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What Email Subject Line Length Works Best
29 May 2020

What Email Subject Line Length Works Best


We all invest in writing email copy, hyperlinking the right words, and placing the right call-to-action.

But what’s the point putting efforts if no one is opening your emails???

“47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line whereas 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line.”

That's where subject lines come into the roll. Whether you are trying to connect with an executive, sell a prospect, or simply get a friend's attention, subject lines influence whether those emails get opened or not.

With the influence of mobile devices which typically show fewer characters of a subject line compared to desktop view. You may be wondering if your subject lines should be shorter to accommodate your on-the-go subscribers???

According to a survey done by using Marketo for 6 months, which generated a large sample size of ~200 email campaigns and over two million emails sent. Most of the subject lines fall between 4-10 words. Following is the data for average open rates paired with average click-to-open rates.

[Source: Marketo]

From the table above you can see that the highest open rates occurred with four-word length subject lines and the lowest was for nine-word length subject lines.

But the click-to-open rates didn’t correlate with high open rates. Therefore, there was a need to look at overall engagement, not just open rates.

For this, they used the following metrics: sent, open rate, opens, click-to-open rate, and clicks.

[Source: Marketo]

The winner was seven words for overall engagement. And if you write a subject line with eight words, well, you’re in for a shock! It’s nearly half the performance as subject lines with only one less word.

Hope this case study would have given you a clear insight into the subject line and how to evaluate your own subject lines for open rates, click-to-open rates, and overall email engagement.

Recommended average word count for email subject line that converts is less than 50 characters.   

If you desire to increase open, click, and conversion rate you need to excel at the process of creating the PERFECT subject line.

Here are the top 7 types of email subject lines that can help you grab big profits.

  1. Subjects that generate curiosity:

By adding an element of curiosity you give your recipients a reason to open your email. Once they have opened mail, stimulate curiosity through the body of your message to improve click-through rate.  

  1. Subjects that communicate urgency or scarcity:

“Email subject lines that create a sense of urgency can generate a 22% higher open rate.”

Give your readers a deadline to get or do something. Create a sense of urgency through the subject line and craft the body of the message that entices a perfect CTA.

  1. Subjects that include free offers:

Make your subscribers and prospects happy by sending freebies and give them a good reason to open and click your messages.

  1. Subject lines that include announcements and events:

Send business announcements or invite them to any event by sending them free or discounted tickets. Just make sure you announce the event in your subject line.

  1. Subject lines with your authority and expertise:

Let your authority shine. If you’ve accomplished something, let your readers know. You can do this by showcasing your expertise and achievements you've earned in a specific industry.

Email is one of the most effective ways to communicate and approach your prospects and subscribers. Selecting the right subject line with the right length can help you meet the goals of your marketing campaigns.

If you would like to learn more, click here

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July 17, 2018
05:45 PM
July 17, 2018
05:45 PM