If you’re unsure which words to use or avoid in your business-to-business e-mail marketing subject lines, you’re probably not alone. Using certain terms can send your recipients packing, while others just sail on through with more opens and click-to-opens. So, which are which?

Here are the results according to a study by Adestra entitled, “B2B Subject Line Analysis Report,” and reported in Marketing Charts:

Currency symbols:
E-mail subject lines with $ signs scored above-average in opens (15.7%) and clicks (14.7%), but slightly below-average in click-to-opens (-0.8%).

Discount terms:
E-mail subject lines using  “% off,” “discount,” “free,” “half price,” “save,” “voucher,” “early bird,” and “2 for 1″ all came in below-average.
Those using “sale” had above-average in opens (14.4%), clicks (76.5%), and click-to-opens (54.3%), and “voucher” had above-average opens (6.5%). 

News terms:
Subject lines using news terms performed well. “News” (16.2%), “update” (4.9%), “breaking” (33.5%), “alert” (25.9%), and “bulletin” (12.5%) all saw better-than-average click-to-open rates (as well as clicks and opens).
Avoid  using “newsletter” which performed below-average.

Content terms:
Issue” (8.5%) and “top stories” (5.9%) were the only to perform above-average in click-to-opens.
Interestingly,  “forecast,” “report,” “whitepaper,” and “download” saw below-average performance.
Research,” “interview,” and “video” scored above-average for opens, but below-average for clicks and click-to-opens.

Benefit terms:
Latest” was the only to see above-average clicks (8.8%) and click-to-opens (9%), while “special,” “exclusive,” and “innovate,” while performing about average in opens, fared far more poorly in clicks and click-to-opens.

Event terms:
Exhibition,” “conference,” “webinar,” “seminar,” “training,” “expo,” “event,” “register,” and “registration” performed below-average in opens, clicks, and click-to-opens.
The worst offender for click-to-opens was “webinar” (-63.5%). 

Multichannel terms:
Facebook (21.6%) and Pinterest (16.4%) scored above-average in clicks and click-to-opens, though both showed below-average performance in opens.
App” and “iPad” were above-average in opens, and below-average in clicks and click-to-opens.
Both “Twitter” and “LinkedIn” were below-average.

My recommendation?

Print these out on card stock and post to your bulletin board! The next time you compose e-mail subject lines, you’ll have it as a reference.

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One Response to What Works (And Doesn’t) for B2B Subject Lines

  • Pingback: Email Subject Lines – The Good, The Bad, The Effective « BusinessOwnerDepot.com
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