Matthew Bellows of Yesware

Chris Cichon

Marketing of Boomerang

Marketing of Boomerang. Chris has educated thousands of people on email productiveness and been a key part of building the world’s leading email productivity software with over 3 million users.


Best Email Subject Lines Based on Data

I was the head of marketing at Boomerang and now I’m a leader on the Growth team at Grove Collaborative.

Boomerang started out as an extension for Gmail and now has evolved into a multi-platform system. 

Expert session

Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Chris’ success

Basing email subject lines on data

Result if you follow the steps in Chris’ session

Better subject lines that will increase your open rates and list retention

Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more

Expert session snapshot


So we got a couple points around subject lines which is the primary thing that people determine whether or not they open your email, right? So if they don’t have a good subject line, not going to open it, they’re going to read it and doesn’t matter what you put in there if no one ever sees it.

So we analyzed over 5 million email addresses or emails, I should say, and looked at what were some of the commonalities of subject lines, they got more opens versus less open. So what we found was, generally, the shorter subject lines did better. It wasn’t a huge difference, but subject lines with three or four words received the most responses. And you should always include a subject line.

So if you’ve gotten good one, only 14% of people responded to emails with no subject line. So if you’re crafting subject lines, and you know, obviously, you want to fit whatever’s relevant your email into that subject line, but generally, you can do it for three or four words, people are gonna be more likely to open and respond to your email.

So yeah, just looking at that. I mean, now in terms of subject lines, you know, if you’re not using a subject line, you’re cutting your open rates, your responses in half, if not in a third side. Absolutely use the subject line, number one.

Yeah, absolutely. So that’s first and foremost, I think we all know that. But you know, sometimes you’re thinking, well, how long does it need to be? And when you’re optimizing, particularly for mobile, right, people are only going to be looking at that first three and four words. So pack it in, pack it in well, and people gonna be more likely to open your emails.

So the second thing I’m going to talk about is what should you include in your subject line. And so we just did some analysis on emails that get the most opens and what words were common in those emails. So words like opportunity demo, connect that type of thing tend to get more opens than words like join assistant confirm press.

I’ll give you some data that we have, from our personal experience to from my personal fears, I should say. So we do a weekly webinar for all of our new customers that have downloaded boomerang. And we just say, “Hey, if you want a little demo and give you some productivity tips”, but it’s essentially just a webinar about Boomerang, it’s really short and I email everyone that’s downloaded Boomerang in the last week and say, “Hey, I’m hosting this next Thursday. You can join us”.

So I’ve sent out that email thousands of times in thousands of people. And it used to say, Boomerang webinar was the first two words. And when this data came out, I was like, you know what? It really is a demo. It’s not as much a wimmer.

So what if I switch that? So I switched it to Boomerang demo. And our open rates jumped 7%. And they’ve helped. So little things like that. You know, there’s things that happen with, especially with Gmail and the additional filters at the top messages getting sent to promotions, or the social tab.

And so webinar actually wasn’t the best word to use. So when I switch to the demo, we started getting more opens and more people attending. So that’s the first and primary thing, is write subject lines, short ones, and use the best words that you can in those subject lines.

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