September 11, 2017

Data: Personalized email subject lines boost open rates by 50 percent

New Yes Lifecycle Marketing report reveals personalization and triggers drive significantly higher engagement than non-personalized subject lines

CHICAGO (September 11, 2017) – Consumers open emails with personalized subject lines at a 50 percent higher rate compared to emails without personalized subject lines, yet only 2 percent of emails employ personalization, according to data recently released by Yes Lifecycle Marketing.

In the newly released report, “Subject Line Benchmarks: How Length and Personalization Impact Email Performance across Message Type and Industry,” Yes Lifecycle Marketing analyzed more than 7 billion emails sent through its cross-channel communications platform Yesmail360i. According to the findings, personalized emails drove higher open and click rates than their non-personalized counterparts. In fact, messages with personalized subject lines generated more than double the unique click rate and 58 percent higher click-to-open (CTO) rate than emails without personalization in their subject lines. However, nearly 98 (97.7) percent of all emails sent in Q2 2017 did not use personalization in subject lines, indicating that marketers are not using customer data to improve message relevance as much as they should.

According to the report, 1.1 percent of all emails sent in Q2 2017 had first/last name personalization in their subject lines while 1.2 percent were personalized based on other factors, such as loyalty program status, browse behavior or purchase history.

“As consumers receive more marketing emails every day, personalization is a great way to engage them,” said Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. “Marketers should be harnessing customer data to customize their content as early on as the subject line. When marketers succeed in communicating the relevance of an email to each individual subscriber, from the get-go, they will see results in opens, clicks and conversions.”

The report also highlights the effectiveness of triggered campaigns, which often boast subject line personalization informed by loyalty program status, browse behavior or purchase history. For example, browse abandon emails with subject lines between 31 and 60 characters generated an open rate of 40.6 percent.

“Personalization is no longer a novelty. Consumers expect marketers to tailor content to their needs and preferences, and it’s time for brands to meet those expectations,” said Michael Iaccarino, president of Infogroup, parent company of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. “Yes Lifecycle Marketing’s cross-channel communications platform Yesmail360i enables brands to send timely, highly targeted, and behavior-driven triggered emails that boost customer engagement and revenue.”

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Over a quarter (27 percent) of marketers sent reactivation campaigns, the second most widely adopted type of trigger.
  • Non-personalized subject lines yielded open rates of just 14.1 percent compared to 21.2 percent for those personalized with name and 22.0 percent for those including another type of personalization.
  • Browse abandon triggers with subject lines under 30 characters generated open rates of 35.5 percent, while those with subject lines over 30 characters drove open rates of 40.6 percent.
  • Welcome campaigns were the most widely adopted type of trigger, with 69 percent of marketers implementing them.

To learn more about subject line length and personalization and how they affect email performance, download the full report here.

About Yes Lifecycle Marketing

Yes Lifecycle Marketing provides solutions that orchestrate cross-channel marketing communications to drive results and revenue. This is accomplished by leveraging technology, data, analytics, creative, and strategy to activate and optimize insights-driven, real-time, relevant communications. This holistic approach gives marketers the ability to source a full-service offering of best-of-breed technology and solutions from a single vendor in order to achieve their desired outcomes across all on and offline channels. To learn more, call 1-877-937-6245, email [email protected] or visit

About Infogroup

Infogroup is a big data, analytics and marketing services provider that delivers best in class data-driven, customer-centric technology solutions. Our data and software-as-a-service (DaaS & SaaS) offerings help clients of all sizes, from small companies to FORTUNE 100™ enterprises, increase their sales and customer loyalty. Infogroup provides both digital and traditional marketing channel expertise that is enhanced by access to our proprietary data on 245MM individuals and 25MM businesses, which is distributed real-time to our clients. For more information, visit: