Clickbait Subject Lines can Backfire

Written by: Phillip Nones

With email being an effective marketing communications channel but with so many emails crowding inboxes these days, it’s understandable that marketers try to write subject lines that will generate the most clickthroughs. But the evidence shows that including seemingly constructive terms like secrets, discount, free, $ and % actually decrease read rates.

According to email services provider Return Path, attributes that relate more to the performance of the product itself (e.g., easiest, fastest) tend to lift response rather than decrease it.

And here’s another interesting finding: There’s no need to obsess over the length of the subject line, because the stats show that there’s little difference in read rates either way.


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