How Long Should My Emails Be

By Dr Daleen Smal | Email Marketing

Aug 13
How Long Should My Emails Be

A question often asked is “How long should my emails be?”

How many words do you think did Abraham Lincoln need to write the Gettysburg Address? Lincoln used only 271 words to eloquently tell a divided nation about the importance of humanity and equality!

Isn’t it possible for us to be able to send emails that are not thousands of words long? Don’t focus on counting words. Care about the quality of your message.

The only place where characters count is in your subject line. Most email platforms allow for 80 characters before they start the pesty truncations.  Cutting off your subject line is like a kiss of death. 

Word count sucks! Let's assume your killer subject line got your emails opened. How many words are you use to persuade your readers to act? Perhaps 30 words? Maybe 350? Or 2500? It depends.

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Tips To Determine The Length Of An Email

The length of each email will depend on a few factors. Ask yourself the following 3 questions to determine the length of your emails.

1. Who are you sending the email to?

It’s a very important question. Your audience consists of many individuals, all with unique interests, habits, and demographics.

They will be the judges who decide if your email is the right length, not some email word counter.

2. What are you talking about?

Sending an email to offer a special coupon will be much shorter than discussing the results of a year-long study.

Remember that you should always deliver what you promised. Never use “clickbait” because it will harm your business.

If you promised a lot of content in the subject line, then it must be in the body of your email.

However, you can keep the email short and simply deliver several pages of content as an attachment to the email or link back to the content in a lengthy blog post on your website.

3. What kind of email is it?

You must decide on how you are going to deliver your message. Will you blast it out in a broadcast email or include it in your monthly newsletter?

 Remember, as you send out emails your subscribers will get used to your type of emails and start to form an expectation about them. 


Keep Emails Short And Sweet

To help you with writing short and sweet emails without sounding like a knucklehead, use this quick and easy guide.

1. Cut out the fluff

Don’t send emails with a lot of fluff. Let’s just assume that we all hope everyone had a good weekend, is looking forward to the upcoming one, and is generally doing well. Don’t start your emails like that. People are generally busy, so get down to business right away.   

2. Cut out extra words

For some reason, we all tend to add extra words to our writing. We may do this to make the transitions smoother or it softens tough language. Sometimes, we even use more words to make us sound smarter.

As an email marketer, your job is not to craft the world’s most perfect email. Your job is to communicate quickly, easily, and clearly.

So, challenge yourself to remove any words or phrases that aren’t necessary.

3. Be concise without being confusing

Maybe you have received some of these short, cryptic emails that made no sense. For instance, “Handle Facebook first thing tomorrow”.

Now you start thinking: What does “handle” mean? What about Facebook needs to be handled?

As a result, emails start to fly up and down to get clarity.

The first email was brief but with no clarity. More time got waisted to get clarity than what would have been the case with just a few more words in the original email.

Train Yourself To Review Your Writing

The more you train yourself to review your writing, the more you’ll see that there are areas to improve.

And, more importantly, the more you'll start to automatically make these changes in future emails as it becomes second nature.

Remember, you use email marketing to build relationships with readers. When last, if ever, did you and your friends count how many words you used in conversations?

Your relationship is not based on a word count, but how you get your point across in a clear, meaningful, and entertaining way.

Conclusion

Being smart with your words and brief in your execution doesn’t mean just being short. Use enough words to make your message clear and not one word more.

Though every email is different, as long as your email content is clear, concise, and compelling, the quality will determine its effectiveness, not the word count. Focus on the message.

How Long Should My Emails Be

Learn More

Do you want to learn more about effective email copywriting?

In our learn-on-demand course Email Copywriting Made Easy you'll bring your email marketing to the next level.

Perhaps you are struggling with email marketing and are frustrated with the results you get. You want your readers to open your emails, read them all the way through, and then take action.

This course shows you best practices in email copywriting to skyrocket engagement and sales.

Head over to our course to learn more about the course and then decide if you want to sign up. 

Learn More About Email Copywriting

Do you already incorporate short and sweet email techniques into your email marketing strategy? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments.

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