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Backstroke vs. ChatGPT: Which Delivers Effective Email Subject Lines?

Jun 18, 2024

Generative AI is a groundbreaking technology that has revolutionized our world. And that isn’t an understatement! 

The most famous generative AI solution—by far—is OpenAI’s ChatGPT. With its 600 million monthly visits, it’s safe to say that OpenAI has captured the world’s attention. And of course it has. ChatGPT is amazing and we love it and use it all the time!

Although its capabilities are groundbreaking, and it helps with general writing and information gathering, AI solutions like ChatGPT don’t generate outputs that are specific enough to make specialized, revenue-driving marketing content. That’s because ChatGPT is a horizontal AI solution, meaning it’s trained on general data that’s sourced from all across the web. 

While that’s great for inspiration, email marketers need an AI solution that’s trained on data that is more specific to their industry, audiences, and needs. That’s where Backstroke comes in. 

Backstroke’s email subject line generator’s models are trained on over 10,000 email marketing programs. This means that it crafts engaging, specific, and effective email subject lines and messages that are fine-tuned to your audience, as said messages are based on real peoples’ preferences and behaviors.

So here, we’ll put Backstroke and ChatGPT head-to-head. We’ll compare the skills of each and show you what their best email marketing subject lines look like.

Backstroke vs. ChatGPT: Which Delivers Effective Email Subject Lines?

Though the Backstroke Sandbox offers three new tools to help marketers create their best email subjects, we’ll focus solely on our email subject line creator here.

In this head-to-head matchup—or really, this comparison—we’ll examine subject lines that were generated with the exact same campaign parameters in mind. We asked each generator to create effective email subject lines that are:

  • for a beauty retailer
  • for an incentivized win-back campaign
  • that will send this week

Here’s what Backstroke’s email subject line generator delivered.

Example of Backstroke's AI email subject lines

Here's a look at AI-generated subject lines within Backstroke's email subject line creator.

And here’s what ChatGPT generated. 

Example of ChatGPT's AI email subject lines

Here's a look at AI-generated subject lines from ChatGPT.

Look closely at the two sets of outputs. They may seem somewhat similar at first. Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that there are more layers and specialized language within Backstroke’s subject lines, such as:

  • There are greater opportunities for personalization across the inclusion of names, special offers, and custom content. This is important, as personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened by recipients compared to non-personalized ones.
  • The special offers and discounts within Backstroke’s email subject examples are going to be more appealing to the beauty industry’s audiences. Thanks to Backstroke’s access to beauty industry data, its email subject line creator generates the most compelling offers that are statistically likely to drive interest for beauty-focused consumers at any given time.
  • Backstroke’s email subject examples experiment with letter cases, including ALL CAPS. Again, this is because Backstroke’s AI understands the preferences of people of various ages, locations, demographics, and more. Therefore, it knows when someone is more likely to engage with email content that’s lower case, sentence case, or bold and ALL CAPS.

When experimenting with Backstroke’s email subject line creator, you can select dozens of other subject line specifications, campaign types, audiences, and industries, in order to make your email content super engaging and revenue-driving. 

The Data Behind Backstroke: Fueling Effective Email Subject Lines

Backstroke is powered by insights and performance data from over 10k B2C brands and retailers. This proprietary wealth of information enables us to automatically create email, SMS, and push campaigns that generate 31% more revenue per send. 

It studies and analyzes the following content elements to craft the very best email marketing subject lines:

  • Which words and phrases drive the highest engagement per audience?
  • Which emojis are people more attracted to . . . and where should you place them?
  • Which emotions and sentiments capture attention and keep it engaged?
  • When it comes to subject line length, what character counts and word counts are most impactful?
  • What themes and offers are popular at any given time?

Our industry-specialized AI is trained on email engagement data from several different verticals, including: 

  • Beauty
  • Cosmetics 
  • Apparel
  • Pets 
  • Retail

So think of it this way . . . Backstroke is what ChatGPT would be if it were built specifically for generating messaging content and driving an increase in revenue per email. 

Public Large Language Models—like GPT-4, Gemini, and Llama 3—are amazing technologies. Without them, a company like Backstroke would not exist! But what makes our email subject line generator unique to CRM marketers is the dataset and modeling that is fine-tuned to email, SMS, and push notifications. That’s why our customers see results like a 62% increase in email revenue and a 41% boost in conversions with Backstroke’s assistance. 

At the end of the day, we recommend using ChatGPT as a creative starting point. Use it for inspiration, but when you’re looking to drive engagement and revenue, entrust an industry-specific email subject line generator like Backstroke to get the job done. 

So go ahead and get a taste of AI email marketing with a slimmed down free version of our subject line generator. TRY IT NOW!

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