Enticing your subscribers to open your email causes a mismatch between expectations and actual experience, and it won't pay off in the long run. Misleading subject lines can help increase open rates, but they will also leave subscribers frustrated and disappointed. This, in turn, can lead to higher unsubscribe rates, higher spam reports, and lower click-through rates and, more importantly, could destroy subscribers' trust in your brand. Instead, earn openness, with respectful and relevant posts that earn your followers' time.
Misleading subject lines are against the law The prospect of disappointed and frustrated subscribers should already be reason enough for marketers to steer clear of misleading subject lines. But there's more: In many countries, using misleading subject lines also violates the law. In the United States, for example, the CAN-SPAM Act explicitly prohibits the use of misleading subject headings: "It is illegal for any person to initiate the transmission E-Commerce Photo Editing Service to a protected computer of a commercial electronic mail message if that person has actual knowledge, or fairly implied knowledge based on objective circumstances, that a header of the message would be likely to mislead a recipient, acting reasonably in the circumstances, of a material fact regarding the content or subject matter of the message.
Similar rules also exist in Germany (Telemedia Act) and Canada (CASL and Competition Act), among others. Avis and Budget Car learned this the hard way in 2015 , when Canada's Competition Bureau fined the companies C$30 million for violating Canada's anti-spam regulations. According to the Bureau, Avis and Budget Car had used misleading discount information in the subject line and body text of their promotional emails. Creative or misleading? Share your examples and thoughts with the community Do you have any other examples of subject lines that cross the line from creative to misleading? Share them with the community, chime in as we discuss examples, and help us and our fellow email marketers learn from each other. Share your sample emails