Symbols ↑ Open Rates & We Can Prove It

With billions of emails being sent to subscribers on a daily basis, email marketers are always looking for ways to make their emails stand out and ultimately get opened. The number of people that open your email can depend on a variety of things, but it’s largely influenced by your subject line.

How can you make your subject line more effective? One of the latest trends we’ve seen is the use of symbols in subject lines.  I’m sure you’ve seen them in your inbox as well. Some of the most popular symbols include:

♥ ★ ☼ ♫ ☀ ✿ ☆ ♡ ⇒ ☺ ❤ ✈ ✞ → ☂

So, how do we know that symbols increase open rates? Good question.

We decided to do a split test with our monthly newsletter.  Half of subscribers received the subject line with the symbols and the other half received the subject without the symbol. The results are as follows:

Subject Line: 7 Current Trends, 3 Holiday Guides & an Infographic in a Pear Tree ❼ Current Trends, ❸ Holiday Guides & an Infographic in a Pear Tree
Unique Open Rate 22.17% 25.46%
Unique Click Rate 9.65% 15.93%
Click Through Rate 43.51% 62.55%

As you can see, the email with the symbol subject line had a higher unique open rate (+3.29%), unique click rate (+6.28%) and click-through-rate (+18.93%). 

While there seems to be an infinite number of ways to use symbols in subject lines, it is important that you use them sparingly and with intention. We also recommend testing your subject lines before sending because not all symbols work in every email client. You can learn more about how to use symbols in your subject lines here.

Have you seen any symbols in subject lines of emails you’ve received? Did you end up opening them? Have you tried using symbols in your subject lines? Did they help? We’d love to hear about your experiences – please comment below!

About Ben Koenig

Ben joined the Swiftpage team in May 2012 as a Marketing Associate. He is in charge of outbound communications, strategic analyses, support content management, and a variety of other marketing projects. When Ben's not working you are likely to find him enjoying every outdoor activity the Colorado Wilderness has to offer.

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