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How Long Should An Email Be?

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September 12, 2022
5 min read
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How long should an email be? This question has been asked over and over again. 

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach customers and prospects. In fact, according to Hubspot, emails account for almost 80% of all customer interactions. If you want to increase sales, you need to send out quality messages, but those messages need to be direct and concise.  How direct and concise you may ask, how long should an email be?...the simple answer, under 300 words has been determined to be the sweet spot.  This length will receive the highest engagement rates.

An average person receives over 100 emails per day. To stand out from the crowd, you'll need to take advantage of every opportunity to communicate with your audience. The key is to write emails that are not only informative and entertaining but to the point.

How to craft the ideal type of email for digital marketing?

Most people don’t read emails the way they read books or other print media, according to research conducted by MailChimp. In fact, most email recipients scan the entire email rather than reading it from beginning to end. This scanning behavior happens because the eye follows an "F" pattern, meaning that readers look at the email subject line, then the email body copy, then the call to action button.

Your headline should grab attention, but you shouldn't make it too long. You want to keep the reader engaged while giving him or her enough information to understand what he or she needs to know. Don't assume that everyone knows exactly what you're talking about. If someone doesn't understand something, chances are they won't even open the email.  Research shows that emails crafted at a third-grade reading level receive the highest rate of response.

In addition, many people will skip over introductory paragraphs. And even though they might skim the rest of the email, they'll still likely stop reading once they see a bright color like red, orange, blue, green, yellow, pink, or purple. These colors are known to attract the eye, making the copy easier to spot.

The best approach is to use these techniques to craft emails that appeal to both sides of the brain.  Capture their attention with a shorter email and bright text.  Avoid the shutdown that is likely to occur if they are being met with a wall of text in a long-form email.

Keep your email focused

As an email marketer, your job has become more complex than ever with the rise of social media, mobile users, and new technologies such as video. As a result, most people now read emails on multiple devices and view them on different screens and through different email platforms. This makes it harder to craft the ideal email that grabs the attention of your target audience and holds it. So, when writing your next email campaign, make sure you focus on just one main point. If you try to cover too much ground, readers may lose interest and move on to something else.

When focusing on one topic you are providing your information in a shorter concise version.  This is the perfect opportunity to share a valuable tip with your audience base, it is also easier for them to take action when they are only focusing on the one point you are making.

Respect your reader, time is money

People receive countless types of emails a day, they are bombarded by emails from different companies, products, and services, understand that, and be mindful of it when writing your marketing emails.  Respect your reader, let them know that you respect their time, by keeping your emails short and sweet.  

On average a 300-word email can be read in less than two and a half minutes.  This can easily be consumed at any time, at their desk, at lunch, or even while they are on the go.  The key is to avoid using extra jargon or buzzwords. Make sure that your message is easy to digest and that it provides value to your audience.

Create a series

If you have longer email content or multiple points you want to address that fall under the same topic umbrella, consider breaking them up into several shorter version emails or a series. This way, you can give each section its own purpose and allow your reader to absorb the content without feeling overwhelmed.  You could publish a single email a week in your series or email marketing campaign. 

A great example of this would be if you were writing a blog post about how to start a business. In that case, you might break it down into three parts: Part One – Why Start a Business; Part Two – How to Get Started; and Part Three – The Best Resources for Starting Your Own Business.

The best part about this strategy is that it allows you to keep all of your readers engaged throughout your entire campaign by providing new information and updates at regular intervals. Keeping it under 300 words will help you build trust with your audience and encourage them to remain one of your email subscribers since they see that you are focused on sharing valuable information directly rather than lengthy emails.

Wrap up

The average person reads about three sentences per email, according to research conducted by MailChimp. This means that most people scan less than half of your email copy before deciding whether it's worth opening or deleting. If you want to keep your audience reading, consider keeping your emails under 300 words

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to communicate with customers and prospects, especially because it allows marketers to reach people wherever they are online. While many companies still rely solely on text-based emails, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use images, videos, GIFs, polls, and interactive elements to engage your audience. But how long do your emails really need to be?

The longer your emails are, the less likely someone is to open them. In fact, studies show that the average reader skips over 80% of the words in an email. People often skim over long emails because they don't feel like they've had enough time to digest what they just read. In fact, some studies show that the longer the email, the lower the response rates. Keep your emails under one paragraph. Also, try not to use bullet points in your subject lines, people tend to ignore those.

Make sure your emails aren't full of unnecessary information. Use headlines and subheads to help your reader understand exactly what the email is about.  Don't use unnecessary jargon, write at a level that the majority of the population can comprehend easily and quickly.  Watch your click-through rate climb when you begin focusing on these points and keep your emails under 300 words.

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