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Test Email Subject Lines for Better Open Rates

When email marketers are developing the best possible email subject lines to entice readers, it becomes crucial for them to test the email subject lines. Ten percent of the time, , they could possibly pick an untested subject line that underperforms by about forty-two percent. And according to the founder of Touchstone Intelligent Marketing, Dela Quist, email marketers must test more than two subject lines.

As a matter of fact, email testing is the root of Quit’s company. This research that was elaborated upon on LinkedIn does come from studies conducted by Touchstone Intelligent Marketing, as well as Persado, which is a writing platform of its own.

When detailing the research conducted by Touchstone, Quist explained the aforementioned statistic, as well as delving deeper into another statistic. His company found that there is a thirty-three percent chance that the untested subject line chosen could underperform by twenty percent below the average of subject line effectiveness.

When testing only two subject lines, Quist acknowledged that the odds of success do increase, but it does not ultimately matter. This is because if both subject lines are invariably poor, one slightly better, then it does not ultimately matter because both are poor products. The essential gist of Quist’s findings is that f you only give yourself two options for subject lines during testing, you are limiting your potential to have an above average subject line.

Alternatively, when testing three subject lines at the same time, it gave interesting insights.  The potential for success increases by seven percent as opposed to the increase of three percent with two subject lines. Ultimately, though, a test of four different subject lines seems to be the most beneficial. This is because the potential for success increases by thirty-three percent.

One example of email marketing and subject line testing that created a gold mine of data came from Persado’s test. They tested thirty-two different subject lines when doing marketing work for Air Canada. Their study returned a plethora of statistics. This includes the opening of emails increased by forty-eight percent when the emotion of anxiety was emphasized in the subject line. Ultimately, an emotion of any kind proved to be the most useful tactic in subject lines. The use of it proved to result in sixty percent more success than other tactics emphasized like safety, thankfulness etc.

Some of these latter goals in the email subject lines proved more effective than others. For example, putting an emphasis on seasonal sales. were statistically less viable than subject luines that emphasized gratitude.

Additionally, the opening of the emails and the links inside the emails increased by over two hundred. Twenty percent when effective call-to-action phrases are used in the subject lines. Examples include phrases like “see deals.” Lastly, marketers must be sure that they are engaging their subscribers. This ensures that the marketers do not grom stale among the subscribers.

So, marketers, how do you feel about these statistics? Do you believe they are accurate? Will you be employing them in your company? Sound off below!

Successful email marketing includes testing your subject lines. For further information on how to perform successful email subject line testing, contact the experts at

David James

President, Bethesda List Center, Inc + Bethesda Emedia Marketing.