Home > Sales and Marketing > Online Marketing > Who Wins in a Fight: Clever or Clear Subject Lines?

Who Wins in a Fight: Clever or Clear Subject Lines?

By: Larry Keltto


Marketing often is about standing out, being distinctive, and coming up with “clever” taglines and slogans. But when writing to your e-mail list, do clever subject lines really work as well as clear subject lines?

Let’s look at subject lines I pulled from e-mails I’ve received in the last seven days.
  • Come fly with us: we’re launching!
  • Super new stuff for your super new business
  • You won’t want to miss this bliss
  • How brand-spanking newbies can build a fat list of buyers
  • The two most powerful words in advertising (they’re not FREE and NEW)
  • 2 WordPress themes that will increase your conversion by 300%
Do you see the difference? The clear subject lines told me what the message was going to be about. The clever headlines told me nothing. And it turns out recipients greatly prefer clear subject lines.
In fact, a 2011 case study conducted by AWeber Communications found that a clear subject line gets 541% more clicks than one that’s clever. In addition, the study found that a clear subject line meant:
  • Comments increased 1107%
  • Tweets increased 315%
  • Facebook likes increased 331%
  • Traffic increased 617%
By just ensuring that the recipient understands what’s in the email, you can dramatically improve open rates, comments, tweets, likes, and traffic. Ultimately, that’s going to mean increased revenue for your business.
Published: January 13, 2014

Trending Articles

Stay up to date with
Avatar photo

Larry Keltto

Larry Keltto has been a solopreneur since 1993, when he founded Straight River Media, a marketing-communications business that he still owns. He’s the author of two books on solopreneurship, and you can find him at TheSolopreneurLife.com, a website where he publishes resources for aspiring, new, and established solopreneurs. He lives in Owatonna, Minnesota. He can be reached at Larry@TheSolopreneurLife.com.

Related Articles