Subject Lines Live – Best of November 2021

Subject lines live – November 2021

Nights are getting colder, but competition for attention in the inbox is as hot as ever!

Check out our daily top 5 here.

The Top 5

Subject Line CTR (%)
MDR Software Update 88.65
PackFlow EPR Report – Here is your download 88.65
Bevestiging trainingsaanvraag NL Leert Door 83.93
Product Catalogue 2021 79.15
Hi #[Person/FirstName]#, we just need you to confirm. 67.61


MDR Software Update

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!


PackFlow EPR Report – Here is your download

[See above]


Bevestiging trainingsaanvraag NL Leert Door

Translation: Confirmation training request NL Learn Through

Speaking in the native language of your audience (“localisation” if you’re into jargon), even if their English is superb, is a nice differentiator.

Whenever you travel abroad, a spirited attempt at speaking the local language is usually appreciated. Even butchering the phrases is better than the stereotypical, Brit abroad, English-but-louder-and-slower.


Product Catalogue 2021

This subject line is a classic “selling without selling” technique. By offering up a catalogue in plain language, it makes the email easy to find if the reader wants to come back to it later. This is important because in B2B only 5% of your audience will be actively looking to buy at any particular moment.


Hi #[Person/FirstName]#, we just need you to confirm.

Confirmed opt-in is a fully valid way of managing your GDPR compliance, and this email is clearly in that vein.

The use of “just” here is smart; it shows that you need very little effort from the reader, so it is easy for them to comply.


The Best of the Rest


As always, less is more! More than 5/6 of our subject lines contains 10 words or fewer. The shortest of all was just 2 words:

We’re listening


It performed nearly 4 times better (13.31% vs. 3.83% CTR) than the longest subject line of the month:


Fortescue announces green H2 study with Kingdom of Jordan; Redman appointed CEO of Transgrid; PNG joins Pacific offset scheme; Pilot forms blue hydrogen consortium and more (26 words)



We know that real personalization involves much more than just embedding your reader’s first name in your email copy, but using their name in the subject line is a start.

The use of personalisation in our subject lines continued to rise this month, to nearly 1 in 4 (23.33%). However, personalised subject lines received fewer clicks on average across the month (18.995 vs. 20.66% CTR).



Emoji use in November was consistent with the previous month at 3.33% of subject lines.

For all that the logic of “grabbing attention in a drab inbox” sounds good, in reality, this isn’t the case. At least, it isn’t for our customers’ audiences; you should still split test for yourself! The highest-scoring “non-emoji” subject line was more than 3 times more effective at getting clicks than the best emoji-inclusive one (88.73% CTR vs. 28.17%).

It doesn’t seem like a long shot to predict a resurgence in emojis as we get near to Christmas!


Sender Name

For the first time in 5 months, the percentage of subject lines that included the Sender’s name dropped below 10%. This appears to be driven by results, as in November these subject lines were less effective than those without a company name (16.74% CTR vs. 20.55%).

Day of the week

Every day we get to work, have a coffee, boot up the computer and check our emails. So it shouldn’t matter what day you send your emails out, right?

Wrong! It turns out there was a 422% difference in average Click-Through Rate between the best and worst days to send. The best day was actually Sunday, with an average CTR of 35.32%. If you prefer to stick to a Monday-to-Friday sending pattern, then Monday is the most effective choice (23.16% average CTR). The worst performer was Thursday (8.6% average CTR0>

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