8 Case Studies on How to Create Winning Email Subject Lines

Do you find it difficult to come up with winning email subject lines? The old saying, “You can’t read a book by the cover,” is somewhat of a misnomer. You can indeed learn a lot about a book or at least what a book is supposed to represent, by the cover.

On Amazon Kindle and other eBook publishing sites, people make their decision primarily because of the cover and the title. The description is also important but the title is the first thing they will see, and it is the ultimate reason as to why they choose a certain book over another one.

There are some other factors that influence this decision, including the graphic and the layout, as well as the information they can read the description.

When it comes to email subject lines, it’s an even bigger challenge. Why? Because people are so used to being flooded by sales emails and spam every day, that you have to find a way to break through the clutter to present your brand in a positive and professional manner.

Here are 10 case studies we found on how to create winning email titles that should help you accomplish this.

Creativity vs. Clarity in Email Subject Lines


Sherpablog conducted a case study focusing on the issue of creativity vs. clarity to determine which is the most important factor and which creates the best results.

The test was run across multiple channels with twenty subject lines sent to 45,000 subscribers. They ran a split A/B test with the emails with one email focusing on the creative type titles and the other one including a title that was focused on clarity.

Results: The results were astounding. On average, the channels reflected a 541% better response when it contained more clarity. This is not to say that creativity is not effective, but the results are better when the meaning is clearer.

Email Marketing Strategies: Subject Lines That Work


iContact created a terrific infographic on email marketing. It explains why a good subject line can make the difference between a successful email marketing campaign and one that falls flat.

They see billions of emails sent each year through their platform and they are in a unique position to see what works and why.

An Email Subject Line Testing Case Study


Smart Insights created an email case study for the brand Money Dashboard in an effort to determine the impact of a creative title.

In this study, they targeted an inactive email that previously did not have enough traffic and responses. Their goal was to create a more interesting and engaging title to create a better title. So they changed the previous title of “What is your opinion here?” to “Put us out of our misery.”

The funnier, creative title resulted in a boost of 228% more engagement and clicks!

Perhaps one of the reasons this happened because it was changed so drastically, but sometimes the cryptic creative titles make people want to find out what it’s about.

Whatever the reason, it worked for this client.

101 Best Email Subject Lines (and 3 best split tests)


Digital Marketer has several great email opening titles that you’ll want to check out. This isn’t technically a “case study, ” but it’s a treasure trove of information that gives you some ideas on what works and what doesn’t to increase your open rates.

In the list, they have several tips as well, and they present several categories that you should focus on to increase your open rates.

How to Write the Perfect Email Subject Line


Unbounce, a great source of digital marketing tips has a great article and resource here to help you with your email title creation.

In their article, they give you a task list to do everyday and present sample infographics that help bring the ideas home.

Six Case Studies on How to Write Effective Email Subject Lines


Credo Action conducted a study to test the efficacy of various types of email subject lines to increase the number of people signing up for its campaigns.

Results: The experiment tested the results from two different subject lines:

1. “Tell Obama: Justify your indiscriminate spying on Americans.”

2. “I just signed this. Will you?”

The results showed that the personal lines such as #2 were 30% more effective.

Online petition site Credo Action tested the efficacy of different types of email subject lines to increase the number of people signing up to its campaigns.

Case Study: Triggered Email


4-Cite did a number of case studies on different email subjects to see the results of the variations.

In one of their studies, they focused on triggering events that they put out in their emails to see if they could increase the engagement and responses.

Results: The client got a 28% decrease in cart abandonment and a 33% decrease in its browser abandon programs.

The Subject Line Strategy that Gets 541% More Response


AWeber.com has a series of great marketing tips and reveals the results of an email subject line comparing creative and practical bylines.

They advise business owners to avoid cliches and state that their results showed that there was a 541% increase in open and click rates by simply being clearer with their subject lines.

The 6-Point Guide to an Irresistible Email Teaser Campaign


Unbounce created a study on the factors that influenced an effective email campaign. They factored in factors such as determining a goal, creating buildup, and crafting a subject line.

Results: What they found is that, by making the title engaging, all of the other factors worked better as well. You can download the entire study by visiting the site.

How to Create Winning Email Titles for Your Mailings

All of these studies and posts illustrate the importance of creating a compelling title for your emails. While there are many factors that involve the content as well as the title, remember that your title is the single most important factor that will determine your open rate and click through rate. So make it good!

Before split testing the ad copy of your mailing lists and trying to come up with a wide range of email titles to work with, it’s also important that you look at the source of your emails as well. If you’d like to start doubling your mailing list overnight, contact AfterOffers and we can add a subscribe form to hundreds of our existing site partners and send you new opt-in leads every single day!