Unexpected insights on email click rates and subject lines

 |  By: Steve Johnson In: Trends

Here are two fascinating little extracts from the new 56-page Email Marketing Trends 2018 survey (by Smart Insights / Pure 360).

Beyond opens and clicks

Everyone sending eshots tracks opens and clicks. But what do those bare stats not tell us?

The survey respondents were asked what they would do next if they received an interesting email. 65% of them said they would click it.

But here’s the interesting bit. Look at this wealth of actions they take if they don’t click it:

  • 42% save the email to look at on a later date.
  • 41% go to the company’s website via another route, eg by search.
  • 40% bear the information in mind for later use.
  • 24% visit the company’s high street shop.
  • 22% go to a comparison website.
  • 15% go to a competitor’s website.
  • 13% go to the company’s social site.
  • 5% share the email with someone else.
  • 5% phone the company.

That's a complicated picture. It also makes marketing attribution hard to do properly. But that’s life, because people are indeed complicated creatures.

It’s certainly a bit of an eye-opener to see that so many people can find an email interesting, remember it, don’t click, and take such substantial actions. It also gives a nudge to marketers about what to put in subject lines and emails. Cryptic, teaser emails miss out on all this.

By the way, 9% of the respondents said they don’t receive any emails that are interesting...

Subject line length – a surprise result

Many marketers accept the popular wisdom that subject lines need to be between 25 and 65 characters in length. However the stats from the survey show that this is quite wrong. Subject lines of 25-65 characters performed the worst of all.

Peak open rates happened to be around 16, 87 and 103 characters. Subject lines of 25-65 were more common, but received far lower and flatter results. The implication is that anything that is a bit different from the norm is helpful nowadays. 'Normal' means dull and invisible.

Similarly, subject lines that contained unusual words can boost open rates by 34%.

The full report can be seen at https://www.pure360.com/white-papers/email-marketing-trends-2018/ (registration needed).

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