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We’ve all been there. We know the subject line shouldn’t be an afterthought, but we still leave it till last. To give you a hand, I’ll share some of the best and worst keywords for Media and Publishing subject lines, so you don’t have to start from scratch next time.

Where did I get my intel from? Our brand new 2015 Subject Line Report.

Deal or no deal?

Everyone loves a good deal, but it’s sometimes difficult to figure out¬†exactly how much to give away. And should that be in % off or in real value (i.e. $5 off)? Before revealing the answer, I should point out that every audience is different so the only way to find out what makes your subscribers convert is to test. And test again.

To help you get started, this is what our study shows for open, click and unsubscribe rate variances:


‘Breaking’, ‘exclusive’ and ‘top stories’

Perhaps not surprisingly, the media and publishing industry benefits from immediacy, as consumers look to channels like magazines, news outlets and email to get current content. So you should definitely keep using the three words above.

The 2015 Subject Line Analysis Report shows an uplift of 35%, 15, and 28% respectively in open rates ¬†for subject lines that contain them. What’s even more impressive is that they show an increase in click-rates as well. ‘Breaking’ takes the lead again with 66%, followed by ‘top stories’ with 58%, and ‘exclusive’ with 7%.

‘Order today’, ‘daily’, ‘weekly’ and ‘monthly’

It appears that subscribers also have an affinity for time. ‘Order today’ has demonstrated a 33% increase in open-rates, most likely because it contains an action verb, and a sense of urgency. However, you must really inspire action and convince those who open why it’s worth taking the offer now, or you’ll face the average decrease in click-through rates of 15%.

The other three time-related keywords show frequency, so they most likely involve a type of email that your subscribers have signed up for and expect. Proof? Low unsubscribe rates. The only one with a negative impact for that seems to be ‘monthly’, and I suspect it’s because the low frequency might make subscribers forget that they’ve signed up. Let’s see how these keywords perform overall:


Are you digital, or are you behind?

Being in the midst of the digital revolution in Media and Publishing, I also wanted to share with you some of the impact of tech words in subject lines. The much discussed ‘always-on consumer’ is using any device to source their content, and it shouldn’t be anyone’s surprise that mobile is making a big impact. The terms that have shown a specifically positive impact are:

Want to find out more? Discover the impact of other keywords for Media and Publishing Subject Lines in the 2015 Subject Line Report.