The 6 Golden Email Rules You Need to Know

The average office worker sends and receives a staggering 122 emails a day. Considering the amount of time we spend doing email, what do you really, empirically know about it?

Probably not that much.

It’s just something you do, right?

But since 269 billion with a “B” emails are sent every day, according to the Radicati Group, you need to make sure yours doesn’t get lost in that very very big pile.

So how can you stand out? By doing email smarter and better.

In this post, we’re going to focus on a few very easy tips that will take your email game to the next level.

The Subject Line

Keep your subject lines between 61-70 characters

1. According to Lifeline, that’s the ideal length for a subject line—it has the highest read rate. In a world where many subject lines seem to be “Checking in” or “Following up”, it turns out that saying more is better for subjects.

2. Here is what a subject line in that range actually looks like: Our Summer Sale is here – save on swimsuits, pool toys and more!

Make it personal

1. This doesn’t just mean adding a first name to your email, although that’s a perfectly good way to personalize. You can also personalize by adding locations, dates, and items specific to their experience.

2.Here are a few examples:

  • How are you liking your new steel-toe boots, Bob? (item and name specific)
  • Hope you’re keeping warm this winter, Toronto (location specific)
  • Thanks for checking in yesterday, Gina (name and date specific).

3. You’re not doing this just because it’s nice. Research has shown that emails with personalized subject lines have a 29% higher open rate and a 41% higher click-through-rate than those without.

The Message Length

Keep it short.

1. Emails should be between 50 to 125 words, according to a Boomerang study. This length yields the highest response rates, and it will prevent your customers from becoming annoyed with you. (According to a survey by Reuters, when asked what annoys them most about email, 28% said it was scrolling down to read the entire message.)

2. Remember to break up your chunks of text too, even if it’s brief. The faster you let your reader’s eye move down the page, the more grateful they’ll be.

When to send

Send on Tuesdays at 9pm.

1. Excluding weekdays, your email has the best chance of being opened if it’s sent on a Tuesday between 8:00pm and 12:00am, according to

2. This makes sense, when you think about it. Most people get tons of email everyday (remember the 122 daily emails) and most of it comes between 8:00am and noon. But of course, those are the hours when people are working. If you’re trying to sell someone something, or get them to think about a new product they should try, when they’re working is exactly when you don’t want your email plopping in their inbox.

3. Of course, every audience is different, so you should try segmenting your emails and see which group has a higher response and open rate.

Editors need editors

Don’t. Have. Typos.

1. This one is simple. You’re asking people for their hard-earned money. Customers need to believe you’re competent and caring to hand over their money. Just the way that stained clothes reflect poorly in person, typos and errors reflect poorly on your business. This is true both in your marketing copy, your blog, your emails, and your home page. Check it once. Check it twice. Don’t have typos.

The messaging

One CTA per email, please.

1. We know that your business has lots of great facets that you’d like people to check out. Your jackets are wonderful! Your newsletter offers great discounts! You’re having a sale!

2. Even though it may seem better to include more value in your email by stuffing it with more things, the truth is, you should boil your emails down to one message—and one action you want readers to take.

Final thoughts

Sending better emails should be a priority for any business—it’s the bedrock of modern communication, after all. To really gauge how effective these rules are, you should take a look at your email open rate and CTR now, apply the rules, and see where you stand in a few weeks.