How long should your subject line in an email be?

I get asked this question a lot: How long should your subject line in an email be? The general consensus is that short and sweet works best. Most experienced email-ers display 50 characters or less. According to Return Path, a company that specialize in email marketing, 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 and 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, no matter how “innovative” marketers are—or how filled with “industry secrets” they want to reveal to prospects.

Bottom line, I think the reason short is so sweet is that nowadays 40% of emails are opened on a mobile device and recipients see between four and seven words.  Might as well make those words count.

Last – always  check your email marketing list and looks for ways to improve it!

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