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Writing effective emails and subject lines can be challenging.

Most companies send marketing messages several times per week so these messages need to be subtle and creative to ensure they don’t become repetitive or annoying.

This requires intimate knowledge of the company’s tone of voice and the target audience, but we can try to broadly identify words that help drive clicks, and words to avoid at all costs.

Based on new subject line analysis, from Alchemy Worx,  ‘content’, ‘offer’, ‘benefits’ and ‘premium’ are four of the top five words brands can use to increase open rates, while ‘Friday’, ‘Monday’ and ‘double’ are three of the worst performing.

It also shows that symbols and emojis can have a big impact on engagement rates.

Best and worst words

The data shows that ‘content’ is the best word for increasing open rates (up 59% vs. the average).

It’s quite a vague term as it doesn’t refer to anything in particular, but apparently consumers respond positively to it so it’s probably worth including in your own subject lines.

The word ‘policy’ has a positive impact as it suggests that it’s an email that will contain important information (e.g. Insurance policy documents enclosed.).

Days of the week apparently cause the biggest drop in open rates.

Impact by industry

Looking at the impact of different words by industry, for financial services companies the words ‘policy’, ‘benefits’ and ‘premium’ apparently have the best impact.

In the travel sector, ‘holiday’ and ‘voucher’ are the most effective, while it might be best to avoid ‘departing’ or the points of the compass.

Interestingly, ‘vacation’ has a negative impact on open rates.

Best and worst symbols

The friendly snowman symbol is hugely effective at encouraging people to open marketing emails (+65.72%).
In second place is a sun symbol (+20.95%), followed by a star (+10.65%).

However it’s important to consider the context in which these symbols are used. Would including a snowman in a subject line in June really have a positive impact on the open rate? Also, why does the black sun symbol increase open rates by 20.95%, while the white sun causes a drop of 8.03% versus the average?

These words may not have the same impact on your own email marketing. The open rate is influenced by a range of factors including sending frequency, time of day, day of the week, and the entire subject line.

These words should instead be used to inspire your own subject line tests so you can find what works best for your own brand and audience. Don’t just assume that ‘premium content ☃’ is going to double your open rate.-eConsultancy

What do you do to boost your email open rates? To learn how to increase your email response rates call Lori at 877.447.0134.