What is Read or Open Length?

When it comes to measuring the success of email campaigns, the three indicators mainly monitored by most marketers are the delivery rate, email open rate, and click through rate. While these do show how effective campaigns are, there are other factors that should also be considered in optimizing campaigns. One of these often overlooked factors is the read or open length.


What Is Read or Open Length?

Simply put, the read or open length is the period from when a recipient first opens an email until they click out of it. It gives marketers an idea of how long people read an email before taking further action. It also indicates how engaging the email content is. A high read or open length suggests that the content was interesting or informative enough for recipients to spend some time reading the email.

Knowing the read or open length helps marketers understand what type of content works best for their campaigns. This enables them to identify which topics are relevant to their audience, thereby improving future email marketing campaigns.


How Is the Read or Open Length Measured?

One reason why marketers don’t often use the read or open length in analyzing campaigns is the difficulty in measuring it. While it can usually be measured from mail accounts that are web-based, it’s nearly impossible to do so from personal mail accounts.

Some marketers use email trackers to determine how much time a subscriber spends reading an email from their campaign. Email tracking tools use pixel trackers embedded in the heading or any place within the email. Popular email clients such as Gmail and Outlook do not offer email tracking, but it is possible to use third-party applications to track emails.


Factors That Impact Read or Open Length

Two main factors affect the read or open length—the subject line and the relevancy of the content. 

The subject line is vital since it is what influences email recipients to open an email. Without an interesting subject line, an email may never even be opened at all, let alone read. To increase the chances of having an email opened, keep subject lines brief but impactful. Moreover, keep characters to a maximum of between 40 and 60, and make the topic stand out.

Even more crucial to the read or open length is the newsletter content itself. It must be sufficiently engaging, so the recipient will be interested enough to keep reading and follow through with your intended outcome. Keep in mind that increasing the length of the content doesn’t necessarily lead to increased read or open length. What keeps the recipient reading is content that is interesting and informative. Make the content engaging yet clear and concise. Most importantly, ensure that they’re relevant to your audience. This will greatly impact your entire email marketing campaign.