email subject line best practices testing

Test Those Subject Lines!

In our last post, we talked about the importance of testing your email schedule for deliverability to mobile devices, given the prevalence of mobile devices on bedside tables and the increase in email engagement in the “wee hours” of the morning and weekends. This is a new trend that is only happening due to the surge in popularity of smartphone and email-enabled mobile devices. And once we get started talking about testing for email deliverability, it’s hard for us to stop!

After all, we encourage testing all the time. As a smart email marketer, you should choose something to test every time you create and send an email. It could be anything from your From name to when you send out your emails, to subject line variations. Constant testing falls into the category of email deliverability best practices for several reasons. First, anything you can do to improve your email deliverability rate is a good thing. And testing is the surest way to know how to increase your deliverability rate!  Second, once you’ve gotten into the inbox, anything you can do to improve interaction with your recipient is going to improve your email marketing ROI. And what is your number one way to guarantee increased email open rate? A successful subject line. Your email subject line is equivalent to the headline of a news article. A subject line is a teaser that either provokes interest or removes any possibility of it.

But how do you know if your subject lines are working? Why, testing them of course! And now that we’re focused on testing as an email deliverability best practice, the recent Email Marketing Reports article on subject line testing is very timely!

Three main lessons?

1) In subject lines, there are no absolutes. Even industry standards like “All subject lines should be short” have some caveats.

2) Find out what works best FOR YOU (really: your customers) by a simple A/B test.

3) Make sure you’re measuring what’s important to you. Is it open rate or click-through rate?

For five more lessons with additional detail on how to avoid problems in testing and interpreting, make sure to make it one of your email deliverability best practices to read the full article…today!

Published On: October 19th, 2011Categories: Email marketing best practicesTags:

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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