The Ultimate Subject Line Guide. Part 2 – Specifics, Workflow and Broadcast Messages.

Did you know 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line whereas  69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Emails with no subject all together have an open rate of 8% more than those with a subject line, whereas e-mails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

Last time we discussed Welcome Messages. This time we will review best and worst subject lines for Specifics vs. Teasers, Workflow and Broadcast Messages.


Do we need to spell it out? Yes. When faced with the choice between being clever or being direct with your subject line, always state your purpose clearly to increase your results, as these email marketers discovered with these top openers:


If the subscriber feels you’ve burned them before, the chances of them falling for another attempt to get their attention with an enticing subject line again is slim and you may find yourself in the Promotions or Junk folder next time!

WORKFLOW MESSAGES. Nurture leads the way YOU’D want to be nurtured.

Workflow messages anticipate the behavior of your leads and customers with pre-set email messages. If they do action A , this behavior will trigger messages B, C, and so forth, to move them through a sales funnel. Quite simply, you create emails now to work for the benefit of your business in the future.

The most successful workflow messages are often those already anticipated by the recipient, such as “thank you for downloading,” part two in a two-part video series, or some other confirmation email. Analysts also found workflow messages that drove subscribers to complete one overall event action — as long as the messages were related — had high open rates (e.g., “Have you signed up for the jobs fair yet?” and “How to get the most from the jobs fair.”)

When email marketers use demographic data and other informational tidbits they know about a subscriber — such as that they’re a mother or about to retire or perhaps he/she is an animal lover — to assign them to a specific segmented path via a nurture workflow, great open rates are practically assured. In fact, emails with personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

In general, all unsuccessful subject lines have one thing in common — they all lack relevancy and specificity. At one time or another, every email marketer has been guilty for using at least one of these no-nos in their workflow messages.

Don’t simply rely on the sender name in the “from” field to inform your subscriber to what the message is about; the reason why subject lines can make or break your marketing ROI is that people scroll through them to decide which emails they want to open and in what order. Most people do not scan their inbox from left to right — their eyes stay focused in the center on the bolded, unread subject lines — so include your company’s name and any other details to ensure yours stands out.

After the initial opening of your message, a subscriber may hang on to your email in their inbox or archive to search for it later, and a clear subject line makes your message easier to index and find when they’re ready to use the coupon you sent.

workflow workflow1

BROADCAST MESSAGES. Say it don’t spray it.

Subject lines having to do with new jobs, schools, money, payments, awards, prizes, purchases, shipped packages — you don’t even have to try. For example, our analysts saw a sent message literally titled “eblast” or with terrible typos, but everyone opens them anyway if they’re about monetary-impacting topics. But perhaps don’t take human nature for granted and still provide information when possible.

If you’re accustomed to sending broadcast messages with no hyperlinks enclosed within the body text, you may want to rethink that. Much of what makes email marketing the most effective marketing channel is its ability to elicit two-way customer engagement, so go ahead and include call-to-action links that allow you to track your customer’s journey. Many lead generation professionals would warn email marketers not to include too many link choices; it’s best to stick with just one. Otherwise, your customer will not know what you want them to do!

For our worst examples, clearly the senders knew nothing specific about their intended recipients, as these vague email subject lines show. Random, impersonal questions or requests written for a broadcast message, such as a newsletter or promotion, do not yield high open rates.

best-broadcast worst-broadcast

Next time we will review Subject Line Writing Tips

The MaCorr Team;

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