A subject line can draw you in or turn you off

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Email remains a powerful, cost-effective marketing tool for marine dealers, assuming the recipient doesn’t hit the delete button first, of course.

So, regardless of how great the offer might be inside, success or failure starts on the critical subject line.

On average, inboxes can be filled with up to 150 email messages each day. They come from family, friends and business associates. Those are the ones most likely to be opened because they’re recognized and desired. For marketing emails, then, not having them considered inbox clutter is the challenge. It means the email subject line is actually the beginning statement of the story and will probably be the only opportunity to make the connection with the customers or prospects.

There are certain words being used in the subject line that greatly increase the odds that the recipient will open the email, according to research by Alchemy Worx, a global email marketing agency servicing brands like Sony, Hilton and Getty Images.

Their exhaustive study examined 21 billion emails and came up with the best and worst words overall for spurring email recipients to open the emails. The top five words are:

  1. Upgrade — 66 percent higher than average opens
  2. Just — 65 percent higher
  3. Content — 59 percent higher
  4. Go — 56 percent higher
  5. Wonderful — 55 percent higher

Similarly, there are words that appear certain to trigger “delete” by the recipients. The worst overall included:

  • Miss — 4.6 percent below average
  • Deal! — 4.38 percent below
  • Groovy — 4.26 percent below
  • Conditions — 4.04 percent below
  • Friday! — 4 percent below

The Alchemy Worx study backs up what other email marketing experts say: that just one word in the subject line could make a significant difference. It also acknowledges that, ultimately, a business has to determine what works best for itself. That said, the subject line is the most important part of a marketing email. Thorough attention to this detail can deliver increased click-through rates and those hoped-for conversions.


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