Subject Lines for the Top 10 Emails with the Highest Open Rates

Alex Mastrianni

What’s the secret to a great subject line? Every email marketer wants to know the answer to that question. It’s easy to make assumptions and think that creative subject lines have better open rates or a standard subject line like “Association XYZ Monthly Update” works best because it’s familiar, but we’re data people, so we decided to dig a little deeper.

We looked at the top 10 emails sent out of Informz last year with the highest open rates that were sent to at least 500 recipients. While the 2014 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report has shown that emails sent to smaller groups – especially in the 50-100 recipients range – have higher open rates and tend to be more targeted, we know not every email will have such a small group of recipients, especially if your organization is on the larger side.

Here are the subject lines from the top 10 emails sent from Informz with the highest open rates. Organization names have been eliminated, but if you’d like to claim one of these successful subject lines, let us know in the comments!

10. Schedule at a Glance for {Organization} Days in the Nation’s Capital (86% open rate)
9. Please change your {Organization} password (87% open rate)
8. National {Organization} Competition Registration (89% open rate)
7. {Organization} Exam Support Online (89% open rate)
6. {Organization} 2013 – Convocation Invite (90% open rate)
5. National {Organization} Competition Registration (91% open rate)
4. Acceptance of {Organization} 2014 Convention Presentation Proposal (92% open rate)
3. 51st Convention Housing (92% open rate)
2. Exam Scheduling Now Open! (93% open rate)
1. {Organization} Exam Results Now Available! (97% open rate)

The overall theme we noticed? They’re direct. Clear. Concise. No trickery or creative spins here. When we see results like these, we typically notice that the organizations are following some (or all) of these best practices:

  • Over (or under) emailing isn’t an issue. Frequency expectations are established from the get-go. Organizations aren’t wasting time sending emails that won’t get read, and recipients open emails because they haven’t experience email fatigue from this sender.
  • Recipients were most likely anticipating the arrival of the email, especially for those exam results and event registrations.
  • Subject line testing is a regular occurrence. A/B split testing is an easy way to test two subject lines with variations and see what an audience responds better to.

How to test subject lines

About the Author
Alex Mastrianni

As the Marketing Manager at Informz, Alex drives the development and implementation of our content marketing plan and marketing campaigns. Outside of work, Alex is a pop culture junkie, ice cream fanatic, and semi-pro vacation planner.