Why Test Your Email’s Subject Line

Why Test Your Email’s Subject Line

Split testing is a part of everyday life. You do it perhaps without even realizing it. Which hair style looks better, which car drives better, which herb better compliments your recipe, which greeting card do you buy for your spouse…the funny one or the tearjerker? After all you’re looking for a certain reaction based upon your action. Often referred to as A/B testing, split testing is an important tool in business as well. Consider your upcoming email marketing campaign for instance. Deciding which day or time to send the email blast isn’t the only thing you should be taking into account; you should also be testing your email’s subject line. Length, wording, and appearance are just some of the factors to consider in your quest to discover the perfect subject line, and ultimately how that affects your open rate and conversion rate. So start testing instead of guessing, and learn what works best in the subject box.

What Can You Split Test?


While your goal is to avoid spammy-looking emails, you do want your email’s subject line to pop. You may personally be a huge fan of CAPS or just so excited about your product and service that you feel compelled to use a few exclamation points, but your reader has yet to reach your level of excitement, so while you’re hoping your email makes its way to their to-do list, it may have instead made its way to the trash bin because they were turned off by its appearance. Test what turns on your audience by sending out subject line A which is all fired up and subject line B which is much more composed.


As the saying goes, sometimes it’s not what you say…it’s how you say it. So try testing two ways of sending the same message. For example, if you’re running a promotion at the gym, you could say either, 1) Buy 1 Year and Get 3 Months FREE, or, highlight the monetary value with 2) Buy 1 Year and Save $90.

It’s not all about you…or is it

Some large companies, though already very well known, feel that the more a consumer sees their company name, the better. Therefore, they include their company name again in the subject line. While your company name most likely appears in your from, you could test how your open rate is affected by mentioning your company name again in your subject line. You only have a precious number of character spaces, or chances, to catch the eye of your reader, so it’s up to you to test what you want to use that valuable real estate for.

Get personal

Try testing whether or not you should use the subscriber’s name or other personal information in your subject line. It seems that everything today is so public causing a lot of people to be more private, so depending on your audience, this test will show you what they do or don’t prefer.


Unless there’s a certain point that you really need to get across, shorter subject lines may seem to serve better than longer ones. Your recipients will be able to read the entirety of your message in a shorter subject line. Which way is better? Only one way to tell…


Ask around and you’ll probably hear people talk about A/B testing. Simply stated, A/B testing is a method that’s used to test and measure changes and reactions to your marketing channels. Subject A is the control, and Subject B is the variation. Test both at the same time. A/B testing will help you to discover which test produced the best result. Test 2 subject lines with 2 groups of recipients. Deploy a different subject line to a small percentage of your audience. If group A gets 40 clicks and group B gets 10 clicks, you know to send group A’s subject line to the remainder of your list.

Wouldn’t it be great if at your next meeting with the boss you were able to say “we know” instead of “we think”? Start with a gut feeling of what you think will generate responses, and test two versions simultaneously. Let A/B testing take the guesswork out of it. Remember, without open rates there are no conversions. So test to see what works best, tally the results, and apply the visitor insight to your next email marketing campaign. Take part in A/B testing, and you can consider yourself a savvy marketer.  If you want to give A/B testing a try on your next email campaign but don’t want to put in the blood, sweat and tears give us a call and we will do it for you.  Call 561-393-4722 today.

P.S. If you really are interested in finding out what works with A/B testing now is the time.
We are offering our complete Email Marketing Package for $449(Retail price = $750).

Comments are closed.