Improve your Subject Lines like Never Before

A recent infographic by Sikich pointed out that email marketing can be up to 20 times more effective than other marketing channels, but to get there you need subscribers to open your emails first. The key to that is the subject line.

Following the success of our 2013 Subject Line Report, we’ve decided to take it to the next level for our 2015 edition. So you can use real insight when creating your subject lines.

We analyzed more than 3 billion emails across four industries and picked over 300 keywords to share with you.

Some of the key findings of the 2015 Subject Line Report

  1. Courtesy and timing lead to top performance

Looking at the top 10 best performing keywords across all industries, we’ve seen both ‘thanks’ and ‘thank you’ on the list. While this shows that customers enjoy acknowledgement of their actions, these types of emails are generally automated ones. This makes me believe that timing also has a crucial impact on the open rates of these types of emails.

This is the full top 10 list:

  1. Stand out and show the benefits

On the flip side, checking the worst keywords reinforces the idea that people respond to benefits, not features. While your ‘report’, ‘whitepaper’ or ‘journal’ might be relevant or interesting to your audience, no one is going to pay attention unless you point out what they’ll gain from them. But don’t utilise overused words like ‘early bird’ either. Ubiquity doesn’t capture attention.

Check out the full bottom 10 list:


  1. ‘50% off’ gets less opens, but more clicks

Comparing discounts in customer-focused emails has shown that including ‘50% off’ in the subject line will be the worst discount if you want to get your subscribers’ attention. But of the ones that do open, they’re more likely to click-through to your website.

  1. If it’s just happened, I want to know

We’re told we live in an always-on society, particularly supported by the increase in mobile devices. So it should come to no one’s surprise that in the Publishing sector words like ‘breaking’ and ‘top stories’ deliver open rates of 35%, and 28% respectively.

Tempted to see what how other keywords perform? Explore more than 300 words across the retail, events, media & publishing and B2B sectors in the new 2015 Subject Line Report.

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