15+ Email Subject Line Statistics [2023]: Trends In Sales + Marketing

By Jack Flynn
Feb. 13, 2023

Research Summary: You probably know that marketers and business owners around the country rely on emails for effective advertising and communication with clients. However, what you might not know is that something as simple as your email subject line can make or break your success.

But, how important is the email subject line? Luckily, we’ve investigated all of the essential facts about email subject lines, and according to our extensive research:

  • 47% of email recipients will open an email based on the subject line alone.

  • 69% of email recipients will report spam based on the subject line.

  • Open rates are increased by a massive 50% when subject lines are personalized.

  • Urgent subject lines increase the open rate by an average of 22%.

For further analysis, we broke down the data in the following ways:
Best Words to Increase Open Rates | Email Marketing and Sales

General Email Subject Line Statistics

There are several ways in which an email subject line can make or break your networking or advertising. So, to find out more about the importance of email subject lines, we’ve gathered all of the most valuable facts and statistics:

  • The average email open rate across all industries is 21.33%.

    However, the industry with the highest open rate is government, at 28.77%, while the industry with the lowest open rate is Vitamin Supplements, at only 15.03%.

    Industry Average open rate Average click rate
    Agriculture & Food Services 23.31% 2.94%
    Architecture & Construction 22.51% 2.51%
    Arts & Artists 26.27% 2.95%
    Beauty & Personal Care 16.65% 1.92%
    Business & Finance 21.56% 2.72%
    Computers & Electronics 19.29% 2.08%
    Construction 21.77% 2.26%
    Consulting 20.13% 2.49%
    Creative Services/Agency 21.39% 2.66%
    Daily Deals/E-Coupons 15.06% 2.23%
    E-Commerce 15.68% 2.01%
    Education & Training 23.42% 2.90%
    Entertainment & Events 20.51% 2.36%
    Gambling 21.62% 3.30%
    Games 21.10% 3.66%
    Government 28.77% 3.99%
    Health & Fitness 21.48% 2.69%
    Hobbies 27.74% 5.01%
    Home & Garden 21.60% 3.03%
    Insurance 21.36% 2.13%
    Legal 22.00% 2.81%
    Manufacturing 19.82% 2.18%
    Marketing & Advertising 17.38% 2.04%
    Media & Publishing 22.15% 4.62%
    Medical, Dental, & Healthcare 21.72% 2.49%
    Mobile 19.29% 2.27%
    Music and Musicians 21.88% 2.94%
    Non-Profit 25.17% 2.79%
    Pharmaceuticals 18.58% 2.25%
    Photo and Video 23.24% 3.23%
    Politics 22.94% 2.37%
    Professional Services 21.94% 2.55%
    Public Relations 21.02% 1.98%
    Real Estate 19.17% 1.77%
    Recruitment & Staffing 21.14% 2.53%
    Religion 27.62% 3.16%
    Restaurant 19.77% 1.34%
    Restaurant & Venue 20.39% 1.40%
    Retail 18.39% 2.25%
    Social Networks & Online Communities 21.06% 3.32%
    Software & Web App 21.29% 2.45%
    Sports 24.57% 3.09%
    Telecommunications 20.92% 2.27%
    Travel & Transportation 20.44% 2.25%
    Vitamin Supplements 15.03% 1.62%
    Average Totals 21.33% 2.62%
  • 81% of emails are now opened and read on mobile devices.

    This makes an over 100% increase from 2011, when only 27% of emails were opened on mobile devices. In just ten years, our phones have become the most important method of checking emails.

  • 64% of email recipients make a decision to open an email based on the quality of the subject line.

    It’s important to identify what kinds of email subject lines look professional, as 69% of email recipients will report spam based on the subject line.

  • 33% of email recipients open emails because of catchy subject lines.

    This can include something like a call to action. For example, if someone has an abandoned cart, an email that says “Don’t miss out!” or “Your cart is about to expire” is an easy way to catch someone’s attention and call them back to the website.

Email Subject Line Statistics by Best Words to Increase Open Rates

Similarly to how SEO works for websites, email subject lines can greatly increase click rates by using the right words. According to our research:

  • Having the word “video” in the subject line increases open rates by 7% to 13%.

  • Email subject lines with numbers have 57% better open rates.

  • Email subject lines with the word “free” included in them are opened 10% more.

  • 56% of brands who use emojis in their email subject lines have higher open rates.

  • On average, email subject lines between 61-70 characters are read the most, at 17%.

  • Email subject lines with the word “newsletter” in them have a decreased open rate of 18.7%.

Email Subject Line Statistics by Email Marketing and Sales

Crafting compelling email subject lines is one of the many tools in a marketer’s toolbox, but it’s nonetheless an important one. For instance, our research shows that:

  • Emotional content is 94% more effective than rational content.

    Emotional email subject lines have a pull of about 31%, whereas rational subject lines only have a pull of 16%. That means nearly double the amount of people will engage with emotional content.

  • 47% of marketers test subject lines before sending emails.

    This can be done by making minor changes such as capitalization, word placement, and other tweaks in two different emails. These emails can then be sent to an A/B group of contacts to gauge which version will perform better.

  • 71.1% of marketers send subject lines with 60 characters max.

    The vast majority of email subject lines are between 21-60 characters, despite the fact that research shows slightly longer subject lines may be more effective.

  • Roughly 5% of global subject lines make use of emojis.

    Marketers tend to see mixed results with emojis, will just over half seeing an improvement in email performance, while the rest report that emojis have little to no effect.

Email Subject Line Statistics FAQ

  1. What percentage of emails are opened based on the subject line?

    47% of email recipients will open an email based on the subject line alone. That’s why testing and tailoring email subject lines are so important because you stand to gain or lose engagement from half of your contacts.

    In fact, a bad subject line can cost you dearly, as 69% of email recipients will report spam based on the subject line as well.

    Overall, it’s vital to focus on your subject line. Research keywords and emojis, and different test lengths, phrases, and formatting.

  2. What is a good email open rate?

    A good email open rate is between 17% and 28%. However, the average open rate will also vary by industry.

    For example, the average Vitamin Supplements email only has an open rate of 15.03%, while the average Hobbies email open rate is 27.74%. With that in mind, it may be more beneficial to gauge the health of your open rates based on your industry.

  3. How much do personalized subject lines increase email open rates?

    Personalized subject lines increase email open rates by at least 50%. There are many ways to personalize a subject line, but here are some of the most effective:

    • First names. Emails that include the recipient’s first name have a 41% click-through rate and a 29% open rate.

    • Interests. If you know something about the recipient’s interests, that can be a good thing to include in the subject line. For example, if you’re a pet company, it can be more effective to mention cats to customers who are known to have them and vice versa for dog owners.

    • Birthdays and anniversaries. If you know a recipient’s birthday or anniversary, those dates can be a great opportunity to offer deals or entice a purchase.

    • Transaction history. Translation history is valuable for piquing a customer’s interest in new items. If you know that a recipient was recently looking at coffee tables, you can include that specific item in the subject line of your email.

    • Urgency. This includes things like abandoned cart emails and other calls to action. For example, saying an offer is about to expire is more likely to get a recipient to engage.

    • Location. If you know a recipient’s location, that can be a great opportunity to include regional language. For example: “30% off everything on the East Coast!”.

  4. What subject lines get the most opens?

    Personalized subject lines and subject lines that include numbers receive the most opens. For example, personalized subject lines increase the average open rate by 50%, while including numbers in a subject line increase open rates by an average of 57%.

    Other effective subject lines that increase open rates include:

    • Urgent subject lines (22%)

    • First names in subject lines (29%)

    • “Video” in subject lines (7-13%)

    • “Free” in subject lines (10%)


Email subject lines might seem like a simple necessity, but mastering them is truly a marketing artform. Luckily, such mastery comes with a host of benefits, like improved open and clickthrough rates.

Though every industry is different, the fact is that personalized email subject lines can improve open rates by up to 50%, and emotional content has proven to be 94% more effective than rational content.

With these and other statistics in mind, making new and improved email subject lines can go from frustrating and tedious to an absolute breeze. Just remember to keep testing new changes.


  1. MarketingDive. “Study: Personalized email subject lines increase open rates by 50%.” Accessed on July 19th, 2022.

  2. MailChimp. “Email Marketing Benchmarks and Statistics by Industry.” Accessed on July 20th, 2022.

  3. SuperOffice. “The Science Behind Email Open Rates (and How To Get More People To Read Your Emails).” Accessed on July 20th, 2022.

  4. Barilliance. “Abandoned Email Subject Lines: Definitive Guide (Updated 2022).” Accessed on July 20th, 2022.

  5. Entrepreneur. “How to Use Video in Your Email Marketing.” Accessed on July 20th, 2022.

  6. Influence&CO. “5 Easy Email Subject Line Tricks to Increase Your Open Rates.” Accessed on July 20th, 2022.

  7. Campaign Monitor. “The Real Scoop on Email Emoji in Subject Lines.” Accessed on July 20th, 2022.

  8. Spiralytics. “Emotional Marketing: What It Is and How It Works.” Accessed on July 20th, 2022.

  9. Constant Contact. “A/B test an email subject line.” Accessed on July 20th, 2022.

  10. AWeber. “How Long Should an Email Subject Line Be?” Accessed on July 20th, 2022.

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Jack Flynn

Jack Flynn is a writer for Zippia. In his professional career he’s written over 100 research papers, articles and blog posts. Some of his most popular published works include his writing about economic terms and research into job classifications. Jack received his BS from Hampshire College.

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Topics: Guides, Research