The inbox may be a hostile environment. With a million other emails competing for your readers’ attention, you must make your subject line stand out – and get your email opened. So, what is the most effective?
We combed through hundreds of mailings to identify 15 prevalent terms – and what makes a good subject line.
Identifying our “Power Words”
In our first research on subject line effectiveness, we chose to examine at how individual terms affected campaign open rates overall.
We understood that in order to really understand the performance of certain terms, we required both a control group and a test group for comparison, both of which were campaigns including the words we had chosen for investigation.
So, what is a Power Word?
First, a few words regarding our word shortlist.
While certain terms enhanced a subject line’s performance whether they were either the beginning or final word (e.g. “Invitation,” or dates), others only produced a significant open% bump at one end or the other.
This is due, in part, to grammatical correctness: a pronoun like “We” or a present participle like “Introducing” would seldom appear at the conclusion of a phrase.
Personally, I believe it is necessary to express these differences in order to emphasize the importance of word order and, more significantly, context.
As much as it would be nice to weave words together and see your open rates skyrocket, there are no shortcuts to the perfect subject line.
We’ll share some of our other insights and tips with you later, but first, let’s dig into Power Words:
First word: Open % Change
|Last word: Open % Change|
|Your / You / You!||4.07%||6.20%|
|Year, eg. 2014||3.89%||2.84%|
|Month name, eg. June||3.25%||3.34%|
|Special / Specials||2.75%||2.08%|
|Sale / Sale!||2.40%|
|Offer / Offers||1.86%|
So, now that you’ve seen how Power Terms may enhance your open rate, let’s look at the environment in which these words work.
What can I do to enhance my subject lines?
Power Words teaches you how to rock your email subject lines. Keeping the above list in mind, we’ve highlighted a few crucial factors that can assist you in creating appealing subject lines that will earn you the hits you want.
With more accurate personalisation, you can capture your subscribers’ attention.
The open rate above supports the notion that a person’s favorite term is their own name. Subject lines that are specifically tailored to the recipient outperform more generic welcomes without a doubt.
Personalization, on the other hand, goes beyond just utilizing a person’s name. You will not trick anybody into believing you care about them if you provide a short code that inserts their name into the subject line and then call it a day. Your receivers are wiser and more experienced in all of the ways that marketers attempt to capture their attention.
Instead, differentiate yourself from the other emails in their inbox by using data collecting to develop more personalized subject lines. This conveys relevancy and provides your recipient additional cause to click on your email.
You may utilize stuff like:
Birthdays and anniversaries
Recent encounters with your website or brand
Survey and feedback data
Instill a feeling of urgency and enthusiasm.
Urgency motivates action. As a result, it’s no wonder that many of the Power Words on our list are either time-sensitive or suggest exclusivity.
Holding your subscribers to a deadline to act or informing them that they are uniquely invited to participate may be incredibly convincing. Some psychological influences, such as our intrinsic hierarchy of wants, come into play here.
Every Power Word on the list above addresses one of these requirements. Similarly, these Power Words indicate that some circumstances elicit enthusiasm and urgency:
The dread of losing out on a valuable object
Deadlines for signing up for, registering for, or purchasing something
A perception that something is not widely recognized or accessible to the broader population
The chance to save money
a solution to a problem
The feeling that something is fresh, inventive, and one-of-a-kind.
A feeling of urgency is dependent on the creation of meaning, demand, and value. What are you doing for your reader, and how will it effect them if they miss out?
These 15 Power Words for Email Subject Lines convey a lot more than you would think: They demonstrate how readers view and engage with the emails we send them.
In summary, readers are more likely to connect with your email if they believe you are communicating personally to them. Addressing individuals by name is a fantastic strategy. Taking the additional mile to customise your subject line helps readers identify your email amid a sea of senders fighting for their attention.
When used correctly, using words to develop and deepen connections also fosters participation. Finally, expressing value and purpose helps to generate demand and enthusiasm. Power phrases that induce urgency use psychology to encourage action.
Keeping in mind that the percentage changes mentioned above can be quite minor in the grand scheme of things, it’s worth considering subject line optimization within the larger picture of open rate-maximizing tactics, which includes ensuring you keep a clean, engaged list and, well, get into the inbox in the first place.