Edinburgh Web Development

Symbols in marketing emails - good or bad?

Open stats show drop

by Iain Wilson

19 July 2012
symbols in email subject

In our June Newsletter we featured an item about the technique of putting symbols in the the subject line of marketing emails to gain attention and therefore increase the 'open' statistics.

The idea was that the graphic symbol will stand out in the Inbox of the recipient and draw their attention to it.  Having been drawn to the email, their curiosity could then only be satisfied by opening the email and reading the contents.

So we decided to do a little test with the newsletter email. We sent out the email with  the following subject

© Google hidden pages, Nigerian letter, symbols in email - June 2012 Blot Design newsletter

Note the © at the front of the subject.  Why did we use a ©?  It was the only symbol our email marketing software would let us put in the subject - not great, but a symbol nonetheless.

What happened to our open stats?  Well, they were down approximately 5% for the last 6 months, BUT up 1% year-on-year.  

So the experiment generated more questions than answers.  How much did summer holidays contribute to the reduction?  Would another symbol have created more opens?

Will we do it again? No.


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