Marketers to Tweak Email Subject Lines

Getting the attention of consumers is difficult enough these days. Yet, some marketers are failing emailto follow basic principles when designing their email campaigns. A couple of recent studies underscore just how important it is to get the email subject line right as the first step in a successful campaign.

As email marketers work on their subject lines, they should remember that the right phrases are important and that different phrases work for different audiences. Adestra’s research shows that using the word “alert” for B2B marketers can result in a 57.8% open rate, which is much higher than the usual 20%. Words like “newsletter, report, and top stories” resulted in below-​average open rates. Interestingly, the word “newsletter” generates above-​average open rates for B2C campaigns. In addition, BtoC marketers can generate a higher than average open rate when they use the term “half-​price” in their subject lines.

Writing for the ExactTarget blog, Jenna Hanington points out that research at Litmus suggests that marketers must keep several details in mind when crafting their subject lines.  Important details include:

  •  Mention specific location to help personalize the email
  • Limit length to 50 characters and keep in mind that mobile users see only the first 35 characters
  • Explain exactly what the message is about
  • Highlight a time-​sensitive call to action which will prompt readers to understand they must do something quickly

This advice shows that marketers should focus on getting the email subject wording just right. These subjects lines are akin to making a first impression and if you aren’t careful, you won’t get a second chance with your target audience.

To learn more about Email Ad Responders, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

[Sources: Adestra Subject Line Analysis Report 2013. Adestra​.com. Web. 16 Jul. 2013; Hanington, Jenna. 7 Dos (And 5 Don’ts) of Email Subject Lines. Blog​.exactarget​.com. 6 Jul. 2013. Web. 16 Jul. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.