How Long Should My Marketing Email Be?

We receive this question quite often: How long should my marketing email be? It is understandable. In high school and college, all of our research and term papers had a length requirement. This meant bulking up the copy and writing out every acronym and abbreviation. I’m not sure how many times I wrote out the “United States of America” instead of just the “US”. 

The copy for marketing emails is quite different. While there is no magical number of words that will guarantee you a 100% click rate on your CTA, there are guidelines to follow that will increase your opens and click rates. It all depends on the type of email, your audience, and your marketing campaign goals. Don’t make your reader feel like a student in Charlie Brown’s classroom. Include what you need to — nothing more, nothing less. Remember quality over quantity.

  • Events — If you are inviting people to an in-person event, you should include a concise summary of the event, bullet points describing the benefits of attending, date of the event, time, location, contact information, and most importantly, a way to register. Any other details of the event should go on the event landing page. Do not overburden your potential attendees with nitty-gritty details in the invite, they will become over-whelmed and lose interest.
  • White-papers — Marketing emails that promote a white paper download should include a brief summary that leaves the audience wanting more. Don’t “overstuff” your email — focus on creating a teaser that piques interest.  Do include an easy-to-find Download button in the email.
  • Newsletters — Newsletters can vary considerably in length. Keep the content relevant to your audience.
  • Promotions — Marketing emails that promote a product or service should include a brief description of the features and benefits, and a clear CTA to purchase the product. Include just enough copy to get potential customers excited.
  • Webinars — In one to two very brief paragraphs, describe the benefits of attending the webinar. Keep the copy interesting. Do not include boring details like how to the webinar. Save that information for your confirmation email.
  • Nonprofit — For nonprofit marketing emails, have a clear CTA to encourage responses. If your CTA is asking for donations, perhaps include short stories, motivational quotes, and/or how the donations will change lives.

The “best” best practice is to do what works for your specific audience. If possible, perform A/B testing to ensure your marketing copy is effective. Always make sure your content is clear, concise, and attention-grabbing. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. If your marketing email copy makes you say “Good grief”, then trim it. Brevity should be your ultimate goal.

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