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Which are the best subject lines in your sector?

An interesting compilation for email marketers working in B2C, B2B, Event, Charity or Ecommerce marketing

All email marketers like to know how their open and click rates compare, although it's really the conversion rates and value generated per email that's important (and more difficult to measure).

Here's a great piece of new research from email service provider Adestra that dissects engagement with email across sectors that I thought was worth summarising here. I'd recommend downloading a copy of the full report if you work in email marketing, lots of "food for thought".

Which subject line length works best?

The report starts by looking at engagement with the email based on length. The research, based on nearly a billion emails shows that short or long tend to work best.

Less than 25 characters or more than 80 seem to work best with a "dead-zone" in between. In the report there are similar curves for number of words in the subject line.

Adestra comment:

"At first glance (and when only considering open rates) it appears that either very short
or very long subject lines deliver better results. However, when also considering the click-through and click to open rates, there is strong evidence that longer subject lines are more effective. They drive opens and importantly also lead to action being taken once the email has been opened".

Best subject lines by sector?

The report then goes on to look at length and examples of subject lines by sector - what people really want to know?

Here is an example for Ecommerce. This helps answer the "should we use free in our subject line?" question. Despite delivery questions, free and save seem effective, but not coupon?

B2B marketing subject lines

Finally, here's another sector example interesting for B2B marketers. Free doesn't seem to work so well here, but subject lines containing profit and turnover related seems to...

By Dave Chaffey

Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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