Newsletters have an opening rate of up to 40 percent. That makes them a cornerstone of every marketing mix. But before you send out your first newsletter, it's worth taking the time to consider the subject line and the sender e-mail address. Because with just a little optimisation, you can increase your opening rate even more.
An Austrian service provider for e-mail marketing conducted studies about the opening rate of newsletters. This included testing the effect that different subject lines had on the acceptance of customers.The result: The shorter the subject line, the more likely the newsletter was opened. Text lengths between 20 to 25 characters proved to be most effective. Here, the opening rate was almost 45 percent. When the subject line was longer, the rate fell below 30 percent.
Thus, you should keep the following in mind when writing your subject line:
- Less is more. Keep the subject line below 40 characters long.
- The beginning should contain the most important part: Describe special offers, sales etc. succinctly at the beginning of the subject line.
- Use the right keywords. If you are advertising a generally known product, state the name. If you are advertising a product that is not so well known, think about how you can describe it vividly.
- Be concrete. The more information you offer your customers the better.
One example: Are you offering a prize drawing? That's good. But even better is if you list the main prize in your subject line.
By the way: You might not think so but even the choice of sender name has an effect on the opening rate. The study showed that newsletters that use a person's name as sender have a lower rate of opening as those which carry the name of the company as sender.
One last tip: If you have the option, you should test your newsletter with different subject lines before sending. Make a small selection of recipients and sent them one or the other version of the newsletter. Then decide based on the opening rate which of the two versions is more successful and send this version to the remaining list of recipients.
Volker Schwarz studied German, History and Politics at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. From 2004 to 2009 he worked as a freelancer for several marketing and communications companies in Hamburg, including e-commerce companies. Between August 2009 and December 2011, he worked as an online editor at ePages.