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And the Best Subject Line Is …

August 1, 2014 By Heather Fletcher
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Blank. The best-performing subject line is … blank. Well, not completely blank. The best subject line is "Re:" or "Fw:" for senders who are trying to sell email recipients something, according to ContactMonkey research.

The Toronto-based email tracking software provider cataloged 30 million messages sent from Outlook and Gmail and announced its findings Wednesday.

"Re:" has a 92 percent open rate, closely followed by:

  • Re: Follow Up (90 percent)
  • Re: update (89 percent)
  • Re: Introduction (88 percent)
  • Re: Checking In (87 percent)

At the bottom of the barrel is "The results are in," with a 7.25 percent open rate.

"The shorter the subject line, the higher [the] chance of your email being opened," according to the infographic. "Remember: The more basic subject lines often perform best."

Consumers may be opening these types of emails the most because of how few words show in email clients on smartphones, says Scott Pielsticker, CEO and founder of ContactMonkey.

More advice about subject lines from ContactMonkey includes:

  • Use two words or fewer. "On average, these emails were opened more than twice and have an 80 percent open rate," according to Wednesday's announcement. Subject lines with three words or more have an average open rate of 15 percent.
  • Depending on the mobile screen, on which 40 percent of recipients open emails, recipients will see between four and seven words.
  • "When in doubt, use Re:. Don't bother crafting the perfect subject line. There isn't one!"
  • Be direct. If marketers want to introduce themselves, use "Introduction" or "intro."
  • Be demanding. Don't ask questions, as question marks perform poorly.
  • Don't use marketing lingo, no matter how "innovative" marketers are—or how filled with "industry secrets" they want to reveal to prospects.

Do these subject lines make sense for all marketers?

Please respond in the comments section below.


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