A subject line can make or break your email marketing campaign. Write a good one, and more people open your email. Write a bad one, and all that great email content goes unseen.

The question we hear most often about subject lines: What’s the best subject line length to maximize open rates? 

We have long recommended that you keep subject lines under 50 characters. If you write one longer than that, recipients may not see the end of the subject line, and you’ve defeated the purpose.

We recently found an article by Madhu Galati, President of ShowMe Leads, who analyzed the question further. Her conclusion:

Subject lines with six to 10 words have the best open rates. That’s in line with our 50-character recommendation. Galati analyzed data from 260 million emails delivered in 540 campaigns. The results:

• Subject lines with 6 to 10 words generated a 21% open rate. approximately 21% open rate, well ahead companies’ standard.
• Subject lines with 5 or fewer words generated a 16% open rate.
• Subject lines with 11 to 15 words generated a 14% open rate.

More than half of the emails in the study had 11- to 15-word subject lines. In other words, the majority of email marketers are writing subject lines that are too wordy.

Be concise, but not too concise. Your open rates and ROI will improve.

Here’s a link to Galati’s article.


Want more subject line tips? 

Download our FREE report10 Secrets to Write Subject Lines That Sell. We reveal how savvy marketers create subject lines that increase open rates and drive engagement. Click here to claim the report now.




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