Subject Line Sunday: July 6

I know I keep going back and forth between Subject Line Saturday and Subject Line Sunday, but it’s honestly just going to be whenever I have time to write. I’ll get on a real schedule someday. But you’ll be happy to know I’ve reviewed every email in my promotions tab, and have a spreadsheet filled with things to write about. But first, some subject lines that caught my attention for all the wrong reasons, one that was really good, and one that is flawless.


1. NORDSTROM RACK – 7/3/14

Subject line:  It's On! CLEAR THE RACK is Here

Whoops. Don’t forget to send yourself a test email. And if you’re a retailer, you might want to double-check and make sure your subject line looks right in Gmail.

Speaking of weird characters…

2. MICHAEL KORS – 6/27/14

Subject line: Don’t Miss Out祐hop Our Summer SALE! 

Okay, I’m sure we can all figure out what happened here. According to Google Translate, the character between “Out” and “hop” means “Help.” The subject line was actually a secret cry for help targeted toward MK’s Japanese-speaking subscribers. It’s pretty obvious their subject line writer, who is likely Japanese, was kidnapped by Michael Kors to write subject lines, and this person is trying to escape.

3. GAP – 7/1/14

Subject line: What are you waiting for, ?

Personalization can be extremely effective for open rates. We all know that. But when the personalization doesn’t quite work, well… not so much. I don’t know if this was a mistake for everyone or just me. When I registered for emails using this address, I made my first name “ES,” so I’d at least expect to see that here. I didn’t get this email in my personal email account (and Gap should DEFINITELY know my name there), so I don’t know.  The lesson: If you’re going to personalize a subject line, spot check, scrub your list, and have a default name to use if it makes sense. Another option would be to pull a segment of subscribers who don’t have a first name filled in, and send them a different subject line altogether.


4. DILLARD’S – 6/28/14

Subject line: Add’I 30% off clearance today, 6/28/14

I’m just curious why they abbreviated “Add’l” here. The subject line wasn’t terribly long, and a few extra characters wouldn’t make or break anything. Or perhaps they just read this article about the ideal length for any piece of content on the internet according to SCIENCE. (Subject line ideal length: 28 – 39 characters. Dillard’s, you could have left out the date and spelled out “Additional.”)


5. STAPLES – 6/27/2014

Subject line: Dollar. Days! Dollar. Days!

I don’t even know what this was. My best guess is that they were trying to make it sound like some kind of chant, possibly tying it in with World Cup excitement. It was just really oddly punctuated. It got my attention though, so there’s that.



Subject line: Oops! We shrunk our satchel…

I liked this one. It’s a nice subtle reference to some great 90s kids movies, and it makes it pretty clear what they’re promoting – a smaller version of their satchel bag. And the “Oops!” at the beginning grabbed attention because everyone loves to see someone fail (and if you don’t, why are you reading this blog?), and made people want to see if they had made some mistake. Nice subject line!

And finally…


7. BANANA REPUBLIC – 6/29/2014

Subject line: You woke up like this. 





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s