The answer is not as simple as you’d think.
Have you ever opened up a marketing email only to find a dense novel? How far into the email did you get before exiting out of it or deleting it?
Let your own personal experiences with overly wordy marketing emails serve as a useful guide for your professional creations. There are three key rules to marketing email length that should not be ignored:
Only include topline text in marketing emails. Not only will an overabundance of text bore readers, but it’s also important to encourage readers to click through to your website for further information.
Include visuals to break up text, appeal to visual learners, and give your email additional flavor. Emails lacking visuals are not only difficult to read but also difficult to remember.
Always include a call-to-action that is easily discernible and not buried in copy. With these rules in mind, it’s important to clear up that there is no perfect email length. Rather than worrying about word count or paragraphs, ask yourself if your email has the right mix of information for your readers. Email length is a quality vs. quantity matter, and often less is more when your content and graphics speak for themselves.
Whether you’re sending a promotional email (discounts or events) or informational (resources, newsletters, or terms of service), you should follow a standard formula as you create your content and email copy. Picture a potential reader and ask yourself these three critical questions that can help you discern what information to include in your email:
What are you offering? Subscribers should have an idea of what they get when they are opening your email through the subject line. When you begin crafting an email, think about what your subject line is teasing and stick to that as you build the email body. Leave out superfluous information that strays from the subject line so readers can focus in on the message you’re trying to communicate, whether you’re sharing details about a valuable product or asking for feedback.
Why should anyone care? Imagine pitching a customer face-to-face when writing your email copy. With a little more detail about what you are offering, explain to them why they should care and why it’s important to their lives. This is likely achievable through a short paragraph or a few bullet points if your message is convincing and gets right to the point about top selling points and features.
What is the next step? Every interaction with your marketing emails should be easy for subscribers. After reading your concise but compelling email, provide explicit instructions for your readers to follow, such as ‘Register Now’ or ‘Donate Today’ that won’t leave any room for confusion. Your call-to-action should be simple and easy to find, such as a prominent button or detailed instructions.
There is no one-size-fits-all for email marketing, and it’s important to adhere to the above rules and also take your audience into consideration. If your product or service is more technical, your readers may be interested in more text and information, while a food or clothing retailer may benefit from less text and more visuals. Length will also vary by type of email. If you are hosting a webinar, you just need topline invitational details versus a newsletter that would contain multiple content blocks. Remember that shorter is often better, so put yourself in the readers’ shoes when drafting your next email and only include the details they need to be convinced to act.
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