The longest subject line I’ve ever received.

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” ~David Ogilvy.

The father of modern marketing David Ogilvy showed how headlines are like gateways. Each person who reads them decides wether or not it is worth continuing on, or abandoning the rest of the content beyond. Subject lines in emails behave in a similar way. They’re vital to draw people in with an initial statement, and create a promise of what is to come if they continue reading.

Keeping subject lines meaningful and readable is one of the most important aspects of putting together an email message. So it’s no surprise that I was surprised to see the following headline in a recent email:

At 80 words, this is the longest subject line I've ever received.

“This month we’re talking… Regeneration – Why, in 2017, travel is the most valuable form of education;8 Ways Tourism Has Positively Impacted Our World;What Happens When You Return Home? The Cycle Of Travel.;This is Thailand’s dreamiest national park and nobody seems to know about it…;Machu Picchu was the bucket list experience I never knew I needed;Why, for me, travelling is all about what you eat;This is what I learnt from the people who call the Mekong River home”

Sure that’s an extreme example of subject line length – and it’s likely you’ll not be writing subjects like that out of habit. What is clear though is the same with a lot of questions when it comes to email marketing. What works for your subscribers is being clear, straight forward, and communicating value. Back the promise of your subject line with the content within the email, and treat your subscribers with respect.