How long should your email subject line be?

March 19th, 2018 by

I get asked this question a lot: How long should your email subject line be? The general consensus is that short and sweet works best. Most experienced email-ers display 50 characters or less.

A study was done by Return Path, a company that specialize in email marketing. They found that email subject lines with 49 or fewer characters had open rates 12.5 percent higher than those with 50 or more characters

A recent study by ContactMonkey, found that the more basic subject lines often perform best.  RE: actually works. Likewise, the best email subject line for Salespeople is actually no subject line at all! Who would have thunk it!

More advice about subject lines from ContactMonkey includes:

  • Use two words or fewer. “On average, these emails were opened more than twice and have an 80 percent open rate.” Subject lines with three words or more have an average open rate of 15 percent.
  • “When in doubt, use Re:. Don’t bother crafting the perfect subject line. There isn’t one!”
  • Be direct. If marketers want to introduce themselves, use “Introduction” or “intro.”
  • Be demanding. Don’t ask questions – question marks perform poorly.
  • Don’t use marketing lingo. It doesn’t matter how “innovative” these email subject lines appear, people see through them. Lingo often backfires.

Nowadays 40% of emails are opened on a mobile device. Because of this, recipients see between four and seven words.  Because of that, your subject line should be short and sweet. Make sure those words count!

Last comment – you always need check your email marketing list. There are many ways ways to improve  your bounce rate.