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Subject line length does nothing for email success, research finds

There's no correlation between the length of an email subject line and the success of its open and click-through rates, research conducted by content platform Persado has found.

The study – which examined more than 30,000 subject lines from the company’s content database – concluded marketers were avoiding personal and emotional content to keep the length short.

The analysis focused on data from the retail and e-commerce, financial and insurance services, telecommunications, plus travel and hospitality sectors, but reached the same conclusion.

Among many B2B marketers, email traditionally remains the most potent marketing channel, with almost two-thirds of European professionals citing it as the most effective way for brands to reach them, according to Adobe research.

Which other marketing techniques are driving higher click-through and read rates?

Other studies in the field have found the use of emojis could actually increase read rates, the chances of messages reaching your target's inbox, and boost engagement.

Separate research by Return Path earlier this year revealed email open rates have doubled in the past five years.

Assaf Baciu, co-founder and SVP of product at Persado, said: "Best practices are often anything but. This analysis debunks the prevailing, unsubstantiated belief that shorter subject lines are better. If anything, in many instances, longer subject lines showed a marginally improved response. While a shorter headline might be a result of using simple, clear language it should never be an end in itself.

“Instead, marketers should use language that provokes the right emotional reaction, whether that takes five words or 15. Unless they can adapt to this, marketers will continue wasting their time fine-tuning subject lines that have precisely zero effect on engagement.”

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