This A/B test indicates that engagement is one problem, but your subject lines are an even bigger problem—and one you can solve right away. CTR rates are understandably lower among the less-engaged group, but you saw engagement increase with a punchier subject line, so there is room to improve CTR among cold leads. CTR rates are higher in the more engaged group, but with a better subject line, this rate could go through the roof.
That isn’t to say that sales-y promotions couldn’t ever create results—as marketing “gurus” have proved. The results just aren’t as good as they could be. Take the biggest gurus’ results—the ones they boast about—and calculate their conversion rates. Often their marketing is comparatively ineffective. They just have massive volume, so the sales numbers are impressive.
When it comes to deciding how to craft that perfect subject line, there appears to be really only one area to avoid: the subject line of 60 to 70 characters. Marketers refer to this as the “dead zone” of subject length. According to research by Adestra, which tracked over 900 million emails for its report, there is no increase in either open rate or clickthroughs at this 60-to-70 character length of subject line.