Writing a good subject line for emails

Learn how to increase your email open rates by writing a good subject line from the following study. We give many examples of good vs bad in this article.

Study of Best and Worst Open Rates from MailChimp

People who are new to email marketing often ask, “How should I write my subject lines so that more recipients will open my emails?”. The following below should give you a good base as to what should and should not be used as far as subject lines are concerned.

Best Open Rates (60%-87%)

  1. [COMPANYNAME] Sales & Marketing Newsletter
  2. Eye on the [COMPANYNAME] Update (Oct 31 – Nov 4)
  3. [COMPANYNAME] Staff Shirts & Photos
  4. [COMPANYNAME] May 2015 News Bulletin!
  5. [COMPANYNAME] Newsletter – February 2016
  6. [COMPANYNAME] Newsletter – January 2016 [ *|FNAME|* *|LNAME|* ]
  7. [COMPANYNAME] and [COMPANYNAME] Invites You!
  8. Happy Holidays from [COMPANYNAME]
  11. Invitation from [COMPANYNAME]
  12. [COMPANYNAME] Jan/Feb 2016 Newsletter
  13. Website news – Issue 3
  14. Upcoming Events at [COMPANYNAME]
  15. [COMPANYNAME] Councils: Letter of Interest
  16. [COMPANYNAME] Coffee Exchange – Post-Katrina Update
  17. We’re Throwing a Party
  18. October 2015 Newsletter
  19. [COMPANYNAME]: 02.10.06
  20. [COMPANYNAME] Racing Newsletter

Worst Open Rates (1%-14%)

  1. Last Minute Gift – We Have The Answer
  2. Valentines – Shop Early & Save 10%
  3. Give a Gift Certificate this Holiday
  4. Valentine’s Day Salon and Spa Specials!
  5. Gift Certificates – Easy & Elegant Giving – Let Them Choose
  6. Need More Advertising Value From Your Marketing Partner?
  7. [COMPANYNAME] Pioneers in Banana Technology
  8. [COMPANYNAME] Moves You Home for the Holidays
  9. Renewal
  10. Technology Company Works with [COMPANYNAME] on Bananas Efforts
  11. [COMPANYNAME] Update – A Summary of Security and Emergency Preparedness News
  12. Now Offering Banana Services!
  13. It’s still summer in Tahoe!
  14. [COMPANYNAME] endorses [COMPANYNAME] as successor
  15. [COMPANYNAME] Holiday Sales Event
  16. The Future of International Trade
  17. [COMPANYNAME] for your next dream home.
  18. True automation of your Banana Research
  19. [COMPANYNAME] Resort – Spring into May Savings
  20. You Asked For More…

The Secret Formula for Good Subject Lines

So what’s our advice for good subject lines? This is going to sound “stupid simple” to a lot of people, but here goes: Your subject line should (drum roll please): Describe the subject of your email. Yep, that’s it.

Always set your subscribers’ expectations during the opt-in process about what kinds of emails they’ll be receiving. Don’t confuse newsletters with promotions. If your email is a newsletter, put the name and issue of the newsletter in your subject line. Because that’s what’s inside. If your email is a special promotion, tell them what’s inside. Either way, just don’t write your subject lines like advertisements.

When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what’s inside, and the worst subject lines sell what’s inside.

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