Marketing Strategy Blog

The Importance Of Subject Lines

Optimize Subject Lines for Improved Engagement

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  • Most viewers decide whether or not to open an email within a few seconds based on the subject line and preview text
  • Open rate is significantly higher for emails with short and sweet subject lines between 1-20 characters in length 
  • Use engaging, actionable words that have a clear goal and generate intrigue



Email subject lines are a crucial puzzle piece for the consumer's inbound journey. Often times, emails are used to drive viewers to landing pages and forms where your company can then capture a lead. If you lose your viewer at this stage of the journey, it is unlikely that they will end up on the landing page and form where you were hoping to direct the viewer. To ensure you do not lose contacts at this crucial stage, make sure your email subject lines are optimized and follow best practices.

Studies have shown that subject lines under 20 characters in length generate the highest open and click rates. Curiously, the second best subject line length is 61+ characters. Thus, either make your subject lines short and direct or use the lengthy option when you have specific and valuable information that will provide sufficient intrigue despite its long length.

There are a number of strategies that can be utilized to ensure that your subject line is fully optimized. When you are in doubt about what to write with so few character positions available, keep some of these features in mind:


  • Use targeted segments
  • Provoke intrigue
  • State a clear and enticing offer
  • Express a sense of urgency
  • Use personalization tokens or personalized content
  • Use a familiar sender domain
  • Send at a relevant time
  • A/B Test email subject lines
  • Use action-oriented words


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Although subject lines are only a small detail of outbound marketing, be sure to always fully optimize your subject lines as this little puzzle piece can have great impact on the level of engagement you receive in your campaigns. Pay attention to best practices and stay in the loop on the latest studies regarding ideal subject line length.

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