How Long Should an Email Subject Line Be?

Your email subject line matters. 47% of people open emails based
on the subject line alone, according to
research done by Business2Community

Because of this, marketers ask us about email subject lines
often. And one of the most common questions we hear is this:
What’s the best length for a subject line?

To find out,
AWeber’s team of email experts analyzed 1,000 subject lines from
100 of today’s top marketers
. Here’s what we

What is the average length of a subject line?

We found that, on average, these experts’ email subject lines
included 43.85 characters.

Email subject line length

For perspective, the below subject line from the daily email
newsletter theSkimm is 43 characters in length.

Subject line: Daily Skimm: I’ve got the world
on a string

Your Guide to Writing the World’s Best Email Subject

How to write a stand-out subject line

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:

1. Keep your subject lines really short.

46% of emails are opened on mobile devices, according to

research conducted by email testing service Litmus

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

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

  1. Short subject lines reach the inbox more frequently.
  2. 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

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?

Characters: 9

And here is one of her longer subject lines:

Subject line: My template for your “messaging
recommendations report” <– live in today’s Tutorial Tuesday

Characters: 92

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

Ready to start using this data to send better emails?
Sign up for your free 30-day trial of AWeber

And to receive more research like this, subscribe to our weekly email
newsletter FWD: Thinking

About the data from this research

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.

See the complete list of the 100
businesses we included in our research (and follow them!)

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How Long Should an Email Subject Line Be?
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How Long Should an Email Subject Line Be?