My friend, you are in trouble

That was the subject line of an e-mail message this morning. I knew it was spam—knew it—but I still had to open the message, just to be sure I wasn't really in trouble. Of course, it was spam.

But it made me think about what cuts through the clutter of hundreds of spam e-mails I get on my corporate e-mail address. Sometimes, I glance at the name first, and have caught myself from deleting messages whose subject lines look like spam. Others, like this morning's, give me pause. But still, I wonder how many legit messages I delete because of their subject line, and I kick myself several times daily for being fooled by subject lines that sound like they might be legit.

The reason I'm babbling about this is because, with so much meeting marketing going to e-mail these days, what subject lines are most likely to get through both electronic and human spam filters? If anyone knows of any research on this, I'd love to hear about it. This is only going to become more of an issue as we increasingly rely on e-marketing. Several years ago, when we first started our e-newsletter (and while X-names were still somewhat cool), we called it MeetingsNet Xtra. We found out in short order that the capital X wasn't making it through corporate firewalls, and changed it to "Extra."

I'd be curious to know what others' experience with all this has been. (E-mail me or drop a comment below if you have any words of wisdom on this one.)

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