There is some great email subject line research from Adestra that dissects the way people engage with email across the different sectors—B2B, B2C, eCommerce, Event and Charity. You’ll want to bookmark this!

Length of Subject Line

Avoid the dead-zone in the middle. Stick to subject lines of less then 25 or more than 100 characters. Who knew? And this is not just to get the email open, but to get people to engage.




Best Subject Lines—Ecommerce

Which_are_the_best_subject_lines_ecommerceBest Subject Lines—B2B



Shorter subject lines drive clicks and longer subject lines drive opens. So in the end, as with all online efforts, the specific objectives of the email are key in making the decision of which to use. And remember, that as of July 2012, ‘coupon‘ and ‘voucher‘ are out. ‘% off‘ and ‘Summer sale‘ are in if you want to drive both opens and clicks.


make sure you focus on the benefits of attending and personalize the email along with mentioning price, discounts and even currency symbols. Leave off ‘conference‘, ‘seminar‘ and ‘webinar.’

B2B and B2C

Long story short for B2B—the more words the better. Anything over 16 words can deliver on both opens and clicks. For B2C, a 20 word subject line gives a lift that is significant. In other words, be clear about what the email is about.

Money, as always, talks to the B2B sector and so monetary symbols, phrases (revenue, turnover, ROI) get results. Avoid ‘B2B‘, ‘business‘ and ‘industry‘.

For B2C video still rules, with the word ‘video‘ giving a dramatic boost to opens and click-throughs. Do avoid ‘free‘ and ‘half price‘. Opt for ‘% off‘ and check to see if this helps your customers respond.


For those who are promoting their published goods, avoid ‘newsletter‘, ‘forecast‘ and ‘intelligence‘. Keep to ‘bulletin‘ , ‘exclusive‘, ‘video‘, ‘interview‘ or ‘alert‘ to see your rates increase. And don’t forget to give more information in the subject line. Sell the benefits and give more information about what the email contains.


For charities and non-profits, short subject lines drives both opens and response. If it’s a donation campaign then this is a critical point. But when the email shifts toward information (publishing?) then longer subject lines will improve open rates.

Which words to avoid? ‘Appeal‘ and ‘donate‘ are currently not working so well. Get back to the basics, ‘give‘. Want a boost? Mention ‘kittens‘ not ‘children‘. Ah we humans are fickle!

For more info about this report visit this page: Adestra