71.1% of the 1,000 subject lines we analyzed were between 21 and 60 characters. To stand out from everyone else, we recommend you don’t keep your subject lines within those bounds. Instead, try the 2 methods below:
Most email clients, like Gmail and Yahoo!, stop displaying an email subject line on mobile devices once it reaches between 33 and 43 characters. The exact number varies from one email client to another.
To optimize your subject lines for mobile readers, use subject lines with less than 30 characters. This way, your subject line won’t get cut off in the inbox.
Or, you might want to experiment with even shorter subject lines. Brian Dean, founder of SEO company Backlinko and one of the 100 top marketers whose emails we analyzed, used to send emails with longer subject lines. These subject lines told his subscribers exactly what they’d find inside the message. The problem with that? “It gave people no reason to actually open my email,” he said.
Now, he sends subject lines with an average of 15.1 characters. “After lots of testing, I’ve found that short subject lines get much higher open rates,” Dean said. He contributes this to 2 factors:
Short subject lines reach the inbox more frequently.
Short subject lines are more mysterious.
Here are a few of Dean’s short email subject lines. All are under 15 characters long:
Subject line: New Technique
Subject line: Email Outreach
Subject line: Blog Posts
2. Use really long subject lines.
You can also stand out in the inbox with really long subject lines, since only 18% of people include more than 60 characters in their subject lines.
This email subject line from social media platform Sendible stands out in the inbox because of it’s unusual length of 111 characters.
Subject line: “Be Your Freaking Self”: 11 Experts Have Their Say on the Future of Social at Social Media Marketing World 2019
Copywriting expert and Copyhackers Founder Joanna Wiebe recommends you either use very short subject lines or very long ones. These subject lines will stand out from everyone else who uses subject lines around 50 characters in length.
“Subject line length absolutely matters,” Wiebe said. “We prefer one- or two-word subject lines above all else. To mix things up, we also add realllllllly long ones.”
Here is one of Wiebe’s short subject lines:
Subject line: Got wins?
And here is one of her longer subject lines:
Subject line: My template for your “messaging recommendations report” <– live in today’s Tutorial Tuesday
Test your subject lines out.
Every audience is different. Try short and long subject lines with your subscribers to see what works best for your unique audience.
We analyzed 1,000 marketing emails from 100 successful businesses and entrepreneurs. While we didn’t randomly select these businesses, we chose experts across multiple industries and from numerous countries.
Steve is a seasoned online entrepreneur providing turnkey white label SEO and digital marketing services offering SEO, PPC, Social Media, Blogging, Affiliate Marketing training and Web Design Services to other online entrepreneurs and small businesses alike.