According to a Study, There’s a Good Chance You’ll Click This Headline Because It’s 97 Characters

Usually when it comes to writing, the advice given to writers is “less is more.” Think about the emails that you get in your inbox, the ones that compel you to read all the way through. They’re usually short, right?

cA study done by a brand marketing company for the technology industry, called Polar, found that headlines with 90 to 99 characters had the best click-through rate. The company studied 10,000 branded content articles and found a click-through rate of .43 percent for the articles with the longest headlines. Performance trended upward as the number of characters increased. Titles between 10 and 19 characters had the lowest CTR, which was .12 percent.

Some other details from the study:

  • Longer Headlines Improve CTR:Performance peaks at 90-99 characters and 15-16 words in length.
  • Use Numbers And Special Characters: CTR performance improves when numerical numbers and special characters ($, !, &, ?) are used in a headline.
  • Include Words That Relate To Your Topic: Including keywords that relate to the topic or category of your content will grab the reader’s attention and improved CTR performance.
  • ‘If It Bleeds It Leads’ Is Not Always True: When looking at both positive and negative words, the median CTR improves when positive words are used in a headline.

I would recommend using caution with all of these when composing subjects for emails. Particularly with numbers and special characters in emails, as those almost always tend to trigger spam filters. Is this surprising to you? I have to admit it is surprising to me. Test it out. And let us know your findings.

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