What does this mean for businesses that regularly send emails to clients and customers and develop email campaigns? First they must grasp the significance of the study. Only then can they can act on tips provided by Hubspot and create subject lines that blow away the competition.
Large sample size, huge implications
Nectafy inspected 579,169 emails – an enormous sample size – and found 165,054 emails were opened. This finding translates to an open rate of 28.5 percent.
The number of characters in the subject lines of those emails defied a correlation to open rates. The number of characters and the open rate percentages were as follows:
1 to 10 characters: 34 percent
11 to 20 characters: 32 percent
21 to 30 characters: 29 percent
31 to 40 characters: 29 percent
41 to 50 characters: 26 percent
51 to 60 characters: 28 percent
61 to 70 characters: 27 percent
More than 70 characters: 26 percent
Emotional appeals spawned opening
If anything stands out from these numbers, it's that open rates were surprisingly consistent across all character counts. This strongly suggests the message conveyed in the subject lines, and not the length is what guided recipients' next move – namely, to open the email, delete it or ignore it.
Understandably curious about the subject lines that spawned the highest open rates, Nectafy dug deeper, finding some of the most provocative subject lines and their corresponding open rates included:
“Would you give me your opinion about this paper I’m writing?” (60 percent open rate)
“(First name), here’s where we keep our resources” (60 percent open rate)
“I sincerely apologize...” (53 percent open rate)
“Are you ready to create your scorecard?” (52 percent open rate)
Heed these Hubspot tips
Of course, not every business can replicate these subject lines. (Scorecard? What scorecard?) That would be like forcing an awkward keyword construction into a sentence where it can find no graceful place.
At the same time, even the longest subject line there, at 59 characters, is hardly an exhaustive read. By virtue of their one-line format, subject lines have a lot of “work” to do in a tight space: they must be pithy attention-getters that inspire action.
Hubspot offers practical advice, encompassing all these issues to guide your best efforts:
Personalize subject lines coming and going – by incorporating the recipient's first name in the subject line and using a specific sender name (instead of the off-putting “email@example.com.”)
Employ action verbs – the bane of all sharp headline writers. Touting a free pizza with the line, “Best pizza in town has many flavors” inspires less salivating than “Redeem a free pizza and savor robust flavors.”
Create a legitimate sense of urgency. “Redeem a free pizza in the next 24 hours and savor robust flavors” should bolster open rates because it underscores a need for timely action.
Burnish an emotional appeal by invoking inclusive language and specificity, such as, “A special ebook just for you” or “A dinner invitation for one of my VIPs.” These subject lines accomplish twin goals: they make the recipient feel special and preview exactly what will be found inside the email.
With so much riding on your emails and email campaigns, turn to the marketing experts who can finesse your message against the backdrop of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Call 702-270-8772 or request a free consultation today!