What are Words Worth? New Study Offers Some Insight

Posted by Tom Sather on

While actions may speak louder than words and a single picture is worth 1,000 of them, in a subject line, words are your biggest tool towards getting a conversation. Are you wielding them correctly?

Today we release our newest study, The Art and Science of  Effective Subject Lines, providing insight into how subject lines impact conversion rates and influence brand perception. Through analyzing subject lines from over 3,000 of the world’s top brands, we identified the keywords and headline types that drive the highest open rates as well as the answer to an age old subject line debate: does length matter?

How confident are you in your subject line choices?

While testing out subject lines can be time consuming, it is critical to the success of your campaign. Below are some subject line comparisons based on three of the headline types we tested. Choose which subject line you think is better and download the Art and Science of Effective Subject Lines to see the uplift a single word can provide.

Do subscribers find what is easier or faster more beneficial?

  1. Quick Family Dinner Recipes
  2. Easy Family Dinner Recipes

Is a discount more enticing than a sale?

  1. 20% Discount on Our New Fall Collection
  2. Save 20% on Our New Fall Collection

Will telling them to hurry or informing them it is their last chance, spur them to action?

  1. Hurry! Our Spring Sale Ends Tomorrow
  2. Last Chance! Our Spring Sale Ends Tomorrow

The “right” answer isn’t always obvious! Check out Art and Science of Effective Subject Lines for insights to help you refine your email subject line strategy.


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About Tom Sather

Email data and deliverability expert Tom Sather has worked with top-tier brands to diagnose and solve inbox placement and sender reputation issues as a strategic consultant with Return Path. As the company’s senior director of research, Tom is a frequent speaker and writer on email marketing trends and technology. His most recent analysis of new inbox applications’ effects on consumer behavior was widely cited across leading business media outlets including the Financial Times, Ad Age, and Media Post.

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