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Subject Line Personalisation and it’s Effect On Email Open Rates

Written by Anna Milward on January 12, 2015

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last year you’ve almost certainly heard about the power of personalisation.

Personalisation can make a huge difference to your marketing efforts, whether you are using email, advertising or any other form of marketing. With technology advancing at a rapid rate, we are finding more sophisticated ways to personalise our emails and tailor them specifically to the individual user, but what difference does this really make?

At Sendloop we recently conducted an in depth analysis of email subject lines to find out what impact personalisation really has when it comes to email open rates.

When it comes to getting your marketing emails opened, it all starts with the subject line. A good subject line can make a big difference to your open rates, while a less than fantastic subject line could leave your emails languishing in the unopened pile, or even affect your deliverability in a negative way.

One great way to help improve your email subject lines is to make use of personalisation, but how much personalisation should you be using? Is it enough to use a person’s name, or do you need to go more in depth than that?

In an effort to find out, last month we analysed 180 million emails sent by Sendloop users to discover what impact personalisation, as well as a few other subject line strategies, really have on deliverability and open rates.

The analysis

We compared the open and deliverability rates of 180 million emails based on their subject lines. Subject lines were grouped into four categories:

1. No personalisation. In these emails, the same subject line was sent to all recipients.

2. Personalised with just the recipient’s name. In these emails the recipient’s name was used in the subject line but no other form of personalisation took place.

3. In depth personalisation. In these emails, the subject line was personalised according to the recipient’s profile.

4. Subject lines which used special characters and upper case words.

The results

Email Open Rates By Subject Personalisation Types

The results showed that personalisation definitely does pay off. The emails which were personalised using just the recipient’s name showed a 5.2% higher open rate than those with no personalisation at all, and the emails with the in depth personalisation showed a massive 11.8% higher open rate.

On the flip side, the emails which used special characters and upper case words (techniques which are highly popular with spammers) had an open rate of 2.9% less than the standard, non personalised emails.

Personalisation can make a big difference to your email open rates, even if you keep it simple and just use a person’s name in the subject line. If you really want to give your open rates a boost, try more in-depth personalisation. Personalisation is simple and easy and well worth a try!

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