The length of a marketing email is a big concern among people new to email marketing. It shouldn’t be.
Focus on Length = Neglected Content
Imagine you’re back at school. The teacher is assigning you homework. (Relax, this bit won’t last long.) You have to write a short essay about a topic just addressed in class. The first thing that goes through your mind is: “How long does this have to be?”
You know what you say is more important than how many words you use to say it… but you still want to know how much you’re going to have to write.
When it comes to email marketing, you can relax. There’s no minimum number of words to make an effective pitch.
The Right Length for an Email
Our experts have already written in detail about the Subject field, so let’s focus on the body of the email. Ask yourself:
- Who am I writing to?
- What is the email about?
- What kind of message should I send?
1 – Your Audience
Unless your audience is made up of avid readers, consider emails that require more than two strokes to the mouse’s scroll wheel (or two taps on the “Page down” button on the keyboard) to be too long.
You’re using email marketing to sell products or services, to bring people closer to your brand. Have you ever had to read through an entire, giant commercial email to understand if it contained something of interest? Certainly not.
Focus on the image of your product or service. Add some short text that goes straight to the point. End with a call to action.
2 – The Topic of the Email
Some topics will demand more text than others. If you’re promoting a product category, you can use just a few lines for each item. If you’re updating your subscribers about a series of events, you might need a little more—but you should still only include what you really need. If you don’t need to include the schedule of each appointment to generate a click, then leave it out of the email. Readers can find that information on the landing page.
To keep your email interesting and concise, include a short excerpt of the full content for each piece of news you want to share. Add a related link that refers to the text in full next to those excerpts.
3 – The Nature of the Message
The length of the email is also influenced by the type of message you want to send. Are you sending a one-shot promotion or a weekly company newsletter?
Readers of regular newsletters will expect to find a selection of news from the brand and the industry. They’ll have expectations.
If you find that the rate of user interactions declines, try shortening or dividing long paragraphs. Simplify and clarify the speech. Be more direct. Make the call to action clearer (maybe bigger and higher) and add an image.
Even a message like the one below—short and without multimedia elements—is perfectly suited to the content of the email.
Every email is different. As long as the content of the message is clear, concise and convincing, the quality (combined with careful audience targeting) will always beat quantity.
It’s always quality that gets you an A grade.