Dylan Boyd, who blogs at The Email Wars, tells the story of an email with the subject line: “Limited time only: save up to 25%! Plus get free shipping.” Within, he discovered more action verbs than you could shake a stick at.

At the top of the email there’s a “Shop now” link; below this, a “Spend More, Save More” campaign touts savings of 15% on orders of $125; 20% off a $200 purchase; and a 25% discount if customers rack up a $250 tab. To redeem the offer at checkout, the copy instructs, enter the promo code SAVEMORE.

But wait, there’s more! Just below this, an offer for free shipping on orders of $125 or more has the promo code SHIPFREE. “Was I supposed to shop?” asks Boyd. “Was I going to save? Would it be free? Or did they just want to test all sorts of ideas in one email?”

Worse, he wasn’t sure what to expect if he clicked through to the retailer’s website. “Would I forget to use the coupon code? Would the coupon code give me all of these things at once? Or would I need to go back and forth … ?”

Boyd offered some quick advice, based on this experience: “[F]ocus on the value and the driver to action. If you give too many messages from subject line to email, you will confuse and possibly lose the sale.”

Calm down. Don’t confuse your subscriber with a flurry of offers in a single email.

Source: The Email Wars.