A 54% Open Rate Using Just an Unusual Subject Line

By July 28, 2014 Archive, How-To 2 Comments
testing

Testing subject lines can make a tremendous difference in the overall success of your email marketing campaigns.  Delivra’s email marketing software offers the ability to test 3 subject lines at once in a matters of minutes.

Some general subject line tips:

  • If you can personalize an email with someone’s location, it makes the email more likely to be opened.
  • Keep the subject line to 50 characters or less but more importantly, use a distinct preheader for all of your emails. We do this in all of our client and prospect emails.
  • Make sure your From Line uses a person or company that the recipient expects to receive email from – many times this will be a company’s name like Delivra or Cody from Delivra, not simply Cody.

Use engaging text – love them or hate them, something must be said for how effective the Buzzfeed/Upworthy type videos at increasing clickthrough, engagement and open rates.  I would recommend testing subject lines in a similar fashion to how you see Upworthy videos or Buzzfeed articles written.

To get started, you might start the headline with -

  • “This is the…”
  • “You won’t believe…”
  • “When you see…”
  • “What happens when…”

Also, try to think outside the box.  For example, our average open rate at Delivra hovers around 20-25%.

We had a 54% open rate recently when I used the following unusual subject line for a webinar invite.

‘Webinar Reminder #17A47D1′

It had a preheader that read –

“Those alphanumerics don’t mean anything, but your attendance does.”

In an inbox full of sameness, simply being unique can make all the difference.

Another example, we had a 38% open rate when we sent a post webinar survey.  The subject lines was -

“We know what you’re thinking…”

It had a preheader that read –

“Actually we don’t. Please fill out our content webinar survey.”

These types of subject lines may or may not work at your company.  The main thing is – test, test, test and test some more.  Unless you do, you will never know how large of difference a unique subject line and preheader can make in your email marketing efforts.

 

  • Lauren King

    Great blog! It’s really amazing the difference a subject line can make.. especially when it’s witty like these examples :)

    • http://www.delivra.com/ Cody Sharp

      Lauren, you are absolutely right (well, I don’t know if they are witty or just silly), but it does seem like in either case, it made a difference. And while open rates aren’t the end all be all of an email – you can’t get people to convert on the content within unless someone opens it first.