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The Invasion of the RE: Email Subject Line

I was going to wait to write this as a tip to increase your email open rates to your list, however, having just received over 40 of them today I felt this would be a good time let the cat out of the bag.

Let’s start from the top with a question to suck you right in to the subject matter. Have you ever received an email that had RE: in the subject line? I am sure most of you had at one time or another so I will assume the overwhelming answer is yes.

This is the way the email subject line begins when someone responds to your email. The subject line always starts with RE: and we have been conditioned to recognize this as a response to an email we had sent out.

Recently I was struggling with my email open rate with one of my lists and pretty much came to a dead end. I had tried everything, including praying to the gugu gods of email (it wasn’t pretty let me tell ya -J). Still nothing worked. It didn’t matter what super ninja tactic I tried, my open rate just stunk!

Then one morning while considering my latest email I can up with the idea to start a new email to the list with RE:. I hit “send” and held my breath. Soon I began to check my Aweber open results and Wala! I had struck solid Gold! The email open rate sky rocketed and people were responding to my email as if I had emailed them personally! Perfect!

Being that I had effectively “tricked” my list into opening the email I have used this technique sparingly and only when I really need them to open an email.

So fast forward to today and someone must have beat me to the punch and put it out there that The RE: subject line gets Mega open results when inserted into an email because emails with this attached to them are laying all over my email. OK already, it works….but not from 40 people on the same day.

My point is simple; this is a great technique to use “sparingly” to temporarily boost your results. Use it as a bridge to build more trust with your list and offer them more value (the ultimate fix) and they will be waiting for your email with mouse in hand.

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3 Responses to The Invasion of the RE: Email Subject Line

  1. Brian D. Hawkins March 13, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    I might give that a try. A split test perhaps. Two things though. I've always been frustrated to see the RE: when it's obviously not a reply. I've often wondered how many people confuse RE: (reply) with REF: (reference). The second thing is that in most of my tests increasing the open rate almost never increases the click-through rate. Have you had similar results?
    .-= Brian D. Hawkins´s last blog ..Do Banner Advertisements Work On Blogs? =-.

  2. admin March 14, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Hi Brian,

    I've actually had pretty good luck increasing the click-through rate once I can get them to open the email but I guess it would depend on the niche. Kind of like the bounce rate fluctuation from niche to niche as well. Thanks for the comment.


  1. Brian D. Hawkins - March 13, 2010

    RT @TheGuruHub @medicalcodingpro: The Invasion of the RE: Email Subject Line

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