Digital Marketing Researches & Reports

Subject Line Benchmarks, Q2 2017 | Yes Marketing

Email Marketing | Global

Emails sent by marketer might be opened, ignored, moved to the junk folder or instantly deleted. So, the subject line becomes a major factor of how a campaign performs and how it contributes to a brand’s bottom line because a message isn’t opened can’t lead to any clicks, conversions or revenue.

Find out more about how length and personalization impact email performance across message type and industry:

An Overview

  • Only 2% of all emails sent in Q2 2017 had personalization in their subject lines.
  • Personalized subject lines generated 50% higher open rates, 58% higher click-to-open rates (CTO) and almost 2.5 times the unique click rates of messages without subject lines personalization.
  • 74% of all email subject lines in Q2 2017 characters long were between 21 to 60, including spaces and punctuation. They generate a lower open rate (13.8%) compared to both shorter – 1-20 characters – and longer – 61 and over – subject lines.
  • Overall, subject lines between 1 and 20 characters generated a 31% higher open rate than the average for all emails sent in Q2 of 2017.

Subject Line Lengths by Industry

  • Retail: 84% of retail subject lines fell between 21 and 60 characters. This generated the lowest open rate for the industry at 12.8%, compared to only 5% of subject lines fell between 1 and 20 characters which achieved the highest open rate (18.3%).
  • Technology: 67% of all email subject lines within the technology industry fall between 41-70 characters with an open rate of 15.2%.
  • Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) is the same as the retail sector. 84% of CPG subject lines fell between 21 and 60 characters generated 14.3% open rate.
  • Consumer Services: Three-quarters of subject lines for consumers service emails (75%) were in the 21 to 60 character range with the highest open rate 15.6%.
  • Insurance: Most of the subject lines in the insurance industry (63%) are between 31 and 60 characters generated 26.4% open rate in Q2 2017.
Subject Line Benchmarks, Q2 2017 Yes Lifecycle Marketing

A Graph Shows the Average Number of Characters in the Subject line of Emails, 2017


Data were driven from more than 7 billion emails sent during the Q2 2017, through Yes Lifecycle clients in a wide range of verticals.

Yes Marketing

Yes Marketing focuses on enabling marketers to engage, acquire and retain consumers along each stage of the consumer journey with a brand – from awareness through consideration, purchase and lifetime loyalty. This is accomplished through a unique combination of expert marketing services, best-of-breed technology and proprietary data assets that enable brands to create and deliver truly personalized, data-driven customer experiences with the help of a single vendor with an integrated technology and service offering.

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