subject line, go ahead write that novel! See how many words or characters you can stuff into your subject line before you get cut off.

5. Lie about the content of your email

This is a great way to both write a terrible subject line, and enrage the prospects who do open your email, so that they’ll never open it again. You’re going to need to write a really good lie in order to get them that angry, so I’ve included some suggestions:
-80% off the whole store! …………………just kidding
-EVERYTHING IS FREE for today only!
-Free puppies!
You’re definitely going to succeed in making me really angry with that third subject line. The best way to get people to unsubscribe or ignore your future emails is to make sure you lie to them about what the content of your email is. As a bonus, it might even be questionably legal (I am not a lawyer), so you’d be getting in a double whammy.

6. Think of your subject line as an afterthought

This is perhaps the best kept secret of terrible subject line writing: make sure you write all of your email copy before you even think of a subject line. It’s even better if the subject line has almost no real focus or relation to the email copy. If you combine this with the other five tips here, you’ll have one mega bad combination that’s bound to make your prospects unhappy!

That wraps it up for today’s April Fool’s post! Take your newfound April Fool knowledge from today’s post and do the exact opposite of everything you’ve just read. Go forth with thoughtful subject lines, clean and creative copy, and honest subject line information!

Continue the conversation over at Twitter, @holobachgirl. Tweet me with your worst subject line ideas!

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