Keep Email Subjects 6-10 Words To Make Sure They Get Opened

Keep Email Subjects 6-10 Words To Make Sure They Get Opened

Email is the one notification we all get, which mean that it’s easy for your message to get lost in someone else’s torrential flood. To improve your chances of getting your message read, keep the subject line between six to 10 words.

An analysis of email responses by marketing company Retention Science found that emails with subject lines containing six to 10 words were the most effective at getting the recipient to open them up. It’s not just brevity that’s the soul of wit, it seems. It’s also balance. Anything longer or shorter than that and the open rate drops:

Subject lines with six to 10 words perform best, generating a 21 per cent open rate, well above industry standard. Those with subject lines containing five or fewer words ranked second with a 16 per cent open rate, and those with 11 — 15 words returned a minimal 14 per cent open rate. Despite this, the majority of emails sent (52 per cent) had subject lines in the 11-15 word range.

While keeping your subjects short should go without saying in a world where your email is probably going to be read on a mobile phone, don’t make it too small. The sweet spot seems to be just enough words to convey an idea without going overboard.

Want Customers to Open Your Emails? Read This. [Entrepreneur]


  • You know what I really hate about email subjects? Colleagues who seem to think that the subject should be the entire conversation rather than, you know, the subject. Or otherwise making the subject an entire email into itself. Doubly so considering we have an inter-office messaging system (Office Communicator) for short, instant messages. Use it people!

    Real world examples.
    Actual subject:
    “Completing colleague signatures for document management – Please forward this email to any managers who are on secondment that may not be included within the email list – Thank you”

    Entire email. No body text:
    “Hey [B-ob] , I know you are really really busy, can you just give me a heads up on when you can start working on the [] report, we really really need it here :-)”

    Entire email. No body text:
    “I need to borrow your computer so i can complete the weekly report! 🙂 ”

    Entire email. No body text:
    “Hi, can you please send me the [] spreadsheet for the current week (just the main file). Thanks”

  • And then Angus says to include Certifications in the subject line when applying for a job…. which is it?

  • Did you….get….that thing….. that thiiiinng….. I sencha – Peter Potamus

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