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The Lunch Pail – How Email Subject Lines Render on Mobile Devices

The Lunch Pail – How Email Subject Lines Render on Mobile Devices


How Email Subject Lines Render on Mobile Devices

By: The Lunch Pail

We have been, and will be paying a lot of attention to rendering of email on mobile devices as we continue to see increases in the use of mobile devices to engage email. As we look at the whole experience, though, we don’t want to neglect anything, including the subject line. We know subject lines aren’t the only decision point for opening an email, but they are important in getting the open. So with that in mind, what do we need to know about subject lines on mobile?

The right length is important – and variable

Most subject lines will be truncated on a mobile device in the list view (when users are deciding whether to open, ignore or delete). For iPhone (pre-iOS 6 and iPhone 5), truncation will occur at around 31 characters in portrait orientation and around 54 in landscape orientation.

Android will vary much more by manufacturer and by Android OS version. It can be as low as 24 on the portrait orientation and as high as 62 in landscape orientation, but tends to average on the low 30’s, like iPhone. Let’s assume that most of the folks, most of the time, use portrait orientation to engage with their email.

So what if your subject line gets cut short? Well there are a couple issues. First is whether or not your meaning has been changed by the truncation. This is a rare case to watch out for, but it can happen. Take for example “Never write us a check again with automatic bill pay” could be rendered as “Never write us a check again…” or “Never write us a check…” depending on device. There are also possibilities for mildly embarrassing terms or profanity to end up on your subject line in this manner

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  • Profile:  Jeff Ginsberg has 17+ years’ experience and is an industry known authority on email marketing who gets in the trenches with clients and helps them fulfill their marketing objectives, increase revenue and brand engagement. Clients rely on him and his team at The eMail Company to provide them with expertise from strategy to technology and from campaign management to channel integration. Jeff has worked with clients across all spectrums in the financial, automotive, retail and consumer packaged goods space. His experience covers both B2B and B2C markets. He has a strong background in educating and training agencies and clients about email best practices and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to marketing tools and vendor selection. While Jeff’s team may be small, they know how to solve BIG email marketing problems. Looking for help with your next campaign? Don’t be afraid to give him a call – Jeff and his team ready to help you today. Give me a call: Toll Free: 877-We-eMail (877-933-6245) Local: 416-225-7711 eMail: jeff@theemailcompany.com
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