OK but, what's that about, really?

“Ryan Adams, Band of Horses, and Ingrid Michaelson in Limerick, ME!”

When I read this subject line I had to look again. A concert in such a small town? Say what!? I kept scrolling through my emails to sort out the junk and for some reason, just had to go back to open the email announcing the concerts. I knew it was part of their email marketing strategy, I knew that there wasn’t a venue and highly doubted that we would have any headliners come to this Maine village with less than 3,000 residents. But, I had to open it.

Of course, the email was announcing shows in Portland. I just happened to have signed up for “local” emails using my hometown zip code. Even though it was clever and maybe, just maybe it was unintentional, but I still felt like I was tricked. Enticed to open a mass email due to plain old curiosity. This made me think. Nearly one third of email recipients open email based on subject line alone so, what might the conversion rate be for those who may have felt even slightly mislead? Email subject lines are like storefront windows and are extremely important. So is being clear and delivering what you imply.

Here are some stats to help you become more successful with email marketing:

  • Subject lines with 6-10 words had the highest open rate, and subject lines with words in the 0-5 range had the second highest open rate.

  • Subject lines that included the recipient’s first name had a 16% higher open rate.

  • 65% of all emails are opened on mobile devices – Keep an eye on your character count! iPhones cut off subject lines around 25 characters.

  • Subject lines referencing movies or songs were 10% more likely to be opened.

  • Putting “Urgent” into your subject increased click rates by about 80% (but, make sure it truly is urgent!!)

  • Most e-commerce consumers are engaging email content during the afternoon rather than the morning.

Have you been successful in your email marketing? I’d love to hear about it!


Sources: Retention Science, US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q4 2013

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