Email Marketing

How to increase the open rate with the help of the subject line

3 minutes

How to increase the open rate with the help of the subject line

The proper subject line is one of the main parts of a successful email message. Actually, the subject line determines whether the email message will be opened or deleted without reading. There are several criteria of a successful subject line:

Email service SendPulse has analyzed more than 300 million emails to find out which words influence the open rate, what the best length for the subject line is, and how preheaders influence the general open rate.

What words to use in the subject line

Through analyzing 300 million emails we have found out that the best words for a high open rate are “sale”, “bonus”, “price”, “webinar”, “new” and “invite”. Moreover, more than a quarter of users open the emails that contain special offers and bonuses. So, if you have something interesting to offer your subscribers, send emails with sales/bonuses/offers at least once a month.
At the same time, you’d better forget about such words as “news” and “digest”. Your company’s news is not so interesting to your subscribers. The emails we analyzed containing “news” and “digest” in their subject lines were deleted even without reading.
The next point is to leave out foreign words and slang. If you want your email to be opened by a large number of people from your target audience, you should not use words known only to a small group of people.

Remember that the words “free” and “gift” also do not work in most cases.

The most popular word the email messages was “new”. An interesting fact: the word “new” didn’t even get into the TOP-20 effective words. All the other items are similar to the previous list of effective words.

The length of the subject line

Most of the subject lines are limited to 30-50 symbols. The average opening rate for such emails is 12-15%. But, as we can see on the graph below, the length of the subject line doesn’t influence the general open rate. Thus, we still advise you to use limited subject lines, because different browsers display long subject lines in different ways. Some of them simply cut the line, and mobile devices display only 33 symbols of the subject line at all. So, it’s up to you to decide whether the reader won’t lose the idea of the email viewing only the cut subject line.
In any case, you can always test different lengths for your subject lines in order to find out the most effective texts for your audience.


A preheader is the text that is displayed right after the subject line of the email. As a rule, the preheader is some kind of a logic continuation of the subject line in order to interest the reader. In addition, you can add links with the special offers or social media buttons to your preheader. Talking about the effectiveness of the preheaders, we can’t but mention that fact that the average open rate at the SendPulse platform is 13-14%, and for the email messages that contain an active link in the preheader the rate is 1-2% higher.

Personalization of the email message

Writing the name of the reader in the subject line makes the open rate 1-2% higher than average. Our research shows that it is better to use the first name of a person; a combination of the first and second names took second place in the graph. For example, you can ask the subscriber personally whether he liked the goods he bought from you or not.

Of course, you can use all those research tips in your own practice, but remember that any piece of advice should be adjusted to your personal needs and specific features of your audience. The main factors that influence the open rate are:

  • Relevance of the content
  • Absence of mistakes in your emails (grammar, spelling, etc.)
  • Specific features of your mailing list (it has to be legal!)

If you still have doubts about the email marketing system of your company, you may contact our specialists in order to receive a complex audit of your emails and get some useful pieces of advice.

Date of publication:

July 21, 2015

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Average Rating: 4/5
Total Votes: 66


Facebook Twitter