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MailerMailer-Email-Open-Click-Rates-by-Personalization-in-2012-Aug201363% of consumers in the US and UK believe that they receive so many messages that use their name that it no longer makes any difference to them, recent research suggests. But consumers’ behavior may not support their perceptions. According to a new report from MailerMailer, emails with personalized subject lines saw an average open rate of 12.9% last year, compared to the average open rate of 9.8% for emails that were not personalized.

The study also notes that emails where only the message was personalized achieved an open rate of 13.2%, while those with both subject line and message personalized saw an average open rate of 5.3%. Nevertheless, there’s an argument to be made that message personalization is not much of a factor for opens, as many recipients will only see the subject line before deciding whether or not to open an email.

When it comes to click rates (where both subject line and message personalization presumably are a factor), the results bolster the case for personalization. Compared to the overall 2% click rate for non-personalized emails, those with subject line-only personalization fared slightly better (2.1%), while those with message-only personalization (2.4%) achieved higher results and those with both subject line and message personalized scored highest (2.8%).

This year’s results are a significant reversal from last year, where personalized emails tended to have lower open and click rates than those that were not personalized.

In other study results, subject lines with only 4-15 characters achieved a much higher open rate (15.8%) than longer ones, with the shortest subject lines also getting the best click rate (2.6%). Length may matter less than content, though: a detailed look at which subject line terms work best can be found here.

About the Data: The results are derived from data compiled from more than 1.4 billion opt-in email newsletters across 35 different industries.

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