Subject lines: why language diversity matters
by Stu Elmes
4 minutes read time | 30 May 2019
Choosing just the right email subject line for the email marketing campaign you’ve just finished building might be the most important decision you make today.
There are several good reasons, but here are a few of the best ones:
1. Open rates – As many as 47% of email subscribers decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone.
2. Spam reports – 69% of email recipients report having marked a marketing email as “spam” based solely on its subject line.
3. ROI – The quality of the subject lines you use can have a MASSIVE impact on the revenue your emails generate.
In today’s crowded inbox, finding ways to capture subscriber attention and get that all important open is more crucial than ever before. Effective email subject lines, optimized for the tastes and preferences of a brand’s unique audience, are the most effective tool to help you accomplish exactly that.
Increasing subject line efficacy through better use of language
There are many factors that separate the “good” email subject lines – the ones that engage subscribers and generate revenue – from the “bad” email subject lines – the ones that do little more than annoy subscribers and damage your brand. Understanding these factors, and building email subject lines that reflect this understanding, can (and often does!) mean the difference between email marketing success and email marketing failure.
As a company that has made understanding exactly what makes a subject line work the very foundation of our business, the team here at Phrasee has analyzed the performance of millions of email subject lines across dozens of industries over the years. This exhaustive process taught us a lot about what makes an effective email subject line – and what doesn’t.
The story all that performance data told us was one of rapidly evolving subscriber preferences, shifting audience tastes, and an urgent need for ongoing, rigorous subject line split testing to keep brands ahead of the curve.
But there’s another part of the story all those email sends had to tell that surprised us a bit. A lesson that took an awesome team of data scientists and the world’s most advanced marketing language generation/optimization AI platform to unearth; when it comes to email subject line performance and effective split testing, language diversity matters.
Language diversity and email marketing performance
Phrasee’s data science team analyzed over 420 million subscriber interactions with email subject lines and identified a clear correlation between language diversity and email subject line performance.
Recycling the same old words, phrases, and themes again and again simply doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. It takes fresh, engaging subject line language to capture and maintain subscriber interest these days. Keep plugging the same language that worked a month ago into your subject line split tests, and all you’ll get is a poorly-performing subject line that tested better than a few other poorly-performing subject lines.
And what good is that?
Incorporating more linguistic variance into the subject lines you test on your audience is the only effective way to find out what’s going to maximize your subscriber engagement today. And that’s important, because maximized subscriber engagement means more opens, more click-throughs, and more revenue for you and your brand.
This fact is just as true regardless of which brand is sending the campaign, regardless of which industry that brand operates in, and regardless of the demographic makeup of its audience. Hence, upgrading the linguistic diversity of your brand’s subject lines is an ideal way to differentiate your brand in the inbox and gain a subscriber engagement advantage over the competition.
Measuring language diversity
The trouble is, measuring subject line language diversity is hard. It took our awesome team of data scientists quite some time to figure out how to do it effectively and consistently, even with the help of the most advanced AI tech in the email biz!
But figure it out we did.
We’ve built an easy–to–use tool that lets you measure the linguistic diversity of your brand’s subject lines and visualize how your subject line diversity measures up against that of retail competitors, allowing you to maximize your email marketing success.
It’s free, and it’s awesome.
Here it is:
You may also like:
From start-up to scale-up, Phrasee has enjoyed remarkable growth since it was founded in 2015. This is our story so far in numbers, a story about an awesome team with bold ambitions, creativity, and innovation.
22 Aug 2019
AI is undoubtedly changing the world of work. But what exactly is the creative potential of AI? Can algorithms challenge us and push us creatively? In this post, we take a look at how AI is making inroads into creative fields such as art, film, journalism, copywriting and design.
07 Aug 2019
Our painstakingly curated collection of the best, funniest, and most intriguing tweets from the best and brightest in the world from the month of July 2019. Here's what the marketing Twitter community was tweeting about in July...
31 Jul 2019
Sender name and email subject line are the two elements of every marketing email that drive subscriber engagement in the inbox. But which of these crucial email elements has the biggest impact on email open rates?
24 Jul 2019
The push notification is one of 2019's most exciting, fastest-growing marketing channels. Push notification marketing expert and Messagegears' Product Owner of Data and Cloud Infrastructure Nick Zeich-Lopez offers his awesome insights and tips on how to make push notification marketing work for you and your brand in the months and years to come.
17 Jul 2019
In an increasingly crowded email marketing landscape, how your brand's emails display in the subscriber inbox matters. Email on Acid CEO and Co-founder John Thies dishes the dirt on email's "from fields" and how brands can get more engagement-driving value out of their inbox display.
08 Jul 2019
What does eBay Associate Creative Director Molly Prosser think about the evolving relationship between AI-powered marketing copy optimization tools and modern copywriters? That's just what Phrasee CEO Parry Malm wanted to find out...
03 Jul 2019
A carefully curated selection of the finest tweets the marketing world had to offer in the month of June 2019. Here's what marketing's best and brightest are tweeting about these days...
02 Jul 2019
Saleforce Connections 2019 in Chicago, Illinois has (sadly) now come and gone. Here are 5 things the Phrasee team saw and heard at this awesome event that we absolutely LOVED...
26 Jun 2019
We are calling the impact that marketing and communicating to customers in an ethical and responsible way has on a business Return on Ethics (ROE). Brands wanting to boost sales, customer loyalty and team morale should swap pressure for positivity and put ROE at the top of their priority lists.
13 Jun 2019
What did the email marketing world's funniest members have to say this month? The best tweets from the month of May 2019. Is yours included?
07 Jun 2019
Salesforce Connections 2019 is just around the corner. It’s expected to be one of the year’s awesomest customer engagement events. Which trailblazing companies should you be making it a priority to connect with? Here are five that everyone attending Salesforce Connections 2019 should make some time for.
06 Jun 2019