The Relationship Between Email Subject Lines and Open Rates

WebLITE Team

Reading time ≈ 3 minutes

It requires time and effort to come up with the perfect 50 to 125-word email copy, which may take about a minute or so to read. However, in not more than 5 seconds, the recipient may scan the email's subject line and decide whether or not to open it! Perhaps, dissecting common subject-line phrasing can help establish its relationship with the click-through rates of email marketing campaigns. Read on to learn more.

The Personalisation Effect

Personalise your email marketing campaign

Adding personalisation in email subject lines improves open rates. The strategy is even more effective when the marketer knows the recipient's personal interests well enough. If you're on a first-name basis with your customer, you can also exploit the relationship to your favour. Here are some practical ways to personalise a subject line and boost your email click-through rates:

  • First names: Using your customer's or prospect's first name gives the impression that you recognise them, and you're paying personal attention. A reader is almost guaranteed to notice their name in an email subject line, and that makes them feel valued.
  • Personal interests: Research your recipient's interests and target those accordingly in the subject line. For example, you could include a targeted birthday offer.

A Sense of Urgency

Limited time offer email

Most people react positively to a sense of urgency or significance. So, there are instances when you feel that you need to deploy a compelling subject line to alert your target audience that your latest email needs their urgent attention. You could use words like "alert," "urgent," or "important," which have higher email open rates.

You may also use phrasing that implies urgency or importance without necessary utilising the words "urgent" or "important." For example, "the last giveaway of the season" or "Discount for the first four signups" may exploit the fear of missing out, which all humans have. However, leverage the sense of urgency in restraint, especially if you're sending the same email every week. A reader who hasn't yet responded to your "only three samples left" emails may stop taking future messaging seriously enough if there's still "three samples left" several weeks down the line.

Other Important Connections

If an email subject line alludes to something interesting in the content, the reader is more likely to click it. For example, the power of videos in email marketing cannot be overemphasised because of their engaging effect. So a reader is more likely to open an email with the word "video" in the subject line.

The word "new" is also significant as it hints at something the reader doesn't know or have as yet. Similarly, congratulatory or celebratory messaging can accelerate click-through rates because it touches on events of great importance in the reader's life. Good examples are "happy birthday or anniversary."

The email subject line is where you give the first impression about your brand or products, primarily when you're prospecting to a potential customer. So it's imperative to make your email marketing efforts work with the right subject lines. We're on call to help with any tricky aspect of your email promotions.

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