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With so many emails all vying for attention in our inboxes from day to day, your subject line is the only thing that’s going to grab your subscribers’ attention long enough to get your email opened. So how do you know what works best?

Although we’d love it if it were true, there’s no magical combination of words that will guarantee that your email is opened every time. What works best for one industry isn’t necessarily going to work well for another, and content varies wildly across the digital marketing space. However, with enough trial and error, you do start to notice some patterns, and there are certain words that, if included, start to emerge as potential winners in increasing your open rate.

Here’s a list of ten words we’ve found will help boost your open rate:

  1. Personalisation (Subscriber’s first name)
  2. Invitation
  3. Introducing
  4. We
  5. You / Your
  6. Update
  7. New
  8. Specials
  9. Sale
  10. Events

Some advice for using these words:

Unfortunately, just because we have a list of words to get your emails opened, it doesn’t mean that you can throw all of them in together and give your subscribers a word salad! Your subject line should still form a coherent sentence after all, so be sure to pay careful attention to your grammar and sentence structure. Some of these words will work better at the beginning of a sentence, and some will work better at the end.

Don’t forget that context is also important, just because a word shows an increase in open rates, doesn’t mean that it will suit your content, or what you’re saying in that particular campaign. Do keep the entire campaign in mind when choosing what success words to use in your subject line.

Some trends we’ve noticed with subject lines:

By looking at our success words, you can notice some trends about subject lines, and what works in general.

Personalisation is obviously very important to subscribers, nothing grabs someone’s attention more than their own name. Speaking to your recipients directly encourages them to interact with your email, and that definitely shows.

If you don’t have your subscribers’ names on hand, luckily personal pronouns work as well. The fact that “We” and “You/Your” show up on our list means that they are also effective in getting your recipient’s attention, they’re still effective by appealing directly to your reader.

What about punctuation?

We’ve previously touched on increasing your open rate by making your subject line a question, which would obviously involve some punctuation. But, we have noticed that being exciting does increase open rates as well. Subject lines that end with an exclamation mark tend to get more opens than ones that don’t, as they inject a little energy into what you’re saying.

That doesn’t give you licence to go overboard with the enthusiasm though, several exclamation marks in a row look unprofessional, and will likely have the opposite effect!!!

In Conclusion

Hopefully these success words and subject line trends have given you a good place to start in terms of getting your open rate up. As always, we recommend you keep testing and refining your marketing, as your subscriber list grows and adapts, so should you.

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