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Trends The Stash: Subject line length is changing, but in which direction?

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photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

Subject lines length is something we’ve looked at before, but never as a matter of time. We had a feeling they would be changing, but are these critical pieces of every email campaign getting longer or shorter? Here’s what we found.

The Goods
To find our answer we looked at over 15,000 resort email campaigns sent since 2007 by nearly 100 different resorts and hotels. We found the average length in characters for each year and plotted the results on the graph below.

yoy-subject-lines

After starting at 32.1 characters in 2007, average subject line length has grown to a peak of 43.2 characters in 2014, an average of 41.9 characters since 2011, and 42.2 characters so far in 2015.

What This Means
This surprised us a bit, but if you’ve been following the Stash for a while the shape of this chart may look familiar because it’s very similar to YOY open rates.

Are they correlated? They could be. Once you reach a certain length, adding characters does tend to increase average open rates, so perhaps it’s the volume of lines that have gone from medium to long that has driven up the overall average.

Don’t Miss Next Week’s Post
We’ve been publishing new resort- and hotel-specific insights like this one every week for three years. We cover everything from common email domains to the impact of major championships on golf resorts and everything in-between. Get an alert when the next one drops by sticking your email address below. city guides

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