You Moved? I Never Knew You Were Here!

How important is your subject line?

Take a look at the email screenshot below. Let me know if you see the potential confusion that I see.

Business Email Marketing Samples

On the whole, this is a pretty solid email from LegalZoom. It’s a very simple offer, quick and to the point. It contains solid use of preheader text, whitelisting requests, header images, headlines, and content. What’s not to like?

The subject line. Specifically, the first two words of the subject line: “We’ve Moved!”

Should I classify this as an “Oops” or am I missing a Vandals song reference in the title? If it’s not a Vandals reference, then it has to be a mistake given that there is no reference to moving anywhere in the content of the message.

Perhaps a better subject line could have been: “Free Joe Friday! Get Free Legal Advice Every Friday.”

The moral of this story: The subject line is the second thing your recipients look at beyond who the email is from. A misleading subject line can destroy response metrics in a heartbeat.

About the Author: Scott Cohen is Vice President of Managed Services at Inbox Group. He also writes on email marketing, fatherhood, sports, and politics on ScottWritesEverything.com.

8 comments

  1. Great article, Scott. I love the moral of the story. For all the years I’ve been working in email marketing, I don’t think I’ve seen it written quite as succinctly as that.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Monica: Thanks for the kind words. This email made me do a double and triple take, so I felt I needed to simplify the criticism (as there really is only one true criticism with this message).

  2. Nicely done! I too had to look at the email a few times to see if I missed something. It’s amazing that sometimes marketers don’t think about the message from the consumer. We are all so in a hurry to get the campaign out the door, that we fail to pause and think about if the message makes sense.

    Well done!

    1. Ryan: It caught me off guard, as LegalZoom is usually pretty solid from top to bottom (for what they’re selling). Not a huge mistake in the grand scheme of things, but since “We’ve Moved” is first, it could hurt their metrics.

  3. So i’m thinking that Joe might have moved his advice to another day or to another platform (to facebook). If this wasn’t an oops, it was a form of knowledge projection / assuming the reader knows everything. And they don’t.

  4. Whoopsies, indeed! The last thing you want to do is confuse your reader into thinking that something is SPAM, only because it doesn’t make sense to your “everyday reader.” Personally, I find that sometimes people try and be overly clever and sometimes miss their reader completely. Keep it simple : ) Thanks for posting, Scott(s)! : )

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