Here’s a blast from the past from the Psephology Today archives…
MailChimp, a popular email delivery service, has done an extensive study on subject lines to determine what works and what doesn’t work in getting your emails opened – a growing challenge.
Angie Moore of Fundraising Success Magazine provides a summary of what the study found, much of which applies to political campaigns, as well as non-profit organizations…
- Personalization works. Including the first and last names in the campaign subjects and bodies increases open rates. In fact, using it in the subject has the largest positive impact on open rates.
- “Free” might cost you. When they looked across all the industries, it did not help. But for some industries it really did have a statistically significant increase. However, the word “freebie” blows “free” out of the water.
- The indication of “urgency” in the subject line is really a mixed bag. Words like “urgent” and “breaking” resulted in open rates that were much higher than normal. “Important” and “alert” were not as high but still had positive impact.
- Variations of the word “announce” (i.e., announcement, announcing, announced, etc.) show positive impact on open rates. However, “reminder” and “cancelled” had negative impact.
- Big bummer for nonprofits — or perhaps let’s just say it is an important insight for us — throughout the analysis, words related to charitable actions and donations had a negative impact on open rates. “Donate” had the worst impact, but other words like “helping” had lesser negative impact
- The use of word pairs (i.e., “thank you,” “last chance,” “sign up,” etc.) is an interesting find. Current events and being thanked are viewed as positive, but being told they’re missing out on something — not so positive.
Dr. Chuck Muth, PsD
THE CAMPAIGN DOCTOR
Professor of Psephology*
* Psephology (see-FOLLOW-gee): The study of campaigns and elections
P.S. Get your 30-day trial subscription to Psephology Today for just…$1! And with this special offer, you’ll also get 11 Special Report bonuses for FREE, including a special report on how to write “killer” subject lines for you campaign that’ll get your emails opened. Click the link below to get all the details.