Ep. 366: 10 Essential Email Subject Line Tests

How to Make Sure You’re Using the Best Email Subject Lines

Who should listen: Anyone who uses email marketing and wants to improve their open rate.

Key idea: To maximize the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, use split testing (also known as A/B testing) to improve your email open rate.

With this week’s Silver Dollar episode, we have one goal in mind: we want to help improve your email open rate.

Next to the click through rate, the open rate may be the most important email performance measure for one simple reason: if no one opens your email, then no one will read your email.

There are oodles of internet articles available to help you write subject lines, but the only way to know if your subject lines will sufficiently entice your audience to open your email is to test them.

Split testing (also known as A/B testing or multivariant testing) is often overlooked by small business owners as a means of improving their email marketing campaigns, but this need not be the case. Just about every email marketing service, including MailChimp, Constant Contact, Moosend, and Drip (from whom we pulled the data for this episode) offer email subject line testing as a feature. The process is fairly simple:

  1. Write your subject lines making sure that only one variable in each line is different.
  2. Determine what percentage of your email list you want to test.
  3. Your service will send your emails with the different subject lines.
  4. Your service will send the email with the highest percentage of opens to the remainder of your list.

The 10 tests we review are listed below. We discuss the results of each test and why one subject line likely worked better than its counterpart. As you listen, see if you can guess which of the subject lines in a pair won.

  • Including the recipients’ names versus including no name
  • Using first person perspective versus the second person perspective
  • Indicating a sense of urgency versus no indication of urgency
  • Longer versus shorter subject lines
  • Adding an emoji versus eliminating emojis
  • Capitalizing all words versus capitalizing one word
  • Applying exclamation marks versus not including exclamation marks
  • Writing subject lines that are clever or provoke curiosity versus specific subject lines
  • Including gratitude versus not including gratitude
  • Using the word “free” versus using other phrases

Connect | Resources

14 Research-Backed Ways to Split Test Your Subject Line for a Higher Open Rate


Are you interested in working with Luke and Josh to improve your marketing, get more referrals, enjoy more repeat business, and begin living the life of freedom you deserve? CLICK HERE and get a special offer just for Stay Paid listeners!



Subscribe today to get the most actionable sales and marketing tips.