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In the Beginning: A Little Word Can Make a Big Difference


In 2020, we saw huge changes that impacted all aspects of business (and life) as we knew it. One of those changes is that everything ranging from education to social events to shopping all shifted to a digital platform. With the hope that vaccine rollout will get us back to some normalcy, there are trends that we just simply can’t ignore.

As marketers, one of those trends is the effectiveness — and ubiquitousness — of emails.

Since the pandemic started, email has been working very hard, and, for the most part, really well. But with that being said, the challenge with emails is to get them opened by your audience and of course, to avoid users clicking the unsubscribe button.

WorldData has been looking at themes in subject lines (find our previous post on this topic here) and has updated their trending words to represent the first month of 2021. In B-to-C emails, trending words include “new,” “just in,” and that old direct marketing standby “free.” These words show a theme of promoting and striving for a stronger and happier new year. On the other hand, B-to-B emails are seeing trends with the words “forecast,” “outlook,” and “look ahead.” These subject lines are focused on advancing an individual’s career, a concern for many post-2020.

Here are the complete lists of top performing words by target category:


Free +38%
New +22%
Approved +20%
Official +19%
Early Access +18%
Just in +17%
Don’t +15%
Unlimited +14%


Free +34%
Trends +24%
Get Ahead +22%
Forecast +22%
Outlook +21%
New +18%
Official +17%
Successful +15%

Intuition is invaluable. But, numbers don’t lie. Not only are these words being used more frequently than in previous months, clearly these words are also driving an increase in email openings.

If half the battle is to get your audience to open your email (and we’d argue it’s much more than half), then implementing these trending words is a great way to start.

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