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4 Best Email Subject Lines To Improve Your Open Rate in 2024

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By Dmytro Spilka

Email marketing campaigns are one of the most effective ways to send direct information about your business to the inboxes of customers and potential leads who have subscribed to your mailing list.

However, did you know that 69% of email recipients report emails as spam based on the subject line? It’s the first thing they see!

So, to know if your email marketing campaign is driving action or being binned as spam, you need to write subject lines that will improve your open rate metrics. In this article, we cover the 4 best email subject lines for e-commerce brands!

What Is an Email Open Rate?

An email open rate measures the percentage of emails opened compared to the total sent. For example, if three of the ten emails sent to your subscribers were opened, you’d have an open rate of 30%.

In January 2024, the average email open rate across all industries was 36.80%, with childcare services having the highest open rate and technology services having the lowest. 

However, anything between 17% and 28% is considered a good email open rate, so it’s essential not to compare your email open rate to others in the industry. Instead, analyze how your open rates improve or deteriorate over time and use this data to determine what content interests your target audience!

What Elements of an Email Affect the Open Rate?

Now that you know what an email open rate is, it’s also essential to understand how the different elements of your email can affect its open rate: 

Sender information

Consider who is sending email on behalf of your business and how easily the recipient will recognise their name or your branded email address.

Do recipients prefer emails from the CEO? Testing the sender information on your email marketing campaign is a great way to see what name your subscribers are most likely to open an email from.

Sending at the wrong time 

You may be sending your emails at the wrong time, which can negatively affect the open rate. 

A 2023 study by Hubspot found that emails sent between 9am and midday have a higher open rate than those sent in the evenings after 6pm. It also showed that more people open emails on weekdays rather than weekends. 

(Image Source: HubSpot)

However, every brand and industry differs, so try using an email marketing tool like Constant Contact to test what works best for you. Their dashboard lets you see the days and times your email campaigns were sent, then you can assess which days and times have the better open rates.

Segmentation

Segmentation is the process of dividing and separating your email subscribers into groups based on differences like: 

  • Age. For example, an audience of older people or the retired might want to receive emails in the morning or daytime, as opposed to the evening when family or friends visit.
  • Location. For example, schedule emails to be sent outside of your local work hours so your international subscribers don’t receive emails in the middle of the night and miss them.
  • Behaviors. For example, if a customer logs in to your website and checks on their appointment information at a specific time, you should send future emails during those hours because you know they’re active.

Segmenting your email list helps ensure that your subscribers only receive relevant and valuable emails, which they are more likely to be interested in opening. It will also help you avoid sending emails which annoy recipients and stop them from opening future emails. 

Subject lines

This is key: 47% of recipients click on an email based on the subject line, which really highlights the importance of the subject line you choose. It can make or break your send! 

Recipients will only open your email if the subject line is relevant to them and clear about what is inside the email. (This is one reason why A/B tests are a good idea – you can find out what subject lines your audience most responds to and use that information to improve open rates on future sends.)

4 Best Email Subject Lines To Use in 2024 

Subject line length can vary depending on different factors, but keeping it within 30 to 50 characters or 4 to 7 words is recommended – especially if you want to optimize your email campaign for mobile devices (which you should do!).

Here are some of the best email subject lines to use in 2024 if you want to improve your open rate: 

1) Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Subject Lines

A majority (60%) of millennials claimed they make a reactive purchase after experiencing FOMO, most often within 24 hours. 

Words that bring limited availability or time sensitivity to mind – such as ‘expires’, ‘urgent’ or ‘limited’ – will work as FOMO subject lines. Here are some examples: 

  • Don’t miss out on this opportunity
  • Urgent! Order your bank holiday outfit now
  • Get this limited offer before it disappears
  • Hurry! 25% off expires today

(Image Source: screenshot from personal inbox)

2) Personalized Subject Lines

Recipients are 22% more likely to open emails with personalized subject lines, such as:

  • Happy birthday, [Name]! We have a birthday treat for you
  • Hey [Name], I haven’t seen you in a while
  • Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter [Name]
  • [Name], check out these hand-picked deals for you

Using the recipient’s name is the best way to personalize your subject line, but you can also include deals specific to their location!

3) Curiosity Subject Lines

Subject lines that create curiosity have a 22% higher open rate, as open-ended sentences can intrigue your subscribers into opening the email and seeing what’s inside.

Subject lines that tease your customers with deals, ask engaging questions, or tell them what to do will work to evoke their curiosity. Here are some examples:

  • Do you want unreal offers for really low prices?
  • Take a peek at your surprise birthday gift
  • Look at our hottest offer of the month
  • A weekend surprise is waiting to be unwrapped

4) Incentive Subject Lines

A whopping 80% of those surveyed claimed that they would purchase something from a new brand if they received an offer or discount code, so providing incentives through emails can improve your open rates from new leads!

Incentive subject lines should highlight the benefit the recipient will receive if they open your email. Here are some examples:

  • 20% off first orders
  • Sale on all orders this weekend
  • Buy one, get one free
  • Want to access free next-day delivery?

Email campaigns with ‘free’ in the subject line are opened 10% more than those without. However, not all businesses can offer products and services for free, so consider offering a free email newsletter, free delivery, or a ‘buy one, get one free’ deal.

(Image Source: screenshot from personal inbox)

4) Retargeting Subject Lines

The average cart abandonment rate is 70.19%. Retargeting subject lines should remind and convince your email subscribers to complete an action they started but never finished, such as making a purchase.

Here are some retargeting subject line examples:

  • Some of the items in your cart have been discounted 
  • Good news! Your favorited item is back in stock
  • Did you forget your 15% discount code?
  • Shipping charges have been deducted from your cart

Conclusion 

The above open rate statistics prove why all of these subject lines could work in your email campaign. However, we understand that each campaign will require a different tactic!

If you can’t offer incentives for one campaign, try retargeting your old leads. If you don’t have enough subscriber information to personalize your emails, try to evoke the fear of missing out or curiosity.

Most importantly, remember to segment your subscriber list. This will maximize the chances of the recipient being interested in the email’s contents, opening it, and taking your desired conversion. Best of luck!

If you want to keep growing and scaling your e-commerce sales, learn more about how to start your own affiliate program with ClickBank!



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