Subject Line Length: An analysis of 9,313,885 emails to discover most effective email length


Subject Line Length- An analysis of 9 313 885 emails to discover most effective length

“The Idea Email,” and is made up of one landscaped image, a headline and the 350 words of copy.

With mobile overtaking the desktop for email open rates, I was doing some research this afternoon on the viewable length of subject lines on a mobile device. Subject lines are typically more important than the email content itself when it comes to the behavior of the reader and whether or not they’re going to open the email.

Now that most email is open on a mobile device, the number of characters you have on an iPhone, Android, Windows or Blackberry device is incredibly short… ranging between just 33 and 44 characters. Our subject here… Mobile Email Subject Line Displays comes in at just 34 characters. That’s not a lot of room to raise the curiosity of our reader and get them to open – quite a challenge for email marketers.

Google 2015 version of ranking up and down indicators

The factors Google put on the list as being more important in 2015 are:

  • User experience metrics (all of them)
  • Shorter title tags
  • Original content
  • Engaging content that provides an answer, teaches, informs, is useful, delights
  • Original images
  • Quality site design
  • Descriptive meta description

The factors that he would go as far as to call deprecated, as in, no longer used by Google are:

  • Keywords
  • Focus on longtail phrases
  • Focus on ranking for specific keyword phrases
  • Lean code

The long tail does seem to be dead, it is more about the whole site experience and broader keywords than going after the big blue pineapple chair anymore.

Others added that responsive (mobile) friendly design and schema should be added to the list. I’d agree with that. But there is a lot more discussion around what should and should not be on these lists.

Here are some tips from 2015 on how to improve your newsletters:

  1. Write your e-newsletter as an email to a favorite client – don’t add graphics, don’t use headers or footers instead just keep it a simple plain text email.  You’ll be amazed at the response. This keeps it personal and helps you avoid sounding like a salesman.
  2. Add a contest or giveaway – give your customers a reason to open these emails, keep it fun.
  3. Keep it simple, too much information and they will pass it by.
  4. Make sure you have one goal in mind and create a strong call to action for that goal in a color that stands out – to invite the reader to take action.
  5. Test it – send it out, look at it on your mobile device and make sure it looks good on a smart phone.
  6. Pair down the copy – take out all the unnecessary copy, keep it as simple as possible.
  7. Bold important concepts
  8. Use strong sub heads to break out copy.  Think of those sub heads as headlines and take time to make them catch the eye.
  9. Send the Enewsletter from a Human Being – instead of sending it from a company  name use a real person’s name.
  10. Use an outside service:  I’m still amazed to find clients emailing mass emails from their personal accounts.  This is a great way to get your email blacklisted and you won’t have deduping and proper unsubscribes.  So most likely, you are not following the law.
Create more local leads online via email marketing

Create more local leads online via email marketing

100 Spam Trigger Words & Phrases To Avoid

(Note: I am going to assume you are not using words like sex, Viagra and other spam filter trigger words in an honest e-campaign, so obvious ones like that have been intentionally left out of this list.)

100% satisfied
Accept credit cards
Act Now!
Additional Income
All natural
All new
Apply online
Best price
Billing address
Buy direct
Call free
Can’t live without
Cards Accepted
Cents on the dollar
Click / Click Here / Click Below
Click to remove
Compare rates
Cost / No cost
Dear friend
Do it today
Extra income
For free
Free and FREE
Free installation
Free leads
Free membership
Free offer
Free preview
Free website
Full refund
Get it now
Giving away
Increase sales
Increase traffic
Information you requested
Investment / no investment
Investment decision
Marketing solutions
Message contains
Month trial offer
Name brand
No gimmicks
No Hidden Costs
One time / one-time
Order / Order Now / Order today / Order status
Orders shipped by priority mail
Please read
Potential earnings
Print out and fax
Real thing
Removal instructions
Risk free
Satisfaction guaranteed
Save $
Save up to
Search engines
See for yourself
Serious cash
Special promotion
The following form
US dollars
Work at home

Bottom line: Avoid using these spam filter trigger words in your e-campaign subject line if you can. Be creative, and find a different way to say it!

The Internet Has Changed the Sales Cycle Causing the Purchase Market to Change, Buyers Have EVOLVED and Acquiring Customers has Changed!

With the advent of the internet and social media sites has changed how buyers shop. Prior to the internets explosive growth phenomenon when a buyer needed a product they would turn to a local salesman, request brochures and other information from which to make their decision. Sales teams were the sole focus for information to make a purchase and involved early in the process. Decisions were made from the information of that sales force. Today, buyers no longer need to engage with a sales force to get the necessary information for the early stages of the buying cycle. Buyers now come to the point of purchase fully informed from online research by learning about the sellers’ product and services offering, product reputation, history without ever talking to the sales force. Buyers have compared comparable product offerings and pricing before ever seeking to make a purchase. They determine who has the best value proposition and control the purchasing process now.

This monumental shift of the control of the buying cycle has now moved from the seller and the power moved to the buyer. Buyers no longer need informed sales forces to guide them. As a fact if we engage a sales force with the buyer too early we risk losing the sale entirely.

Success in the buying cycle now is all about marketing intimacy of your prospective demographic. Understanding your target audience, targeting your message and talking to them in the language of the product offering as they know or understand it is more critical than ever. Focusing on the right channels by creating the right memorable communication experiences is the new closing modality that will resonate and convert.

(This new internet buyer is highly knowledgeable of the product offering and by such has created a more challenging environment for marketers who seek to drive high quality leads to their sales team. Quality leads is about being ever present in finding the right people at the right time.)

Co-citation and co-occurrence are important factors that influence the position of your web pages in Google’s search results.

Co-citation and co-occurrence are important factors that influence the position of your web pages in Google’s search results. The environment in which the links to your website can be found have a big impact on the value of the links.

1. Co-occurrence: the words on the linking pages influence your rankings

Even if the link to your website does not include your targeted keyword, your web page can get a ranking boost for that keyword. The link just has to come from a page that is related to the keyword.For example, if a web page has an article about shoes, boots, sneakers and sandals, then your website will get a ranking boost for these keywords if that page links to your site.For example, the following link has a positive influence on the ranked pages for the term “shoes” although it is not included in the link text:
How to find websites that contain the right keywords:A backlinks  tool will help you to find websites that contain your keywords in the title and in other page elements. Links from these web pages will increase the position of your own web pages for these keywords.
2. Co-citation: the other links on the linking pages influence your rankings

Suppose your website is about selling shoes. If your site is linked by other websites that link to your website and other websites that are about frogs and toads then Google might think that your website is related to frogs and toads.It’s important that the other links on the web page that links to you are related to your site. If you’re listed in the “shoes” category of an Internet directory then all web sites in the same category are usually also about shoes.If web sites 1, 2, 3 and 4 all link to the web sites A, B, C and D. Although A, B, C and D don’t link to each other, Google thinks that A, B, C and D are related to each other because the same web sites link to them:

Even though they don’t directly link to each other, websites A, B, C and D are related. The more web sites they are linked from, the stronger the relationship.

The whole point of co-citation is to associate keywords and topics with the links on a page. Even if the link to your website uses ‘click here’, Google will be able to find out what the link is about if it comes from the right page.

Meeting Searcher’s Expectations When They Click on Your Site from a Search Query

Meeting Searcher’s Expectations When They Click on Your Site from a Search Query

It is not often that a search goes to a search engine, types in a keyword, previews the results page looking at the snippets about each site and makes a decision to click on one of them and then lands on the page that will give them what they are looking for.  We have all experienced this in searching.  Not finding what you want is very frustrating and we make the decision based upon first impressions. 

Typically you have about 1.2 seconds once a searcher lands on your site page to convince them that this is where they need to be.  This “first engagement” scenario, allows you to build the trust relationship between your site and the searcher.  So how do we do this?

  1. Trust means meeting the searchers expected results of their keyword
  2. Users have short attention spans, and most have a preconceived expectation of what they should find, not matching that initial expectation can equate to a quick “back click.”.
  3. What kind of wow factor does your site’s pages present. great graphics, cool design, the perfect on page title? This makes the mind trust…
  4. Are there pictures, bolded text, or great initial text that meets the searchers keyword requirements
  5. Can they see your brand, phone number and information about their search keyword above the fold? This builds trust and your credibility.


Making an Initial (subliminal) Connection:

Are the primary headlines aligned with intent?

The first thing users notice is content structure, headlines, headers, bolded elements, graphics etc. Your 1.2 seconds of opportunity to grab attention begins with a mental assessment that needs to immediately connect with the original search query and inspire additional engagement is via clear communication of what the page is about.

Content should be created with specific intent in mind, with headlines, and/or graphic headers that are obvious, short, surrounded by adequate white space. And the content must be specific enough to inspire a user’s attention.

Concreting the Trust:

Can users perform a quick scan above the fold to answer who, what, and why?

As noted above, users don’t actually read on a first pass, they make a decision based on visual cues and click expectations (what they expect after they click).

Some websites fail in obviously reinforcing the click expectation, missing an opportunity for engagement, underscoring brand recognition, and providing obvious reasons of time-worthy value.

Click through to your site and ask the following:

  1. Is your brand and contact information obvious?
  2. Is it obvious that what you do meets their keyword search?
  3. Is it obvious you site is relevant and why they should stick around?

Especially important with homepages, but equally important on other SEO landing pages, is ensuring your brand is obvious. Make sure what you do, or how you plan to address the user’s intent, isn’t buried. Give users obvious information and/or justification to stick around and/or click around is key to moving people to engage further.

Remember: for instant user assessment of resolution potential, anything below the fold doesn’t exist!

Website Usability and Searcher Engagement

Is it obvious what they should do next?

99% of searchers begin reading a page from the top left down and across upon what is viewable above the fold.  If all the information you have above the fold does not allow the searcher to see what his next click is but has satisfied that this page is relevant to his keyword search, the searcher will begin to scroll.  It is very important that above the fold you are able to see your navigation or the beginning of the navigation.  This is a signal the searcher understands as to finding his most relevant page. 

Call to actions should be prevalent across the page as are bolded clickable text.  Call to actions concrete in the searchers mind the hope of instant relevant information about his keyword.  That can be the navigation with his keyword as a link, a search box, a or image link to your video offering which searchers love, or sections of the instant page are about his keyword with clickable links to more information.

Failure to make the next click readily apparent is suicide for your usability and the end user is frustrated, clicks out and goes back to the search page.


Driving Consistent Content for Page Rankings

Are ‘next clicks’ consistent ?

Part of great site engagement is a consistent user experience for similar queries. By monitoring user interaction on a per query basis, website owners can identify consistencies or deficiencies in matches of search intent to site content.

Duane Forrester of Bing said in January 2013:

“In the long run, the brand names secure rankings through depth of content, trust in brand, and user interaction (searchers clicking a SERP result and staying on their site because the site is trusted and answers the searchers question)”

Providing key “next clicks” – obvious steps from landing pages to conversion or core information – is a better user experience = better potential rankability.

Can they share what they’ve found?

Probably the most obvious of tips, it the provision of social sharing and social connection buttons. If landing pages provide the value users expect, will they be inspired to share, and if they are, can they?

Sharing of a page is different than a click through to your social property (i.e., Facebook page or Twitter stream), and should be a key component on most landing pages, with the caveat of audience vs. social platform.

For pages with images, is there an option to share on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter? For business text content, is LinkedIn an option? Social signals are imperative in closing the loop on user intent satisfaction, demonstrating to both users and search engines an endorsement of your content.

6. Ultimately, can users find the best page quickly?

Give your users clearly labeled and a clear navigation structure to improve consistent engagement and quick discovery of their best click.

User experience, site usability, and onsite engagement have become more important for major search engines in their assessment of a site’s “rankability”, so SEO practitioners need to ensure site pages that rank for multiple keywords have a easy and apparent path to the searchers best information page for their searched keyword as a key to SEO success.  Lowering the bounce rates with either a better optimized page or moreover a better page with usability perfected for that searcher experience.

Why does a new page rank very well in Google early on, and then, that ranking declines over time?

Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts posted a video explaining why it is not uncommon to see a new page rank very well in Google early on, and then, that ranking declines over time.

Matt explains that sometimes, Google has a hard time figuring out the original source of a new piece of content. But over time, i.e., days, weeks, months, Google is better able to figure out the most relevant result for a query due to indexing more signals over time. Thus, over time, the search results may settle down to a particular state; but early on, new pages may rank high and lose their rankings over time.

Certain queries that deserve freshness, that is where QDF – Query Deserves Freshness comes from. Other queries prefer more evergreen, more settled content, Matt explains.

Here is the video:

Can’t see the video click here: Why does a new page’s ranking change over time? .

Google’s Eroding Lead in Web Search

Though Google is the undisputed king of search, alternative services are chipping into its share of the market, Claire Cain Miller reports in The New York Times.

The nature of search is changing, especially as more people search for what they want to buy, eat or learn on their mobile devices. This has put the $22 billion search industry, perhaps the most lucrative and influential of online businesses, at its most significant crossroad since its invention.

No longer do consumers want to search the Web like the index of a book – finding links at which a particular keyword appears. They expect new kinds of customized search, like that on topical sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor or Amazon, which are chipping away at Google’s hold. Google and its competitors are trying to develop the knowledge and comprehension to answer specific queries, not just point users in the right direction.

People are overwhelmed at how crowded the Internet has become – Google says there are 30 trillion Web addresses, up from one trillion five years ago – and users expect their computers and phones to be smarter and do more for them. Many of the new efforts are services that people don’t even think of as search engines.

Amazon, for example, has a larger share than Google of shopping searches, the most lucrative kind because people are in the mood to buy something. On sites like Pinterest and Polyvore, users have assembled their favorite things from around the Web to produce results when you search for, say, “lace dress.” On smartphones, people skip Google and go directly to apps, like Kayak or Weather Underground. Other apps send people information, like traffic or flight delays, before they even ask for it.

People use YouTube to search for things like how to tie a bow tie, Siri to search on their iPhones, online maps to find local places and Facebook to find things their friends have liked. And services like LinkedIn Influencers and Quora are trying to be different kinds of search engines – places to find high-quality, expert content and avoid weeding through everything else on the Web. On Quora, questions like “What was it like to work for Steve Jobs?” get answered by people with firsthand knowledge, something Google cannot provide.

Compliments of the New York Times