Subject Lines Live – Best of July 2021

Spotler’s customers come from a wide range of industries, so every month we see different things working when it comes to effective subject lines. July’s results have a few similarities with June’s top five, but a few quirks as the world shifts and rolls ever forwards.


The Top Five

Subject line CTR (%)
Download the Key Risk Indicators White Paper 83.1
Poynton Relief Road – Notification Letter 55.06
Looking ahead | New West End office & redevelopment works 53.02
The Best New Address in Melbourne 51.84
Launching soon – new homes at Highwood’s Green, Breedon on the Hill 43.85

Download the Key Risk Indicators White Paper

 If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

June’s top-performing subject line retains its crown, even adding 2% to its CTR. It has a simple call to action, it offers a download rather than a meeting (low commitment) and it gets straight to the point. Superb!


Poynton Relief Road – Notification Letter

In a world with seemingly infinite apps and channels to communicate, email remains the unsung hero. It’s a medium that is available to any device, and nearly everybody is used to using it. The email behind this subject line was an update for stakeholders in the project from the main constructor.

The WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) style of this subject line is well suited to these sorts of messages. There’s no need to create false urgency, or over-egg how exciting the content is. Keeping notification emails functional rather than fancy will save your brainpower, and your audience’s attention, for the messages that matter.


Looking ahead | New West End office & redevelopment works

The story of the last 18 months has been very much “wait and see”, so discussions about actively looking to the future are a welcome breath of fresh air. When a business is visibly acting to invest in itself and grow, that is a strong signal to both customers and leads that it is on a sure footing. So share announcements about expansion, make your customers part of it and help them to celebrate with you.


The Best New Address in Melbourne

 This is a classic sales subject line. With a 51.84% CTR, sometimes it’s best to stick to what you know!

“Best” and “New” might come across as spammy, so it’s best not to rely on them too heavily. But used at the right time, they can be the attention-grab you need.

Also here is the rhyming effect between “Best” and “Address”. This is subtle, but the human brain likes rhyme and rhythm. Can you work that into your own subject lines?


Launching soon – new homes at Highwood’s Green, Breedon on the Hill

The bigger the purchase, the longer the sales cycle. By offering a pre-launch notification, you can start generating interest early on, and give potential buyers the chance to engage at their own rate.

Providing the location in the subject line is a big part of what makes this successful. When you’re thinking about moving house, the location will be the first thing you consider. This might be due to work commutes (although that’s less likely now than ever before!), distance to schools or shops, or simply where your friends live. Weeding out those for whom Breedon on the Hill is not the right choice at the subject line stage means that all of the engagement will come from the right people.


The best of the rest

Type: Sales/Marketing messages still represent the biggest chunk of July’s top performers, at 48%. Both newsletters and functional emails (product updates etc.) gained ground compared to June, at 21% and 11% respectively. Events emails are slightly less common than last month, which is unsurprising as most businesses’ events calendars go quiet over the summer.

Length: 41 to 50 character subject lines have held the crown since we started analysing, and they actually increased their share. Is this a result of people reading this blog series? I hope so! 1 Subject line fought its way into the mix with only 7 characters, the first time since April that brevity has hit the spot. For the curious, the subject line in question was “Coffee?”. It wasn’t a runaway smash at 2.58% CTR, but that is still more than double the average CTR for the industry in question. We still see a smattering of subject lines over 100 characters, and these were all newsletters, laying out every topic covered in the email. It’s worth noting that none of the ultra-long subject lines made it into the top 5 of the month overall; the longest of these is 68 characters.

Personalisation: After rallying in April, personalisation dropped to its lowest level since April, when we first collected this data. Those subject lines that did use personalisation were a mixed bag, with several reaching 30% CTR, but the lowest getting 4.72%. With a cross-industry average CTR of 1% for emails, if you aren’t using personalisation, you might be missing a very easy trick.

Emojis: Only 2 subject lines featuring emojis clawed their way into the top tier in July, and at 2.72% and 2.57% respectively they are far from the top. Only time will tell if this is a short-term or long-term trend.

Sender names: More senders are putting their names in their subject lines than ever before in this data, but still only 1 in 6. There is an even split between the email types; Events, Functional, Newsletter, and Sales/Marketing. Scoring between 30% and 3%, including your company name can clearly be effective in some cases. The only way to know for sure whether it will work for you is a good old split test!


It’s up to you now

The purpose of these blogs is to help you think about what you could do differently to improve your email marketing. CTR may be a top-of-the-funnel measurement, but getting it right will feed into the lower stages of your pipeline and ultimately grow your bottom line.

If you like what you’ve read and want to get more Spotler support, book a demo of our platform here. Then maybe you’ll see your subject lines breaking into the ranks of the highest performers!

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