MailChimp – This Just In: Subject Line Length Means Absolutely Nothing
There’s a lot of sage wisdom floating around on what constitutes a good subject line. On the helpful side, there are articles like this one in our Knowledge Base that emphasize clear communication, personalization, and word choice. The purpose of a subject line is, after all, to tell the reader what’s in the email.
But for every article that champions communication, there are another 10 that champion gimmickry to get your readers to open. Stuff like using unicode characters (HEARTS, STARS, HORSESHOES, CLOVERS, AND BALLOONS!!!!!!) or this article wherein the report from an ESP claims that the longer the subject line, the better your campaign is going to do. Is your audience some monolithic blob that mindlessly clicks long sentences? In the absence of good data, myths will abound, but we have lots of data in MailChimp’s Email Genome Project, so let’s take a look at subject line length and its effect on engagement.
We pulled information on 12 billion email sends from earlier this year and analyzed subject line length versus open and click rate. The results are straightforward:
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