Why Using NUMBERS And Capitals Is A Subject Winner

It's always surprising to see the results of somebody crunching the numbers and coming up with results that don't quite match what you would expect. A good case in point comes from Yesware's analysis of millions of emails, comparing open and click-through rates based on the type of subject header.

One of the biggest surprises, for me at least, was that short, sharp questions are not among the best-performing subject lines -- particularly if they come from a unknown person and appear like a cold call. A question mark even makes it worse, the research finds. Typically, a question-based email saw open rates and reply rates drop by around 10% compared to an email marketing average. 

The research also showed that greetings such as "Hi" and "Hey" also turn recipients off, seeing a large drop in engagement against an industry average. The researchers conclude that these popular email headers with such personal greetings are instantly recognised as a way to introduce a sales message, and so the emails are discarded. 

So, if those are surprising discoveries, so too are the conclusions about what does work. According to the researchers, putting some numbers, a metric or piece of data of some sort in the title are top performers because people like a firm steer based on real-life data. Also -- and this is the one that surprised me the most -- using capitals as part of a subject header is a winner for boosting engagement. 

The research would suggest, then, that email recipients are now accustomed to quick questions trying to prompt a response and greetings trying to get a sales message to be opened. However, it appears that attention is won by adding a statistic, or some kind of number, to an email header with a proportion of the subject line in capital letters.

It may not fit in with every brand's findings, but it's certainly a result that many email marketers would not have expected, so it might just pay to try the tactics and see if there is any uplift in open rates and engagement.

Next story loading loading..