Email Subject Line Do’s and Don’ts

A closeup of pixels.
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Justin Premick, Aweber, has the results of an experiment to determine the optimum length for the From line in emails. For those involve in writing, content development and web marketing, the results are interesting.

Typically length is a concern that comes up when discussing subject lines – how many characters you can fit in a subject before your subscribers’ email programs cut it off.

But the same thing applies to your “from” line; if it’s too long, subscribers won’t be able to read all of it while viewing their list of emails.

Observations

  • In most webmail programs, it didn’t matter what operating system you were on.
  • Hotmail was the exception in that it cuts off the “from” line a couple characters earlier if you’re on a Mac.
  • Where the width of the “Sender” column could be adjusted (notably Mozilla Thunderbird), I used the default width. Users can obviously change this and so there’s no way to guarantee that the results of this test will hold true for every user.
  • Email clients don’t all necessarily look at character counts for the cutoff; some may cut off after a certain number of pixels.
  • Individual recipients may set different settings that cause more or fewer characters to appear in the space provided.

You can read more details of these results at: http://www.aweber.com

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