Stat attack: Daily deals subject lines

Our wonderful partners at Return Path recently did a cracking study on the success of Subject Lines in Daily Deal emails using their very neat email intelligence kit. Guy Hanson collated 30 days of engagement data for 7 of the major UK Daily Deals senders.

The piece is full of some great statistics that is very reliable in context, some of the most remarkable are:

  • Read rates declined around a third on subject lines over 75 characters (Most inboxes truncate subject line after 75 characters)
  • Wednesdays seem to get the 12% higher read rates on average than any other day and 20% less emails getting junked by filters
  • Mondays are still the worst

Guy also put a very nice nail in the coffin of the fear of the word ‘free’ in subject lines, announcing that subject line with ‘free’ in got 12% higher open rate than those without.

At this point is it well worth reiterating that that these are ‘daily deals’ senders and pointing out that they only send truly opted-in emails and the reputation they have earned gives them the freedom to experiment with subject lines.

This tidy little factoid does not mean that everyone should just add the word ‘free’ to their subject line in the hope of getting more opens. If it is out of context and your reputation does not support it, it is still likely to get you junked and/or more complaints.

Another neat little stat is: the higher the discount, the lower the engagement! People are suspicious of offers that are too good to be true. Read rates dropped and inbox junk filtering went up – something that’s definitely worth bearing in mind.

Finally, my favourite: the position of the value in the subject line made a difference! Having the value at the start of the subject line (as opposed to the end) got read rates of an average of 35% higher. Subscribers were 4 times less likely to hit spam and twice as likely to re-classify false positives as not spam from the junk folder.

All really good stuff from the RP crew!

As an email marketer you should be testing all of the time, so try some of these and see how they apply to your brand and your market and even compare them to your existing strategies.

Read the full article: “Big Discounts, Small Returns” here.