By Ken Magill , The Magill Report
And yet another study has come out that should make marketers think twice about putting discounts in their subject lines.
“Offering a discount in the subject line is popular, but is not correlated with stronger engagement,” email service provider SendGrid reported after studying more than 3 billion emails sent between Nov. 1 and Dec. 7, 2015.
“Of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing emails sent, 38 percent included a discount in the subject line,” SendGrid reported. “The most common discounts were 20 and 50 percent, while other discount percentages were much lower. The study found that emails that did not have a discount in the subject line had higher engagement rates.”
This is the second analysis calling the practice of using discounts in subject lines into question in as many weeks.
As reported here last week, analysis by email intelligence firm eDataSource indicates that generic percent-off offers in subject lines have no discernable effect on email performance.
Rather, according to eDataSource, subject lines that refer to specifics relevant to recipients boost open and read rates.
“What we see is that just blaring sales discounts as the primary driver of a subject line is in and of itself no guarantee of success,” said John Landsman, director of strategy and analytics for eDataSource.
Landsman said the subject lines he observes that perform well are those where “we see specifics in that subject line that are geared to what’s in the email and particularly when what’s in the email is being targeted to a specific audience because that’s the audience most likely to respond to it.
“So you can have the incentive, but … alone they don’t do as well as if you tell someone what’s in the email and it’s relevant to that customer,” he added.

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