Why You Shouldn’t Use Opens to Gauge Subject Line Success
Marketers understand that subject lines are incredibly important to the success of an email marketing program. However, what many marketers don’t understand is how to determine whether a subject line is successful or not.
You’ve probably heard people say that the goal of subject lines is to get opens; that the goal of an email’s body copy is to get clicks; and that the goal a landing page is to get conversions. That sounds really reasonable, but it’s misleading.
This kind of thinking leads marketers to believe that a higher open rate is better because it means they’ve opened the top of their funnel up wider and more people have seen their email’s message. And if more people enter the top of their funnel, then they have more opportunities to convince those people to take action. So they write subject lines with the aim of attracting as many openers as possible—often using vague, overly familiar, or even misleading subject lines to accomplish that.
But that’s an overly simplified view of how audiences work. It assumes that all opens are equal—and they’re not.