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19 Email Subject Line Stats That May Surprise You

If you’re marketing online, you should already understand the power of list-building and email marketing. Building a list of loyal subscribers that like and trust you is what we all aim for… but crafting and sending emails that get solid open rates is a skill you must practice and always be improving, because… if no one is opening our emails, what’s the point of all that work?

The email subject line is the biggest factor that influences whether or not an email gets opened, and if it’s not getting opened… your email body copy does not even matter.

Here Are 19 Surprising Subject Line Stats

1. 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone.

[source: CONVINCE&CONVERT]

2. 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line.

[source: CONVINCE&CONVERT]

3. 40% of emails are opened on mobile first – where the average mobile screen can only fit 4-7 words max.

[source: CONTACTMONKEY]

4. Emails with “You” in the subject line were opened 5% less than those without.

[source: SIDEKICK]

5. Emails with “fw:” in the subject line were opened 17% less than those without.

[source: SIDEKICK]

6. 18.7% decrease in open rates when the word “newsletter” is used in subject lines.

[source: ADESTRA]

7. 61.8% increase in opens when using the word “alert” in subject lines.

[source: ADESTRA]

8. Using the words “Sale”, “New”, or “Video” in subject lines boost open rates.

[source: ADESTRA]

9. Using “Daily” or “Weekly” in subject lines boosts open rates whereas “Monthly” hurts them.

[source: ADESTRA]

10. The top five subject lines in a recent study all included “Re:”.

[source: CONTACTMONKEY]

11. Subject lines with 30 or fewer characters have an above average open rate.

[source: ADESTRA]

12. Emails with “Free” in the subject line were opened 10% more than those without.

[source: SIDEKICK]

13. Emails with “Quick” in the subject line were opened 17% less than those without.

[source: SIDEKICK]

14. Subject lines with 3 or more words are opened 15% less than those with 1-2.

[source: CONTACTMONKEY]

15. Emails with “Tomorrow” in the subject line were opened 10% more than those without.

[source: SIDEKICK]

16. Emails with “Meeting” in the subject line were opened 7% less than those without.

[source: SIDEKICK]

17. Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened.

[source: ADESTRA]

18. Subject lines that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity can give a 22% higher open rate.

[source: EMAIL INSTITUTE]

19. Emails with no subject line at all were opened 8% more than those with a subject line.

[source: SIDEKICK]

While these stats provide valuable insight into what impacts open rates, nothing beats your own testing.

Quoted sources: CONVINCE&CONVERT, ADESTRA, SIDEKICK, EMAIL INSTITUTE, CONTACTMONKEY

Now that we’ve uncovered some very useful data regarding email subject lines, and you’ve got people opening your emails… let’s focus in on some tips to help you be more effective with your email body copy.

5 Email Marketing Tips To Increase Effectiveness

email subject line stats

1. Make sure your email has obvious links.

The purpose of your email is to drive traffic to your landing page, product page or website. Without driving clicks to your page or website, users can’t convert to signups or customers. They key to this is quite simple… capitalize on every moment where a user may feel compelled to click.

Include plenty of links in your email, and make sure your links look like links. Use strong calls to action, and even the occasional “click here” message. An easy rule of thumb to follow… include at least 1 link per paragraph in your email.

2. Minimize use of images.

Images can certainly enhance the user experience of your emails, and everyone likes cool pics, but using too many images will trigger spam filters. I recommend not including more than 1-3 images per email… and always be sure to host those images on high-speed image hosting services.

3. Make it easy to unsubscribe.

This may seem counter productive, but it’s really good practice. Making it easy to unsubscribe will get rid of those that may otherwise report your email as spam, while retaining solid subscribers that want your continued information.

Make sure you have a 1-click unsubscribe process that is clearly defined.

4. Follow SPAM tips when you send.

Most professional email marketing services will give you spam recommendations prior to sending your email. Pay close attention to it and make adjustments if your email falls into the spam parameters. It’s usually just a matter of removing or changing a word or two. That extra 30 seconds can mean the difference between hitting the inbox or the spam box.

5. Optimize for mobile.

As you saw in the statistic above, 40% of emails are first opened on a mobile device. Make sure the formatting of your email message will display properly across mobile devices. If they cannot easily read your email, they will quickly delete it.

One way to ensure your messages display properly is to limit the line-length of your messages… putting 5-7 words per line works well.

Struggling with your online marketing?…

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Feel free to grab up a copy of my free training where I lay out exactly what I do online to make a really nice living…. without any B.S. …or just join right here. 🙂

Have some stats or tips of your own to share?… leave them in the comments below, and be sure to share this post.

7 comments… add one
  • Jon, as always, you provide such great information. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and now I have more insight as to how to write my subject lines. Blessings.

    Reply
    • Ralph… always great to see your comments here. I’m looking forward to testing out some of these subject lines myself. Thanks man! 🙂

      Reply
  • I have missed the opening 3 times !!! No money !! My life story!!

    Reply
    • Malissa, you’ve not missed out on anything. It’s never too late to just get started 🙂

      Reply
  • Awesome tips! I’ll be sure to use some of them in mine as well.

    Reply
    • Thanks Rose… appreciate your comment. Let me know how they work for you. 🙂

      Reply

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