"Why do people open emails? It’s something I think about every time I send an article out to The Signal subscribers. When the article hits your inbox between a shared Google doc and yet another newsletter, what is it that’s going to get you to open and read it? I’ve heard the best practices, and I try my best to adhere to them, but I can’t help but wonder if they actually make any difference. But to know that, I’m going to need data, and a lot of it.
So, armed with 85,637 subject lines from Mixpanel campaigns – totaling 1.7 billion emails sent and 232 million opens, over a span from June 2012 to May 2016 – I looked to answer the eternal question: What makes people open an email? One thing worth calling out right away is that Mixpanel campaigns aren’t necessarily one-time email blasts out to an entire list. They can be, but more often they are event-driven emails, meaning the user took some action to trigger the email notification. For example, a campaign might target users who have created an account in the last 30 days, but haven’t returned in the last seven days. Then, for as long as that campaign is active, whenever a user qualifies, they receive the email.
Okay, now here’s what I learned."
He then goes on to discuss how small changes to your emails can radically improve open rates.
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