‘Short and Specific Are Most Successful’; Email Subject Lines and Send Times Matter

In their Email Engagement Report – Q2 2022, Omeda broke down Best Days to Send by what you are sending. Newsletters drew best click rates on Monday/Tuesday, and marketing emails on Wednesday/Thursday. “A lot of success can boil down to two factors: which day of the week to send an email and the best length for a subject line,” they wrote.

In that report, Omeda also tested their results that short subject lines get more opens and clicks—on their own newsletter mailing.

“In the end, our winning subject line was ‘Omeda Newsletter’—beating out every phrase and all the top subject line keywords we tested,” they wrote. “After testing longer and shorter phrases on other types of emails, what we found is simple: subject lines that are short, concise and specific are most successful.”

Here are 9 other ways to get more attention for your emails:

Take a number please. Email open and reply rates go up when there’s a number in the subject line. “Numbers and data get your emails noticed,” a report said last year. “Demonstrate a clear and straightforward message about your offer, and set the right expectations for your readers, helping draw them in.”

Craft your welcome message. More than 30% of onsite digital subscriptions originate from welcome messages that provide an introduction to new readers, and “warn” messages that serve as reminders as the reader approaches the paywall meter limit. Numbers show that getting new members/subscribers engaged from the outset proves enormously important when renewals come up. Use your welcome email or series to ask questions of your subscribers.

Compare and test. Compare when people opened your email to the day/time you actually sent it. Then send your next email at that time when your readers are telling you they are most likely to open email.” Also test different send lines—a person compared to an organization; a mobile responsive design; and a strong call to action—is it telling people exactly the action they should take?

Monitor your sender reputation. According to Demand Metric, “a surprising percentage of study participants do not monitor their sender reputation or were unsure if it is being monitored. Marketers who are not actively monitoring their sender reputation should strongly consider leveraging Sender Score, Google Postmaster Tools, Microsoft SNDS, or other similar tools.”

Adjust your subject line to how your audience opens your emails. If it’s on their phone, then go short on the subject line. According to a study from Marketo, 41 characters, or 7 words, seems to be a sweet spot for email subject line length, which is about 10 characters less than the average subject line. Be direct. While language cuteness has its place, subject lines need to make an immediate impact and reflect what’s in the email. That will also build trust.

Give thought to the preheader text. Preheaders summarize the content in your email for added explanation and enticement. Your readers get an opportunity to preview the email, even while it sits unopened in their inbox. I just started doing this for another newsletter, and the open rate has increased. When done right, the subject line and the preheader complement each other. One example: “Innovative event ideas – Coffee mugs for speakers, drive-in meetings and year-round platforms highlight new twists for the virtual age.”

Send at off times. “As found in our report, 70% of all email traffic occurs within the first 10 minutes of every hour,” writes Greg Kimball, SVP for Validity. “It’s easy for email marketers to schedule their bulk sends for round numbers like 12 and 1 p.m., but if every marketer thinks this way, that means your recipients are getting dozens of impersonal, automated emails in the same chunks of time throughout the day. Shifting your sends by just 10 to 15 minutes means your emails won’t get lost in the hourly influx of messages.”

Seek customer feedback. “To ensure high email relevancy, implement ongoing feedback mechanisms,” Validity reports. “Functionality like ‘rate this email’ provides a quick way to gain visibility into what subscribers want. It’s also a good idea to routinely schedule re-engagement campaigns to maintain list hygiene.

Be empathetic. “The COVID-19 pandemic taught senders important lessons about achieving the right balance of commercialism and empathy in email,” writes Validity. “…Senders need to find ways to give their emails a human element and sell with sensitivity.” I forgot a volunteer usher assignment recently and expected a stern email. Instead, they checked that I was okay. That went a long way for me.


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