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Email Subject Line Length: Is Brevity Better?

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Emails with shorter subject lines tend to garner significantly higher open rates and click rates, according to recent research from Yes Lifecycle Marketing.

The report was based on data from more than 7 billion emails sent in the second quarter of 2017 by Yes Lifecycle Marketing clients in a wide range of verticals.

Messages with subject lines between 1 and 20 characters in length have the highest average open rate (18.5%), unique click rate (2.4%), and click-to-open rate (12.9%), the analysis found.

Longer subject lines (61+ characters) have slightly higher average open rates, unique click rates, and click-to-open rates compared with medium-length subject lines (21-60 characters).


Some 74% of the email campaigns examined had subject lines between 21 and 60 characters in length, 21% had subject lines 61+ characters long, and just 5% had subject lines between one and 20 characters long.

About the research: The report was based on data from more than 7 billion emails sent in the second quarter of 2017 by Yes Lifecycle Marketing clients in a wide range of verticals.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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