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article imageEmails with capital letters in the headline get low responses

By Tim Sandle     May 14, 2017 in Internet
Want to get people to respond to an urgent email? There are different tactics, but one thing to avoid is completely capitalizing those urgent email subjects. This will probably negatively impact the fast response rates you actually want.
Subject lines in all caps such as 'URGENT: PLEASE READ" are supposed to, according to some schools of thought, drive quicker responses from readers. However just the opposite might occur; this is according to an email productivity survey from Boomerang. To show this, Boomerang recently analyzed over 300,000 publicly-available email threads. With this Boomerang's data scientist, Brendan Greenley compared the response rates for emails whose subjects were in all caps versus all others.
From the analysis, the company found that on average, users who wrote an email with an all uppercase subject received a reply 30 percent less often, relative to the other emails in the set. In addition these capitalized emails were far more likely to be marked as spam and not read at all. This is because some widely used spam detection systems look specifically for whether or not an email has a subject in all caps.
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With the Boomerang research, the researchers dived even deeper to see what types of email users were making these 'capital offenses' and the data revealed that AOL users were nearly three times as likely to send an all uppercase subject compared to the data set average. Here AOL users were the biggest offenders having an uppercase subject 0.6 percent of the time while conversely, messages from Gmail or Google Apps email addresses were the least likely only using capitals in 0.1 percent of Gmail/Google Apps message subjects in the data set. Why this is so is unclear, but there may be social or educational factors involved.
Such findings about email optimization remain important. Despite the growth in messaging and other forms of communication, email remains the primary digital means of communication, especially in the business world. While some of the social niceties around emails seem obvious to many, there remain many email faux pas and in the wrong situation this can make the difference between deal or no deal.
While capitalization is important, Greenly, in a blog post, highlights other aspects of email etiquette that need to be accounted for: "You should know that there are many factors beyond the case of your email’s subject that affect whether or not you’re going to get a response", he writes, "Your email’s tone, length, reading grade level and many other facets matter too."
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