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Top Subject Line Keywords {25 Bonus Keywords Included}

A recent study analyzing the effectiveness of using specific email subject lines and keywords. Using these keywords when crafting your own email copy and subject lines to boosts your open rates! 


For example, after the 2012 US election, former Obama campaigners used a single word... "hey". That email at the time brought in millions of dollars, however, using this today it wouldn't in comparison to others.


So what does this mean? There's no such thing as an all-in-one answer that will get you crazy open rates and absolutes.

According to Alchemy Worx, which analyzed 21 billion emails sent by 2,500 brands, the top five most effective subject line keywords were: 


  • “upgrade”
  • “just”
  • “content”
  • “go”
  • “wonderful”



In another study from Alchemy Worx, which analyzed 24.6 billion emails, the top subject line keywords for open rates were: 

  • “jokes”
  • “promotional”
  • “congratulations”
  • “revision”
  • “forecast”
  • “snapshot”
  • “token”
  • “voluntary”
  • “monthly”
  • “deduction”


And if you're stuck in the naughtiest, some top subject line keywords to try are:

  • “is coming”
  • “get this now”
  • “you have one day left”
  • [numbers] (e.g. “7-figure plan”, “212 ideas”, “60 minutes or less”)
  • [ellipse at the end] (e.g. “The Slap is coming…”, “Your 7-figure plan goes bye-bye at midnight…”, “Steal these email templates…”)


But if you're in the corporate suit & tie world after analyzing over 168 million emails in the last two years, we found the following top subject line keywords worked well:

  • “free delivery”
  • “available”
  • “new”
  • “alert”
  • “news”
  • “update”
  • “summer”
  • “weekend”



Finally, a report by Smart Insights looked at a random sample of 700 million emails, and found that the top performing subject line keywords were:


  1. “introducing”
  2. “celebrate”
  3. “buy”
  4. “continues”
  5. “get your”
  6. “what…?”
  7. “won’t…?”
  8. “do…?”
  9. “can…?”
  10. “may…?”
  11. “on orders over”
  12. “orders over”
  13. “off selected”
  14. “your next order”
  15. “available”
  16. “brand new”
  17. “latest”
  18. “special”
  19. “wonderful”
  20. “great deals”
  21. “sale starts”
  22. “back in stock”
  23. “stock”
  24. “sale now”
  25. “now in”

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