So, does character count?


Yes. Next question.

Oh, wait…do you mean, do characters count? Count your characters? Y’all, that is seriously muy importante in your email subject lines. And I have the best of all possible examples to prove it.

Names have been omitted to protect the guilty-as-hell.

A little background data might be a good idea, here. At this point, if you aren’t making sure your emails are ready for mobile, you need to step up your game.

  • Listrak tells us that iPhones only show about 35-38 characters of the subject line in portrait mode, though that jumps to 80 in landscape. The numbers are similar for the Galaxy S4: 33 in portrait, 72 in landscape.

But look around the next time you’re at a conference or on the train. People are using their phones one handed. You just can’t count on that larger number of characters being visible.

Which brings us to our tale.

Ages ago, on a quiet day in the office, one of my coworkers suddenly and literally fell out of her chair laughing. Me being the nosy parker that I am, I was over there in a flash, but she couldn’t speak. She was just waving her phone as she continued to cackle.

If you think I didn’t pluck that phone out of her hand to see what was up, you haven’t being paying attention.

On her screen was her email. In her email was a subject line. A subject line that truncated at the worst possible character.

See, it was an email from a company that sells women’s clothes. And they were doing a promo for cocktail and tea dresses. So the subject line should have read, “All dressed up and ready for cocktails!”

Guess what it actually said they were ready for?

That's a rooster.

Yep. You guessed it.

Email marketing is not dead, and mobile is here to stay. So you need to be keeping an eye on those subject line character counts, darling. Can’t be too careful.

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