The Perfect Email Length

The top autoresponder services will tell you one of the most common questions they receive is, “How long should my emails be?” This is a smart question to ask. It means you’re concerned about either boring your subscribers to death, or not offering enough content.

That is a good thing.

The relationship you have with the people on your email list is extremely important. So congrats for trying to keep your subscribers happy. What is the answer to this common email writing question? The answer is, there really is no “one-size-fits-all answer”. However, a lot of data points to shorter emails as the most effective.

Remember that you should always deliver on what you promise in your email subject line. If that subject line promises a lot of content, it had better be in your email. Of course, one way to deliver several pages of content is as an attachment. You can also simply link back to your website where you have a lengthy blog post.

The key in almost all cases is to be short and effective with your emails. The vital point is quality over quantity, always trimming unnecessary text from the subject line and body of your emails.

When email was a relatively new technology, people didn’t mind reading long form content. “You’ve got mail!” was a greeting people loved seeing. Email was considered such a popular communications technology that there was even a movie made with that memorable 3 word greeting you got from AOL when you logged into your email account and had new messages waiting on you.

Today smartphones have teens and adults texting dozens, if not hundreds, of times each day. People are more used to dealing with short content. That is why Constant Contact contributor and Boot Camp Program Director David Snow recommends short content in all of your emails.

Advice from other popular autoresponder services recommends short emails as well. How short is short? Just ask yourself the following 3 questions, and your emails will be the right length every time.

1. Who am I sending this to?
2. What am I talking about?
3. What type of email is this?

An email to your mom about an upcoming trip is probably not going to be very long. Alternately, if you’re talking about a complicated process to someone unfamiliar with the subject, your email may be longer. Considering what type of email you are sending, your first thank you email should probably have more content than a broadcast email simply announcing a new blog post.

Think brevity at all times. Get to the point quickly. Cut out any unnecessary fluff and ask yourself the 3 questions above, and you will ensure you have the perfect email length every time.

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