Send an email to a friend and it doesn’t really matter what the subject line is, they are likely to open it.

However, as email subject line statistics show, it’s a very different story in business. 

The subject line is your only opportunity to hook your target.

It doesn’t matter if they are an existing customer or if you’re targeting potential customers.

A good hook will get them to open the email, a poor subject line will see your email in spam or trash, neither is a desirable option. 

Of course, it’s not always easy to identify the most effective subject lines.

Fortunately, understanding the subject line statistics can help you develop the best possible words and phrases. 

Every business email you send needs the right subject line, the receiver must want to open it and find out more.

In many ways, this is your chance to make a first impression, especially when approaching potential customers. 

You only get one chance so use the following statistics to make it the best presentation of your business as possible.

Key Statistics

  • 47% of mails are opened because of the subject line
  • Over 4 billion email accounts exist globally
  • In excess of 300 billion emails are sent daily
  • Welcome emails have a 68.6% opening rate
  • Emojis can improve your opening rate
  • Adding breaking news to the subject line increases interest
  • Personalized subject lines can lead to 50% opening rates
  • FOMO subject lines increase the open rate by 22%
  • Free subject lines increase the likelihood of opening by 10%
  • 48% of ‘second chance’ emails are opened
  • Images increase open rates by 10%
  • 21% of businesses state email is the most effective selling tool
  • 81% of marketing professionals gauge content performance by email engagement
  • Subject lines with questions are 50% more likely to be opened
  • Six to ten word subject lines perform the best

Top Email Subject Line Statistics in 2024

Email Subject Line Statistics

1. 47% Of Mails Are Opened Because Of The Subject Line

Amazingly, nearly half of all email recipients will take one look at a subject line and decide to open the email.

This may seem like you have a 50/50 chance of your email being opened.

However, you should know that 69% of recipients will send the email to spam if they don’t like the subject line. 

In other words, the 47% who do open emails are hooked by a good subject.

You just need to find the right hook. 

It’s interesting to note that emails without subject lines are 8% more likely to be opened than those with a subject line.

In other words, if you can’t come up with a good subject line, leave it blank. 

However, if you personalize the subject line, it’s 22% more likely to be opened than one with a standard subject line. 

The highest rates of opening are achieved when you personalize the emails.

It’s not as difficult as you may think. 


2. Over 4 Billion Email Accounts Exist Globally

There are eight billion people living on Earth, approximately five billion of them are online, and, according to Statista, there are four billion active email users.

That means, you could potentially reach four billion people if you sent an email to everyone with an email account.

That’s a huge potential customer base. 

Of course, it’s difficult for anyone to collect all those email addresses together.

If it was possible, everyone would be doing it and your email would need to be something special to stand out enough. 

This figure does tell you there are plenty of potential new customers, you simply need to target the right niche. 


3. In Excess of 300 Billion Emails Are Sent Daily

In case you were wondering about the worth of niche targeting, consider the fact that over 300 billion emails are sent daily. 

That means the average email account gets around 70 emails a day. 

Most users don’t spend long looking at emails.

Once you realize your subject line is competing with approximately 70 others, you’ll see why it has to be great. 


4. Welcome Emails Have A 68.6% Opening Rate

According to Mailchimp the average email opening rate across all types of industries is 22.61%.

Of those who do open emails, just 2.91% are likely to click on a link and follow through to your website. 

In other words, a catchy subject line is essential.

However, it needs to be backed up by an interesting email if you want your target to do more than just read. 

A survey by GetResponse, completed in 2022, found that opening rates increased dramatically for welcome emails.

They average 68.6%.

Of course, recipients are expecting these emails and are likely to have already signed up for an account or shown a healthy interest in the business.

Half the work of hooking them has already been done. 

That shows the power of a positive marketing campaign prior to sending emails.


5. Emojis Can Improve Your Opening Rate

Emojis Can Improve Your Opening Rate

Many business people see emojis as a gimmick, a little fun that doesn’t necessarily have a place in business. 

They are wrong.

In the digital world emojis have become an excellent way to communicate feelings and connect on an emotional level

An emoji suggests the email is fun, instantly making it more interesting.

It can also help to set the tone for a message. 

When emojis first became popular there was a surge in people opening emails, provided they had an emoji in the subject line. 

Between 2015 and 2016, it’s estimated that emojis caused a 775% surge in email opening rates.

Emojis may not instantly win over customers as they once did.

However, today the facts show businesses which use emojis are 56% more likely to have their emails opened than businesses which don’t use emojis. 

The most successful emoji is the R symbol, followed by a cheerful face and then a heart face.

However, don’t use emojis in every email.

If you do, the receiver and even the spam filter will see your email as spam and it won’t make it through. 


6. Adding Breaking News To The Subject Line Increases Interest

Just as you can’t add an emoji to every email, you can’t make everyone breaking news.

People will simply switch off, even if it is breaking news. 

However, when you have the opportunity, this is an excellent way to improve the opening rate.

Of course, the breaking news needs to be relevant to your industry and specifically your business. 

You can start a subject line with the word ‘breaking’.

It will increase interest in your email.

However, the right word can make a huge difference. 

For example, the Optinmonster survey found that emails were 10% more likely to be opened if they had ‘tomorrow’ in the subject line.

But, they were 61.8% more likely to be opened if they included ‘alert’. 

To use this statistic effectively you need to get into the mindset of your customer.


7. Personalized Subject Lines Can Lead To 50% Opening Rates

When you use a personalized subject line you’re telling your customer that you know them, what they like, and what may interest them.

This type of connection instantly makes the receiver feel they can trust you and they want to do business with you.

In effect, simply personalizing the subject line creates a relationship between you. 

The latest studies show that personalization increases opening rates dramatically, the study showed that half of all emails sent were opened.

This approach also works if you’re sending promotional emails.

The open rates are 29% higher than standard. 

Multichannel retailers can also benefit as personalized emails resulted in a 37% increase in opening rates, compared to non-personalized emails. 

The simplest way to personalize an email is to add the consumer’s name.

Emails with a name in the title are 21.2% more likely to be opened. 

You can also mention their birthday, one of their interests, or even their relationship status.


8. FOMO Subject Lines Increase The Open Rate By 22%

Human beings are sociable creatures.

We like to make friends, interact with other people, and feel we are part of something larger than ourselves. 

This naturally leads to a fear of missing out (FOMO), that something is happening and you’re not aware of it. 

You may be surprised to find that 56% of people suffer from FOMO.

As a business you can use this to make sure people open emails and click through to your site or wherever the link takes them. 

You can’t use FOMO in your email title, but you can use the concept. 

For example, ‘last chance’ or ‘limited availability’ are two excellent phrases that make people panic about missing out. 

A recent Optinmonster survey found that these types of phrases increased the opening rate of emails by 22%.

You simply need to create a feeling of urgency, allowing the recipients to react naturally. 

It’s worth noting that FOMO can also drive sales.

A positive experience by one customer can lead others to fear they are missing out.

This drives them to purchase.

Studies show 68% of people have purchased in this way at least once before. 


9. Free Subject Lines Increase The Likelihood Of Opening By 10%

Everyone likes free stuff, even if it’s something small.

You simply get a buzz from getting something for nothing. 

This is a technique that has been used in business for years.

Visit any exhibition and you’ll find businesses giving away simple things like pens and lanyards. 

The same approach can be used to get people to open your email.

A recent study by Business2community found that simply adding the word free to a subject line increased the rate of opening by 10%.

You can offer free advice, free samples, free ebooks, or even a free discount on their next/first order. 

While most businesses worry that using the word free will send their email to spam, this isn’t the case.

So many people open free messages that they are rarely classed as spam. 

If you want to increase your opening rate further, try putting the free in capitals.

It helps. 


10. 48% Of ‘Second Chance’ Emails Are Opened

48% Of ‘Second Chance’ Emails Are Opened

Persuading customers to purchase items isn’t easy.

You need to show them that the product is good quality and reliable.

You also need to demonstrate that you’re a reputable business and can be trusted. 

That’s not easy to do in an email or even in a first visit by a customer to your site. 

In fact, studies show how hard it is to convince people to buy as 98% of visitors will leave your site without purchasing anything. 

The good news is that you can still turn these visitors into customers.

Statistics show that 48% of emails sent to people who have abandoned carts are opened.

You just need the right subject line to catch people’s attention.

This gives you a second chance to make a sale.


11. Images Increase Open rates By 10%

Not everyone knows that you can add an image to a subject line, but it’s something you should learn about. 

The human mind absorbs information 60,000 times faster from an image than from text.

That means, one small image introducing your email can be packed full of information about your business and your products. 

An image is more likely to capture the attention of receivers and, according to studies, increases the likelihood of an email being opened by 10%.


12. 21% Of Businesses State Email Is The Most Effective Selling Tool

The 2023 HubSpot sales trends report highlighted that the most effective sales channel remains in-person meetings. 

Phone calls took the second spot, continuing to emphasize the personal touch.

The survey found little difference between social media, emails, and video calls as selling tools.

They were all around 50% effective, according to those surveyed. 

While email may only be 50% effective, 21% of those surveyed felt it was the most effective option and one that would continue to be important in the future. 

However, 31% of respondents were keen to point out that selling via email has become harder.

They felt it was essential to build trust and rapport with prospective customers before a sale could be made. 

In other words, multiple emails or other contact is necessary before a contact will make a purchase. 


13. 81% Of Marketing Professionals Gauge Content Performance By Email Engagement

A 2023 survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that email engagement was seen as the most effective way to gauge how well specific content had performed. 

This was closely followed by conversion rate, 78% of those surveyed have used conversion rates to track content performance, while 65% use email subscriber numbers. 

The quality of leads was also used to verify the success of specific content, although only 44% of professionals used this method.

Tracking content performance is essential if you want content that appeals to your target audience.

By tracking the content you’ll know which approaches to use again, emails play an important part in this process. 

(Content Marketing Institute)

14. Subject Lines With Questions Are 50% More Likely To Be Opened

When searching for the right subject line, consider turning it into a question.

It’s an effective way of building interest in the email.

Viewers will often formulate their own answer and be curious as to how you have answered it.

That’s enough to make them click through. 

According to the latest research, a subject line which includes a question is 50% more likely to be opened. Are those odds you want to ignore?


15. Six To Ten Word Subject Lines Perform The Best

Six To Ten Word Subject Lines Perform The Best

Recent studies have shown that long subject lines will generally put people off opening the email.

In many cases, they won’t even bother finishing the subject line. 

Why? Because people have limited time and don’t like to waste it. 

To combat this, you need to create subject lines which consist of between six and ten words.

Studies have shown this is the perfect length to attract interest and persuade people to open the email. 

Subject lines with between six and ten words will be opened 21% of the time.

In contrast, subject lines with 20-25 words only have a 9% chance of being opened. 

It’s worth noting that numbers are almost always a good addition.

A subject with numbers in has a 17% higher opening rate. 

For example, ‘Move to Nevada’ is too short and doesn’t sound that appealing.

However, change it to ‘6 Reasons Why you Need To Move To Nevada’ and you’ve got a subject that will encourage people to open the email. 

In short, you’ve kept it short and appealed to their natural curiosity.

(Finances Online)

How To Create Good Subject Lines

How To Create Good Subject Lines

To get people to open emails you need to hook them instantly.

However, this can be easier said than done.

The above statistics will help, but you’ll also need to consider what is important to your customers.

It’s different in every industry, the following tips will help:

  • Personalize

As the statistics show, you’re going to improve opening rates simply by adding a little personalization.

Using the customer’s name always grabs their attention. 

You can also mention one of their interests or something specific to where they are located.

It will make the email seem unique which helps people decide to open it. 

  • Write Multiple Headings

Don’t settle for the first subject line you think of.

Make sure you write at least three possible subject lines and then review them. 

Ideally, get others to provide honest opinions on which is best and which they would be most likely to click on. 

Only when you have properly tested the subject lines should you pick the best and use it.

Of course, it’s also important to monitor how each subject line does.

This will help you pick wisely in the future. 

  • Shorter Is Better

People generally have short attention spans.

You need to capture their attention instantly and make them open before they have a chance to change their minds. 

You’ll find it’s easier to do this if you have short subject lines.

Ideally aim for a maximum of 50 characters, that should be enough to attract and hold anyone’s attention. 

  • Be Aware Of Spam Traps

There are several keywords which are likely to attract the attention of a spam filter.

This means the email will end up in spam without the receiver ever seeing it.

The most common spam traps are phrases such as ‘earn extra cash’ and ‘will not believe your eyes’.

Effectively anything that makes the email appear too good to be true. 

Interestingly, adding ‘free’ to a subject line increases opening rates.

However, adding ‘100% free’ makes it more likely to be sent to spam.

  • Add A Preheader text

The preheader text inserts a line below the subject line.

It’s an opportunity to mention something extra, such as an interesting fact from the email. 

The aim of the preheader is to increase interest and, therefore, encourage people to open the email. 

It’s often populated by information such as ‘view in browser’.

This doesn’t need to be there.

Move it to the bottom of your email and add your own text to the preheader.

It will help. 

Summing Up

The above email subject line statistics will give you an excellent idea of what should, and shouldn’t be done when creating emails. 

Critically, you should be applying several techniques together, such as personalization and images in a subject line.

This will dramatically increase the likelihood of an email being opened. 

Of course, you still need to make the email relatively short, very interesting, and provide an incentive for someone to click through and purchase your product. 

Getting people to open your email is just the first step, but it’s a vital one if you want to boost customer numbers and sales.

Try it with your next emails and monitor the results, you are likely to be very surprised.