Subject Line EnvelopesI’m always on the hunt for good intel on e-mail marketing, especially metrics that provide me with painless opportunities to test different subject lines and calls to action.

My latest find comes from Phrasee, a company that sells a subscription based service for optimizing e-mail subject lines. The company’s recently published report, “Email Subject Lines That Sell,” is virtual gold! It offers a comprehensive, easily understood performance analysis of keywords, phrases and punctuation used in 700 million emails sent by retail and e-commerce brands in the United States and the UK. Each is scored for their impact on open, click-through and click-to-open rates.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Action words like “Introducing” and “Celebrate” tend to yield better end-user results, while words like “spend” produced lower levels of engagement.
  • Consumers receiving sales emails tended to open and click-thru on emails with subject lines that included phrases like “on orders over”; “off selected”; and “your next order.”
  • “Plus free delivery” and the use of ellipses (…) in subject lines also yielded higher than average open rates and click-throughs.

One thing to keep in mind when reading through the report: the keywords and phrases reported are not silver bullets. In fact,  the authors warn readers not “to assume that the results are the final word on what you should or shouldn’t do in your subject lines.” The only thing you can do is test, test and test again to see which ones resonate and generate increased sales with your audience.

Pat McKenna

Pat McKenna is a digital strategist, social media manager, web designer and founder of MojoWeb Productions, LLC. in Milwaukee, WI.

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