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Email Marketing Is Changing (Infographic)

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools that have been used for years by most online marketers to keep in contact with prospects  and maintain relationships with loyal customers Recently, with the increasing use of smartphones, the effectiveness of email marketing continues to rise as well. However, many companies are not adjusting their email marketing strategy to mobile, which could lead into disastrous consequences. Check out this infographic to get an in-depth view about how email marketing has evolved:

Click to see a bigger version of this infographic

 

Seven Popular Myths of Email Marketing

Email Marketing Myths That You Should Know

Here are seven popular email marketing myths and the actual facts behind them:

The Fact: Around 40% of consumers who receive emails from brands are getting no more than three per day, on average, and almost two-thirds (63%) receive no more than six emails per day. Research from Merkle also suggests that three-quarters (74%) of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email, which means that consumers prefer emails from brands rather than other channels.

The Fact: This myth assumes that consumers simply are waiting for a brand to email them, and that consumers act immediately on every email they receive. However, it shows that while 76% of email opens happen in the first two days, four out of five purchases (79%) take place after that two-day period. One-third (32%) of purchases take place more than two weeks after the consumer receives an offer email.

The Fact: 20% of a brand’s annual unique opens are from people who have been inactive for the first six months of the year. So, by not sending emails to users who are deemed inactive for just a year, brands are potentially missing out on one-fifth of their annual opens.

The Fact: Less than one subscriber in every 2,000 will mark an email as spam.

The Fact: Though it’s true that increasing send frequency tends to reduce the open and click rates for a given message, if a brand increases the number of emails it sends to consumers from one per month to four, more than doubles the number of consumers opening one or more emails (from 10% to 24%). The increase in email volume also, on average, results in an additional 11% of revenue for the brand.

The Fact: Analysis of more than 200 million emails highlights that short subject lines (fewer than 60 characters) will only help increase open rates. However, if brands want consumers to engage with emails—by opening and clicking on the content—then 70 characters or longer will be more successful. The longer the subject line, the more likely consumers are to click on the content within the email.

The Fact: People often thought that “keywords are the main cause an email ended up in the junk folder”. Actually, they have little or no effect. Whether an email ends up in a junk folder is more complicated than that, with the main reason being the sender’s reputation. And that is generally based on what information the mail filter or receiving ISP can gather about the sending habits of your IP address, rather than the contents of its subject line.

Email marketing has put up with these myths for long enough, and many of them are rooted in the belief that marketers must send the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Marketers must move beyond the pursuit of three “centers” of email marketing: segmentation, timeliness, and relevance. They should no longer see email as simply a direct marketing tool. Instead, brands should see the benefits of email as a broadcast channel, which allow marketers to communicate a message to millions of subscribers regularly rather than sending less email, to less people, less often.

My Coke Reward Case Study: 5 Strategies to Create a Successful Rewards Program

Loyalty programs are only effective if your customers actually use them. Your brand will get stronger the more often they interact with you. See how Coca-Cola boosted interaction with its My Coke Rewards program by switching to highly personalised and segmented emails. Their average clickthrough rate increased 46%, and member activity is up 57%.

Here is the mechanism of the campaign: members who log in to the My Coke Rewards website and enter specific codes get points toward products ranging from a cell phone ring tone to a flat-screen TV. The program has changed a great deal since its debut two years ago. Initially, Coca Cola did not send any emails to its members. Then, four months later, Coca Cola began sending the same email to their entire member list and started seeing a little bit of an uptick in activity.

It didn’t stop there. Coca Cola redesigned the email program and website to adjust for specific member preferences. The result is the average clickthrough rate has increased 46% and members who subscribe to the personalised emails are 57% more active in the program than members not receiving communications.

Email Marketing Strategy

Monthly emails from the My Coke Rewards program are not intended to sell products directly. They’re meant to get members to click on the program website, log in, enter a product code and redeem a reward. Content includes personalised greeting; member’s point total; header graphic; a few paragraphs of text highlighting a series of calendar events, like a fall football sweepstakes; six image links to reward products; images of Coke products redeemable for points; and a CAN-SPAM footer. The content is also personalised toward each member. For instance, those who express an interest in the outdoors might get a hiking header with codes for sandals or a telescope.

Coca Cola Email Design Example

Here are the 5 strategies that Coca Cola followed:

1. Optimise the message

The email is personalised slowly but sure. Their emails are now based on:

  • Basic demographic information (age, location, marital status, number of children, etc.)
  • Number of points registered
  • Reward products received
  • Product codes entered
  • Sweepstakes entered
  • Website clicking activity (like reward category most visited)
  • Interaction frequency
  • Length of time in the program
  • Other areas

One important distinction is the generational difference between customers.  From there, Coca Cola gave a similar targeting perspective to the website. This way, when someone logs on, a variety of different elements adjust based on what the company knows about that particular account.

2. Optimise zealously

Coca Cola email marketing team sent an average of 100-200 different emails for every blast. At times, the number can exceed 7,000. It’s all dynamically driven, so it’s not a completely different email. People might have the same top of an email and the content inside might be a little bit different.

3. Run email tests often

Coca Cola has also conducted a range of standard email tests to boost member interaction. Not only time of day but day of week, every subject line and types of messages are being carefully tested. They have done a slew of testing in all of that, and consistently use that information to try to refine and try to optimise the email.

4. Offer special content

At times, members receive special content depending on their customer profiles. For instance, members may receive a coupon for Coke products for a regional distributor in their area – although emails are not set up to sell Coke products directly. Valuable members sometimes receive bonus points to keep them in the program.

5. Measure activity rate

Coca Cola doesn’t try to independently analyse all customer actions, such as entering product codes, redeeming them for points, browsing rewards, etc. Instead, to gauge the program’s success, they have rolled these actions into one metric: activity rate. Through this analysis, they’ve discovered that members scroll looking for specific topics that has resulted in increased program participation, including a 200% increase in site logins and 100% increase in PIN entries.

Five Tips To Increase Your Email Marketing’s Effectiveness

Here are five tips to help you increase your email’s click-through rates:

1. Make sure your emails are opened

This sounds obvious, right? However, it is not as easy as it seems. Just because your email is delivered to your recipient’s inbox doesn’t mean the recipient will open your email. Here are several ways to increase the chance of email opening:

  • Increasing your open rates starts with gathering relevant opt-ins. What is someone signing up for? Make it obvious from the start. What kind of information can he expect? How many times will he receive your emails? You might scare off some opt-ins this way, but that’s no loss. Think “quality” over “quantity”.
  • Identify yourself. Make it perfectly clear for the recipient who you are. Use your name, your company name or both. Otherwise, you will be considered as a spammer.
  • Create an interesting (but short) subject. A well-written subject line invites the recipient to open the mail. Be sure to stick to a maximum of 50 characters (20 if you have a lot of mobile readers) to prevent it from being cut off in most email clients.
  • Compose a strong snippet or pre-header. This is the first text that’s displayed underneath or next to the subject line. Often the snippet contains text like “Unable to read this mail? Open the web version.” You should do better than that.

2. Use only one clear call to action

“Subsribe to our newsletter now!”. “Buy this product!”. Having multiple calls to action (CTAs) only makes it confusing for your recipients. Determine what the main goal of your email is, and make sure your call to action serves that goal, and that goal only.

Also, a CTA should make clear for the readers:

  • What is expected of them
  • Where the CTA will take them
  • Why they has to go there

The best CTAs answer those three questions, using as few words as possible:

  • Contact us.
  • Apply now.
  • Sign up now.
  • Create an account.

And so on…

Avoid CTAs that state the obvious. The internet has been around long enough even for the biggest technophobes to understand that they have to click on a hyperlink to make it work. In other words, never use “click here.”

3. Create mobile-proof emails

Not preparing your emails for mobile is a mistake you can’t allow yourself to make. Create your email templates using responsive design, which will adjust the email to, for example, screen size used or the orientation of your screen (in the case of smart phones, which you can hold horizontally or vertically). Also, keep in mind that mobile users click using their fingers instead of a mouse. Make sure all your calls to action are large enough and your hyperlinks have enough space between them. Tip: a finger takes up, on average, about 44×44 pixels on a mobile screen.

4. Be relevant

Your database is one of the most powerful assets you have to increase the number of clicks in your emails. Using the information in your database, you can send your recipients relevant emails that fit their needs. The most efficient form of email relevancy based on the data in your database is event-driven email marketing. For example, you send emails based on someone’s interests, products someone purchases or didn’t purchase. Abandoned shopping carts, for example, are known to increase click-through rates 20%.

5. Test and measure

Not every target group is the same. That’s why you should use the previous four tips merely to get started. From there, the best way to improve your open rate is by testing various strategies and to keep measuring the results. Test emails with split-run and A/B tests, including different send times and different subject lines. Keep experimenting until you find the right format and the click-through rate you’re aiming for.

Email Marketing Tips: How To Prepare Your Email Marketing Strategy For Holiday Seasons (Infographic)

One of the most important aspect that every email marketer in the world should focus on is planning. A good email marketer don’t just see the month before. They need to “foresee” the next month or two (in some cases, the whole year ahead). They should know what months are the busiest one and which ones require extra hard work.

In some months, especially on a holiday season, you will need extra planning because many of your competitors’ email will fill up in your subscribers’ inboxes. If you need help preparing for the holiday season here is a useful infographic which will help you to plan your email marketing strategy.

For example: although the back-to-school season dominates August and September, we can start reminding people about the upcoming holidays. It is a good idea to encourage them to sign up for credit cards or to download your mobile app in preparation for their holiday shopping.

In October, the average amount of promotional emails that retailers send to active subscribers jumps to 20 emails from August/September’s 18. So, you’ll need to focus on making your email messages stand out from your subscribers’ increasingly hectic inboxes. Ideas for October email themes include taking advantage of pre-holiday clearance sales, pre-ordering the hottest gifts, creating wish lists, and learning about financial services and layaways.

For more comprehensive information about email marketing planning during holiday, check out the following infographic:

Click to Enlarge

Email Marketing Tips: How to Minimise Unsubscribes from Your Email List

After a certain amount of time, some subscribers will choose to leave your email list, no matter how hard your attempts to keep them. Don’t worry. It’s the nature of any permission-marketing channel that the final decision and control over receiving the messages rest in the hands of subscribers.

So, it is okay to accept unsubscribes as a fact of life and not take them personally.

You can also take some steps to reduce the number of unsubscribes by not only honoring the cornerstones of permission (choice and control), but also expanding the options you offer.

Here are five specific steps you can take to avoid email subscribers from leaving your list. These tips are also very useful to improve the user’s experience concerning your email program.

1. Opt-down as an alternative to opt-out

Probably the most popular and effective deterrent to an email opt-out is a practice known as the ‘opt-down’. In short, an ‘opt down’ means to “reduce email frequency”. For the subscribers of many retailers, publishers, and other high-volume senders of email, the opt-down provides the breathing room and relief that subscribers need to avoid feeling smothered by a brand in the inbox.

Either frequency is a significant reduction in volume from daily and provides enough relief to make subscribers on the fence about staying on the list much more comfortable with sticking around.

2. Provide category-specific selections

Opting down in promotional email marketing is a logical choice, but it’s not the only way subscribers can stem the rising tide of email. For many marketers (business-to-business, travel, services), a high volume of email messages is the result not of constant promotional offers but the overall mix of many different message types.

When you combine newsletters, video/blog content, event-related messages, triggered email, and reminders/alerts with promotional offers, sometimes it makes more sense to offer category opt-downs vs. frequency opt-downs, since many subscribers will be satisfied to maintain a minimum level of contact rather than unsubscribe completely, giving them an option to remain subscribed to your email newsletter is an excellent option.

3. Include an email “change-of-address” function

The third way to give subscribers the choice and control they need to avoid leaving your list is to allow them to change or update their email address. The fact is, people will need or want to update the email address they’ve given you for many reasons, hera are the most common:

  • They change email account providers due to a move or job change.
  • They revise their chosen subscribed address from a work to a personal email address (or vice versa).
  • They abandon a consumer email account that is receiving overwhelming, unstoppable amounts of spam for a clean new primary email address.

If your subscribers want to update their email address with you, let them do so. Provide a function that allows them to do that.

4. Pay attention to message format choices

Nowadays, with the fact that nearly 60% of all email being opened on mobile devices, message format and rendering become the main concern. Often, to stay interested and engaged with your email messages, subscribers need to receive your emails in a more easy-to-read format. That means offering them the choice of plain text vs. HTML, or allowing them to indicate the device on which they normally interact with email. These options can be integrated into your unsubscribe pages to mitigate opt-outs, into an email (or overall account) preferences center, or both.

If you suspect message format and rendering issues might be causing people to leave your list, offering simplified format choices is a must.

5. Communicate beyond email

Finally, just because someone leaves your email list doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to hear from you at all anymore. If they have been a customer before leaving your email list, make sure to keep in touch through alternative channels, such as direct mail, catalog, and social media. Track a list member’s buying behavior after the unsubscribe. Chances are, they may simply not be a fan of email as a marketing channel. However, they might be still fond of your brand.

Be selective. Don’t cease all communication to subscribers who opt out of email. Monitoring customer engagement and purchase history across all channels is essential to knowing where and through which it economically pays to continue customer communication, reduce it, or cease it altogether.

Whenever you see the email list opt-out as a learning opportunity rather than a loss, you will see it in a more positive light and reap additional insight into your subscriber base. Activating even a few of the ideas above will not only help you keep more email list members but also tell you a lot about where you can improve your programs to prevent opt-outs or complaints in the future.

Four Types of Triggered Email For Company Websites

Triggered emails are emails that sent automatically, which following the actions taken by website visitors. Mostly, triggered emails have the highest open and response rates. They contribute a big element in a website’s overall marketing strategy.

Commercial websites can use a variety of triggered emails to accomplish different website goals, such as increasing traffic and generating sales leads. Today, we will provide four examples of triggered email strategies and how they can be applied to company websites.

1. Welcome Emails

A welcome email is your website’s first opportunity to communicate with new prospects. This email “launches” when visitors subscribe to your mail subscription. Impress them with the benefits they’ll receive as subscribers, giving them important information, contacts, and, if possible, a new subscriber bonus.

A welcome email also confirms to subscribers that they’ve been added to your list. Make sure you feature subscribe boxes prominently on your home page. Make it easy for visitors to subscribe. Every subscriber is valuable, and can be worth a great deal of money over the course of your relationship. Start by sending an appropriate welcome message at the point of opt-in.

2. Webinar Invitations and Whitepaper Downloads Offering

Webinars, whitepapers or product demonstrations are effective promotions. When prospects supply their email addresses to register or download the information, make sure your subsequent email communications are timely and relevant. In addition, you might consider creating an email “drip” program, targeting prospects that have signed up for the download or webinar. Afterwards, send follow-up emails. If the prospect indicated an interest in a certain subject, make sure to send invitations on that topic in the future.

3. Form-Fill Abandonment

If your site has a form to gather information or to initiate a sale, this is a terrific opportunity to set a triggered email. It functions similarly to an abandoned shopping cart email. Once someone partially completes the form and then abandons it, you can send an automatic email to help them finish. Even if your site does not physically sell a product, you can still utilize this strategy. This will allow you to increase your completions of form fills and grow your prospects.

4. Conversion-Process Abandonment

Other business sites that have a conversion funnel should mimic an abandoned-cart type of message by notifying prospects that have abandoned the process. This process could include a completing a form for a service estimate, scheduling an appointment, or requesting additional information.

Prospects may have thought they completed the form, but in fact they missed the last confirmation screen. They could have been interrupted. There are dozens of reasons why prospects may abandon the process. But make sure you give them the opportunity to return by providing an email with links to exactly where they were in the process.

Conclusion

Consumers are very busy. They are frequently interrupted by meetings and phone calls. Triggered emails help your prospects when they were in the process of interacting with your site. Triggered emails are helpful and valued. They typically have higher open and conversions rates than any other form of email. Take advantage of all the triggered-email opportunities on your site to catch prospects that left prematurely.

Twenty Five Amazing Statistics of Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective tactics for driving sales. According to a study by ExactTarget, 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email.

Quality communication with your prospects and customers can get you closer to the leads. So sit back and relax. Here is the list of twenty five surprising email marketing statistics. Check them out:

1. 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.

2. 33% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone.

3. Roughly half of an email list will be active – either opening or clicking on emails.

4. Subject lines fewer than 10 characters long had an open rate of 58%.

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

6. For B2B companies, subject lines that contained “money,” “revenue,” and “profit” performed the best.

7. 64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line.

8. 7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week.

9. 39% of marketers have no strategy for mobile email.

10. 72% of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content via email.

11. 56% of businesses say they plan to increase their use of email marketing in 2013.

12. Monday emails had the highest revenue per email.

13. 27% of consumers were more likely to say their favorite companies should invest in more email.

14. 1 in 2 marketers use animated gifs in their email campaigns.

15. This year, about 84% of all email traffic will be spam.

16. Email ad revenue reached $156 million in 2012.

17. Emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate.

18. Women click 10% more often than men on mobile emails.

19. Email marketing spend grows 10% year over year.

20. 40% of B2B marketers rated the leads generated by email marketing as high quality.

21. For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment.

22. 82% of consumers open emails from companies.

23. 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices.

24. There are 3.6 billion email accounts in 2013.

25. By 2016, the number will reach 4.3 billion.

 

Email Marketing: Still a Better Way To Sell than Twitter or Facebook

In 2013, no company can expect to be taken seriously if it’s not on Facebook or Twitter. An endless stream of advice from marketing consultants warns businesses that they need to “get” social or risk becoming like companies a century ago that didn’t think they needed telephones.

Despite the hype that inevitably clings to the newfangled, however, it’s relatively antique tech that appears to be far more important for selling stuff online. A new report found that over the past four years, online retailers have quadrupled the rate of customers acquired through email to nearly 7 percent.

Facebook over that same period barely registers as a way to make a sale, and the tiny percentage of people who do connect and buy over Facebook has stayed flat. Twitter, meanwhile, doesn’t register at all. By far the most popular way to get customers was “organic search,” according to the report, followed by “cost per click” ads (in both cases, read: Google).


Click to enlarge

According to this diagram, it is revealed that customers who came to retailers from search were more than 50 percent more valuable than average. In other words, they were more likely to shop more and spend more. Email customers were nearly 11 percent more valuable than average. Facebook customers were just about average. Twitter customers, meanwhile, were 23 percent less valuable than the average during the two years following that first click.

It wouldn’t necessarily to say that Twitter is inherently a bad way to do (online marketing), but we haven’t seen a lot of good Twitter strategies right now. Twitter marketing campaigns right now tend to rely on the chancy likelihood that someone will run across a deal when they dip into their feed. Even if they do see it, within seconds it disappears.


Click to enlarge

Email, on the other hand, has a certain unfair advantage in that shoppers getting the emails have already given up their addresses to a site, suggesting they already have some prior relationship with that retailer. Still, despite the avalanche of spam we all get, it’s easy to see how the staying power and greater potential for personalization of a medium without a 140 character limitation gives email distinct advantages.

However, these findings don’t bode especially well for social media business models, especially Twitter. Of course, ads on Facebook and Twitter don’t have to lead to immediate clicks to have an impact. They still have the potential to raise ambient awareness. Yet Google’s ads, by contrast, do lead not only to clicks but to purchases—the holy grail of “conversion.”

To be fair, Google had a roughly 10-year head start to turn the search into sales. It’s hard to imagine that in a decade that social media won’t be a more important channel for selling stuff. Already its “product cards” provide a very direct way for Twitter to act as a storefront. Businesses probably shouldn’t abandon social just yet. But if they had to pick, that old-timey mailing list may trump tweets for a long time to come.

Email Subjects and Why They are Very Important for You

With the high rising of email volumes, ‘clutter’ becomes an issue for recipients. Any serious business person will think that having a strong subject line is very important since people rate the subject line as one of the biggest motivators for opening an email.

This article contains a summary of highlights, which is based on a random sample of more than 90,000 email campaigns, each with a minimum list size of 5,000, totaling more than 2 billion emails.

The keywords are scored by relative open, click, click-to-open, and unsubscribe rate. As such a result of 20% should be read as “20% higher than the average.” (In other words, if the average were 20%, the open rate would be 24%.) This article focuses on open, click, and click-to-open rates only. Here is the complete table. (click to enlarge)

Here is the summary of the results by theme:

1. B2B Publishing

  • Content: Subject lines containing the “alert” keyword had far better-than-average open (57.8%) and click (32.9%) rates, though click-to-open (CTO) rates were only 2.1% above-average. By contrast, “newsletter” had below-average open (-11.2%), click (-52.6%), and CTO (-46.7%), with “report” and “top stories” also below-average in each metric. The researchers note that content marketing terms may be saturating consumers, and that marketers should focus on differentiation. Content terms such as “breaking” and “editor” saw strong rates, easily above-average for each metric. Also of note, subject lines with multiple stories delineated by pipes (*|**|***) achieved above-average open (27.5%), click (90.7%) and CTO (14.2%) rates.
  • Date: These were a mixed bag. “This Week” and “monthly” both fell below-average in each of the 3 metrics, while “weekly” was above-average in opens (27.5%) and clicks (24.7%) but below-average in CTOs (2.2%). The only date term to be above-average in each metric was “daily,” which sported an open rate 12.6% above the average, a click rate 35.8% above-average, and a CTO rate 20.7% above-average.
  • Subscriptions: These tended to fare more poorly than content or date terms. “Access” (-9.9%), “free” (-11.1%), “renew” (-21.9%), “subscription” (-15.8%) and “trial” (-14.1%) all saw below-average click-to-open rates, with each of those save for “renew” (22.6%) also below-average in click rates. At the same point, they each sported above-average open rates, except for “subscription” (-8.2%). In fact, “subscription” was below-average in each metric. Only subject lines containing the £ symbol performed above-average in all 3 metrics, and that’s obviously subject to targeting, as the symbol may be irrelevant to many recipients.

2. B2C Publishing

  • Content: Unlike with B2B publishers, subject lines containing the the term “newsletter” saw above-average open (6.4%), click (16.5%) and CTO (9.5%) rates. But, that was overshadowed by the stronger performances of subject lines containing the terms “video,” and “review,” along with those with multiple stories delineated by pipes, or commas. Subject lines containing the question mark symbol fared the worst, with open (-16.9%), click (-22.2%) and CTO (-6.4%) rates all below-average. The term “special” had below-average click and CTO rates, but above-average open rate.
  • Date: As with B2B publishers, the term “monthly” did not fare well, below-average in open (-4.9%), click (-24.6%) and CTO (-20.7%) rates. “Daily” was easily the top performer, scoring way above-average in open (35.1%), click (115%) and CTO (59.2%) rates.
  • Money: These generally tended very poorly. Subject lines containing the £ symbol were below-average in each metric, as were those containing “free,” “% off,” and “discount.” Only “half price” managed to stay above-average in open rates (9.7%), although it also fell behind in click (-44.1%) and CTO (-49.1%) rates.
  • Subscriptions: If the data is to be trusted, B2C publishers should avoid “last chance”, “subscription,” and “trial,” keywords in their subject lines, with each of these below-average in the 3 metrics tracked for this article. (“Trial” was by far the worst performer, with a click rate 74.6% below the average. “Limited” saw above-average open (23.7%) and click (16.4%) rates, but below-average CTO (-5.9%) rates, while “on sale now” was slightly below-average in open rates, but slightly above-average in click and CTO rates.
  • Miscellaneous: B2C publisher emails containing the term “Twitter” performed above-average in open (12.2%), click (18.1%) and CTO (5.3%) rates. “Facebook” was not as lucky with open rates (-6.7%), but also fared better than the average in click (15.2%) and CTO (23.4%) rates. “Deals” performed relatively well in opens (7.3%), but dropped below average in click (-12.3%) and CTO (-18.3%) rates.

3. B2B Events

  • Product: These tended to fare poorly, with “conference,” “forum,” “training,” and “webinar,” each seeing below-average rates in the 3 metrics. Only “exhibition” escaped that fate with a CTO rate 7.5% above-average, although it was below-average in open (-8.2%) and click (-1.4%) rates.
  • Discounts: “Early bird,” “discount,” and “offer” were below-average in open rates, but really tailed off in click and CTO rates, at roughly 30% or more below-average in those metrics. “Free” saw a slightly below-average open rate (-3%), but jumped ahead of the average in click (3.7%) and CTO (6.9%) rates.
  • Urgency: Simply put, the data shows that “Don’t miss” is a good bet, but “Last chance” and “to go” should be avoided.
  • Features: Email recipients apparently were none too fond of subject lines containing “agenda,” “industry,” “keynote,” and “speakers,” but were more favorable to the term “brochure,” which was about average for opens, but above-average for clicks (9.7%) and CTOs (10.2%).
  • Benefits: “Learn” performed the worst out of this group of terms, while “exclusive” was slightly above-average in each metric. “ROI” scored best, with above-average open (9.3%), click (42.7%) and click-to-open (30.5%) rates.
  • Call to action: B2B event marketers may want to pay more attention to these. “Badge,” “download,” “invitation,” and “registration” all scored above-average in each of the 3 metrics, with “download” overall seeing the best results. (Note that there were discrepancies in the unsubscribe rates of these terms, but those are not taken into account for the purposes of this article.)
  • Free stuff: “Game” was below-average in each of the 3 metrics, while iPad won out in a battle of tablets with Kindle. Subject lines with the term “iPad” were above-average in opens (1.9%), clicks (17.5%) and CTOs (15.2%), while those with the term “Kindle” were below-average in each of those metrics. “Win” was slightly below-average in open rate, but 30+% higher in click and CTO rates.

4. B2C Events

  • Money: Each of these currency symbols – $, £, and € – performed better than average in open rates, but worse in click and CTO rates. The dollar sign showed the biggest variance, scoring farthest above-average in open (25.5%) rates, but also furthest below-average in click (-74.9%) and CTO (-80%) rates.
  • Ticket sales: The same dynamic mostly applied to these terms also. “2 for 1,” “cheap,” “discount,” “early bird,” “offer,” and “tickets,” were all above-average in open rates, while being below-average in click and CTO rates. “Save” was the worst performer, below-average in each metric.
  • Show features: Once again, the majority of these terms (“exclusive,” “explore,” “program,” and “reasons”) did well getting opens, but were below-average in click and CTO rates. “Preview” and “win” managed to get above-average open and click rates, but fell below the average in click-to-open rates.
  • Urgency: These terms again showed the same pattern: “last chance,” “meet” and “still time” each achieved above-average open rates, but fared far below the average in click and click-to-open rates.
  • Call to action: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, “opens,” “register,” “tickets,” “visit,” and “!” each followed the same dynamic outlined above. “Register” fared the best out of those terms, with the highest open rate (56.6% above average), and click (-0.8%) and CTO (-36.7%) rates closest to the average.
  • Free stuff: “Game” was below-average in each of the 3 metrics, as it was with the B2B event sector, while iPad again won out in the battle of tablets with Kindle.

5. Retail and E-Commerce

  • Incentives: Retail and e-commerce marketers should avoid including “cheap,” “free,” or “save” in their subject lines, as each of these fared poorly. By contrast “% off” and “sale” both scored above-average in each of the 3 metrics. It was a mixed bag for “half price” and “win,” with the former managing above-average open rates (11.5%) and the latter above-average CTO rates (9.2%).
  • Calls to Action: It was an ugly performance for “buy,” with these emails seeing open rates 19.3% below the average, click rates 59.1% below the average, and click-to-open rates 49.3% below-average. “Order” fared a bit better, getting over the hump with open rates (6.2%), but behind in click (-19.8%) and CTO (-24.5%) rates.
  • Events: As a whole, subject lines containing event terms performed very badly. “Birthday,” “Christmas,” “holiday,” and “summer” each were below-average in opens, clicks, and click-to-opens, and “launch” only avoided that fate by barely crossing the average in open rates (0.3% above-average).
  • Benefits: “Free delivery” was the big winner here, with open (35.9%), click (81.3%) and click-to-open (33.4%) rates all far above the average. “Available” and “new” turned in decent performances, with above-average open and click rates and below-average CTO rates. “Essential” and “offer” did not get the desired responses from consumers, faring below-average in each metric.
  • Superlatives: Recipients did not find subject lines containing superlatives to be particularly engaging. “Fantastic,” “good,” and “exclusive” were below-average in each metric, while “great” (14.7%) and “latest (95.4%) were only able to see above-average rates for opens.

6. Charities

  • Donations: First the worst performers: “gift,” “give,” “order,” “presents,” and “support” each failed to generate even average open, click, or click-to-open rates. “Donate,” “join” and “member” scored above the average in opens, but were behind in clicks and click-to-open rates. “Volunteer” fared well in open (55.6%) and click (44.9%) rates, while falling off the pace in click-to-opens (-6.9%). It was the same story for “help.”
  • Money: Subject lines containing the £ symbol fared poorly, while those with “% off” hewed close to the average in each of the 3 metrics.
  • Events: “Challenge,” “Christmas,” “event,” “marathon,” and “run” each performed better than average in open rates, but below-average in click and click-to-open rates.
  • Content: This was a mixed bag, although overall most content terms fared poorly. “Action,” “campaign,” “child,” “inspiration,” “lives,” “today,” “video,” “views,” and “win,” all failed in their attempts to generate responses from recipients, falling below the average in open, click, and click-to-open rates. “Difference” had poor click (-70.8%) and click-to-open (-75.3%) rates, but boasted an above-average open rate (18.2%). Of the group, “news,” “society” and “update” performed best, each generating above-average open and click rates. “News” in particular scored well with an open rate 60.7% higher than the average and a click rate 50.7% above-average. Even so, “news,” “society,” and “update” each had below-average click-to-open rates.