Every day people are flooded with emails they must decide to open or ignore. Research shows that the average email campaign open rate is around 25%. Luckily for marketers, there is a way to improve that rate.
Since many people base their decision (about whether to open an email) on the subject line, this means you can optimize it, through testing and iteration, and attain an open rate that is far above average.
In this post, I will share three hacks you can use in your email marketing. Most of these hacks are backed by research, although results vary by industry
Write your email subject lines for mobile devices
These days many people are accessing their email from their phones. Research from Litmus tells us that almost half of us are viewing email on mobile devices, with the rest either using a desktop program or accessing through webmail. The majority of email clients are Apple devices:
- 26% – iPhone
- 14% – Outlook
- 12% – iPad
- 11% – Gmail
- 8% – Apple Mail
So when crafting your subject line, it’s important to think about how it will appear on all devices.
Keep your email subject lines short
Research by MailerMailer has found that shorter subject lines have higher open rates and click rates. Work at keeping your subject lines under 50 characters.
Separate research done by Retention Science found that 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.
I’d encourage you to run open rate and click rate tests on different subject line lengths.
Personalize your email subject lines
Personalized emails fall under the umbrella of emails that are unique to the recipients. This can include an email that mentions the user’s name in the subject line or an email triggered by the actions the user performed on your site. Personalized emails cut out broad email blasts and instead are automated and unique to each recipient.
Research by Retention Science found subject lines that included the recipient’s first name had a 16% higher open rate.
More research performed by MailChimp showed that personalizing the first name and last name had the strongest impact on open rates.
Some final thoughts
There is no such thing as the perfect subject line. As a marketer, you need to test your subject lines and see which ones get the most opens. (Now, clearly, getting people to open your email is only one part. After that you need to get them to click or tap on something in the email.) But you’ve won half the battle if you can get them to open the email.
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