Words Matter: The Email Case

emailMailChimp recently studied approximately 24 billion delivered emails with subject lines composed of approximately 22,000 distinct words to determine what words email subject lines are most likely to get attention. The study was designed to determine  how much of a the words used can make on open rates.

Words with positive impacts resulted in increased open rates, and words with negative impacts hurt those same rates.

Overview of findings:

  • Personalization increases open rates. The use of both first and last names in a subject has the largest positive impact on open rates.
  • Using “free” in a subject was found to be positive and statistically significant for certain industries, it was smaller when looking at all industries together. Use of the word “freebie” was found to result in a much larger increase in open rates.
  • Attention-grabbing words like “urgent” and “important” resulted in open rates that were much higher than normal.
  • Recipients are much more intrigued by announcements and event invitations than cancellations and reminders.
  • Words related to charitable actions and donations had a negative impact on open rates. “Donation” had the most negative impact.

Read the report.