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One of the key email campaign metrics is open rates, and a large part of its success is subject lines. Marketers know that testing email subject lines is one of the best ways to see the needle move on open rates.
A bad subject line means, in over 30 percent of cases, that customers won’t open your email, and that means they won’t see what you’re offering, won’t click through, and won’t make a purchase. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that the subject lines you’re writing are in fact engaging and compelling, and the secret is testing.
Best Ways to Test Email Subject Lines
The most effective way to test email subject lines is a process called A/B, or multivariate, testing. It allows you to run two near-identical versions of the same marketing material to find out which one performs best. When it comes to email, there are a number of things you can test, including the subject line, but also the call to action, text, images, personalized greeting, and more.
After you make one single change to the original version—for instance, changing the subject line from “Here’s something you might like” to “Hi Amanda, get your special invitation today”—then you can send out the two versions to different customers to see which one has a higher open rate, a higher click through rate, and ultimately a higher conversion rate.
Performing Your Tests
The first step is to determine what you want to test. To test email subject lines, there are a number of factors you can play around with, including:
- Subject line length
- Type of salutation (such as being personalized based on name, company, or area, or not personalized at all)
- Whether your audience likes subject lines with numbers
- If there are certain words that resonate best with your recipients
- Whether to use questions or statements
- What kinds of deals or promotions your audience likes
As soon as you decide what to test (test one variable at a time), then you can create different versions of the email subject line. When you have your different versions ready, you can send out batches of emails to test the versions.
Make sure you keep track of the different versions and how they perform. As soon as you have a clear winner, stop the test and start using the most effective one.
What Else Testing Can Do for Your Company
Every time a subject line performs well or poorly, not only do you gain valuable information about that specific subject, but so too do you learn invaluable insights about your customers. For instance, say certain segments respond better to emails that use their first names in the subject, while other segments prefer emails with their location.
You can implement this information in future campaigns without having to test, and you understand your customers a little better too. Not only does this mean you’re able to create more engaging content, but so too does it mean that you’re better equipped to craft emails that won’t get reported, and that will be opened, read, and clicked.
Testing emails subject lines is made easy with the right email lead generation software. Clickback’s software will help you with much more than just how to test email subject lines. You’ll also be able to personalize emails for different segments of your list, reach out to cold contacts with confidence, keep your list clean and maintained, and much more.