December 5, 2002, 12:00 AM

E-mail filtering forces retailers to new levels of subject-line creativity

The glut of e-mail marketing has increased the popularity of e-mail filtering software, which segregates certain e-mail messages based on the subject line. In response, some retailers are dropping phrases like Free Shipping and Buy Now!!!

The glut of e-mail marketing messages has increased the popularity of e-mail filtering software, which deposits certain e-mail messages into a separate file based in part on wording in the subject line. In response, some retailers are becoming more creative in their subject lines.

EBags.com, for instance, which has more than 1.2 million customer-provided e-mail addresses, is attempting to get past e-mail filters by developing new call-to-action wording for subject lines. Phrases such as “Savings You’ll Love” and “Good News You Can Use” are replacing such stalwarts as “Order Now” and “Receive Free Shipping.” Those phrases contain words that activate e-mail filters. The company is also avoiding the use of exclamation points and dollars signs, two more trigger points for e-mail filters.

“ISPs are getting more sophisticated in parsing out e-mail they suspect to be spam,” says Peter Cobb, co-founder and vice president of marketing for Greenwood Colo.-based eBags.com.

 

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