Understanding the Importance of E-mail Subject Lines [Infographic]

by Stacey Rudolph March 27, 2016
March 27, 2016

Email subject lines are the bedrock of your email marketing campaign. Invesp has released an interesting email subject line stats infographic that underlines the critical role subject lines play when it comes to success or failure of email campaigns.

Email Subject Lines Statistics and Trends

Infographic source

Perhaps the most frightening part is the fact that 69% of email recipients say they report email as spam based on the subject line while 47% say they make a decision to read email based on the subject line alone. In other words, the battle is half-won when you get your subject line right. Get your subject lines right!

According to Salesforce 2015 report, emails with shorter subject lines tend to have higher open rates than longer ones. Emails with 6-10 words in their subject lines have 21% open rates followed by those with 0-5 words (16%) and 11-15 words have (14%). The longer ones with 21-25 words are opened only 9% of the time. The more interesting bit is that emails with no subject lines altogether experience 8% more open rates. In short, the shorter the subject line the better.

Good Vs Bad Subject Lines

The other challenge about subject lines is to understand which ones are bad and which ones are good. Personalized subject lines are good at grabbing the recipient’s attention. Emails with the name of the recipient in their subject lines boast 18.3% open rates compared to 15.7% for those that don’t. Generally, personalized email subject lines result in 22.2% more open rates compared to generic ones.

A study by Email Center also found that using the word ‘free’ in the email subject line is good. This can result in 10% more open rates. Also, subject lines with some sense of urgency have 22% more open rates while those with the word “fw” in the subject lines are bad because they result in 17% less open rates.It seems recipients want emails to be written with them (the recipients) in mind instead of receiving forwarded emails that were initially meant for other people.

It is also important to note that referencing your past relationship with the recipient will increase the chances of your email being opened. 66% of email recipients prefer to receive and read emails from people they know.

Also, you should make your subject line as clear and precise as possible. Emails with crystal clear subject line result in 56% more open rates. This just helps to reinforce the importance of short email subject lines.

Name Dropping might not be a bad idea

According to Buzzstream, subject lines with brand names in them get shared more than those with offers. This is a wake-up call for marketers to be clever when it comes to writing subject lines. There is both an art and science when it come creating subject lines.

Bottom Line

As a rule of thumb, the rule of thumb is to send yourself a test email and see whether it stands out in your crowded inbox. If the subject line doesn’t trigger any emotion or make you want to open it, then you should probably think of another subject line.

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