Email Marketing Hot Subject Line Topics for Q4 2023

The 2023 Guru Conference was full of knowledge bombs to help your weary email marketing minds rest knowing we have your backs. This year’s event was for live attendees only (no recordings available after the event), and we’re here to give you some takeaways on B2C emails.

  • Emails offering a 10-15% discount have 30% higher click-through rates than offers with discounts over 50%.
  • For the first time in history, name personalization in the subject line performs worse than generic subject lines. This applies to opens, clicks and unsubscribes although personalization within the email body does increase click-through rates by 31%.
  • If you’re sending an email to drive eyes to a downloadable asset (i.e., eBook, White Paper, PDF, etc.), you can increase your email’s open rates by up to 32% if the asset is ungated, which means the online asset is downloadable without forcing the recipient to enter their information on an online data collection form, and you use the word “ungated” in your subject line.
  • Using the words “What if” in your subject line will increase open rates up to 32%.
  • Using a colon following a keyword phrase like “Last Chance: Claim your gift” can increase open rates by 19%.
  • Ellipsis in subject lines like “Question about your content strategy …” increases open rates by 22%.
  • Some email recipient ISPs test links in your marketing emails with their spam security software before routing to the actual recipient inbox. These are called “Bot clicks.” If you have a link to unsubscribe in your email that when clicked, automatically unsubscribes the clicker, you could get a 2000% increase in false positive unsubscribes. It is best to require the recipient to confirm the email address they wish to unsubscribe in a second step to prevent erroneous unsubscribes.
  • If an email gives the recipient the VIP treatment by giving them priority access or exclusive offers not yet available to everyone, open rates will be 28-31% higher.
  • Opt-In rates for consumer email November–December are 200% higher than any other 60-day period.
  • Unsubscribes for consumer email November–December is 270% higher than any other 60-day period.
  • Emails promoting webinars that include the word “webinar” in the subject line get 29% lower open rates than those that only mention the topic.
  • Emails promoting ebooks that include the word “ebook” in the subject line get 34% lower open rates than those that only mention the topic.
  • Sending email newsletters twice within three days of the initial send will increase overall open rates by 22%.
  • Use an emoji at the beginning of your subject lines instead of at the end and enjoy a 27% increase in open rates.
  • The “from name” you use, when sending marketing emails to identify who your emails are coming from, matters more than your subject line to influence a recipient to open your email. You can use your brand (i.e Infinity Direct), brand with a recognizable name (i.e Jake from Infinity Direct), or brand with words (i.e. Infinity Direct Black Friday Promotion) that help give the inbox preview additional context.
  • From name (a.k.a Friendly From) that adds additional context to the subject line offer has a 34% increase in open rates. An example would be to use a from name like “Infinity Direct Black Friday Promotion” in conjunction with a subject line like “Get a FREE Look-Alike Prospect Audience in January.”

The year is coming to a close, but you can try out some of the tips above to boost your email program’s success now and early 2024. If you need help with designing and coding a responsive email to support your subject lines, let’s talk.

Jenny Lassi • November 27, 2023

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