Subject Lines That Get Opened: Holiday Edition

Which subject lines are most popular during the holiday season? What keywords are going to drive the most interest? We pulled the data to help you strategize around this upcoming holiday season. 

Which subject lines are most popular during the holiday season?
Which subject lines are most popular during the holiday season?

If we look at the most commonly used phrases in subject lines, they align pretty closely with the upcoming holiday season: New Year, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. However, how closely do those phrases line up with actual open rates? To find out, let’s look at the data on open rates.

Now let’s look at which phrases saw the most success. Of the most used phrases, the following, when included in a subject line, produced the highest open rate. Because we’re strictly looking at the subject line (and not the contents of the email), open rate is the most appropriate metric. Here are the top 5 phrases when sorted by open rate. 

open rates by subject line phrase

It’s no surprise that the most potent subject lines focused around Cyber Monday/Monday Savings (often combined in the subject line) and Black Friday the two biggest sale days of the year. These days are strongly associated in the minds of the public with great deals, so take advantage of that connection. 

The other holidays (New Years, Christmas, and others) still rank but are lower on the list. That’s not to say they aren’t important. And a good email marketing strategy will cover all of them. 

But there are some more general lessons we can learn by exploring this top five. We always recommend you create a sense of urgency with your subject lines, and “ending soon” does just that. You don’t want to pressure your guests, but you do want them to feel like they should take action right away. The other lesson here is the power of exclusivity. “Something special” gives the impression to your guest that this isn’t an ordinary offer for ordinary folks, and that helps convert. 

Summer in the middle of winter?

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that the word summer appears on the most opened subject line graph as well. We discussed this in our summer reservation blog post earlier this year. Locking in summer travelers early is a key strategy for successful hoteliers. In fact, the highest average revenue per campaign in the holiday season. It seems counterintuitive, but the early bird gets the worm, it would seem. 

Going beyond the subject line

Don’t miss our blog post on holiday inspiration to get your creativity flowing. Make sure you follow all of our holiday best practices. And you’ll also want to think strategically about which segments you should target. Finally, we’ve put together a holiday checklist so you can stay on the nice list of your guests’ inboxes. 

 

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