Report Shows Engagement Depends On Subject Line Keywords, Not Frequency September 18, 2019, | Posted by erin

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As with all kinds of marketing, email marketing is about results. Every week there’s a new study that shows trends in consumer response, or what’s getting great results--or not so great results, depending on the situation. Site Impact knows that staying on the edge of trends and watching what works is important, even though there are some things that have held true since nearly the advent of email. A recent study by GetResponse shows that one of the key metrics for email--engagement--comes down not as much to frequency of sending, but more to subject lines. Today we’re going to dive deep into the study and see what it can tell us about strategy moving forward.


The report

GetResponse, an email marketing provider, released its latest global marketing benchmarks report late last month. The report is a good one to keep an eye out for: in this instance, it covered more then 4 billion email marketing campaigns sent from 126 industries, spanning 19 industries. The timeframe for the study was January to June 2019. All in all, it’s one of the most exhaustive and in-depth studies on the topic of what’s driving success in email marketing this year: the trends, what’s working best, what’s not working, and more. Just by the sheer volume and variety of the data, the GetResponse report does an extremely good job of eliminating factors that may just be important in one area, as opposed to those that apply across all industries participating in email. It’s a really good source for understanding the state of the industry, in other words.


Finding one: sending more often isn’t helping

The subject of email sending frequency--and within that, what the best sending frequency is--comes up often, and it’s no surprise why: the instinct is that the more often you reach out to prospects, the more likely you are to get clicks, and therefore conversions. But this just isn’t true. We’ve talked before about the fact that sending too frequently ends up turning off recipients, rather than engaging them more, and the GetResponse report demonstrates this beautifully. According to the report, marketers that send one email per week have the highest campaign results--open rates of 33.4%, CTR of 4.65%, and click-to-open of 13.91%. Of course this strategy isn’t possible for every brand that uses email marketing, but the trend is clear: fewer, better quality emails do more to drive results than lots of emails with low value.


Finding two: subject lines are make-or-break

We’ve talked about subject lines countless times on the blog and it’s a subject that comes up in the industry constantly. How to game your subject line to make it as appealing as possible is the topic of dozens of webinars, infographics, and blog posts throughout the industry. GetResponse’s report highlights why this is the case: subject lines are make or break when it comes to engagement from recipients. The report found that subject lines that express some tangible value for the email drive much higher engagement than those that don’t. According to the report, the three most effective words also focus on value. “Newsletter,” “PDF,” and “ebook” ranked as the top three keywords for subject lines. The analysis revealed that the average click-to-open-rate for emails including the word “newsletter” in their subject line was 31.43%, including PDF was 30.31% and ebook was 27.84%. This also indicates an increasing willingness on the part of consumers to engage with valuable content--not just deals--that they get via email.


There are a lot of things to take away from the GetResponse report on the status of email marketing globally, but the prime considerations are--as always--what’s really working and what isn’t. By crafting subject lines that express the value you’re offering, and focusing on the quality of the emails you’re sending rather than the quantity, you can give yourself an edge and take your strategies over the top. Contact Site Impact to hear how we can help you get more out of email.