I love rules-of-thumb, especially when they’ve been tested and are not simply an extension of someone’s anecdotal experience or bias. I also love direct response techniques and tools. Not to discount talent and creativity – that’s a given – but I just love having “stuff” to fiddle with.
So here’s another I’ve just come across and I’m sharing it with you.
Want the optimal character length for your email subject lines? Think 50, go for 80!
That’s what the testing reveals in the article, Email Analytics Reveal Sweet Spots In Subject-Line Length, published in this week’s Online Media Daily.
Drawn from a keynote address by Dela Quist, CEO of Alchemy Worx, here’s the lowdown:
- 50 character subject lines work best with a simple, powerful offer
- 80 character subject lines work best to entice, entreat, and tempt
- 60-70 character lines, for reasons that are unclear, just don’t get the open rates of the 50/80 lines
Quist theorizes that the longer subject lines give the mailer a better of presenting different concepts that may appeal to a larger number of different consumers thus boosting open rates.
So in the example – Find out Secrets to Spice up your Barbecue this weekend and all Summer Long and enter to win a New Weber Grill - you have something for the bbq fans as well as those who may be in the market for a new grill.
Surely, this goes against the conventional wisdom. I’m also wondering about the 17-character line length that our Blackberries afford us while perusing our emails on the go. Looking at the example above we get “Find out Secrets to …”
Will the email recipient be disappointed or enthralled to learn the secrets are about better grilling on the barbee? Dunno. Worth testing? You bet.
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