Do Short or Long Emails Convert Better?
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Should You Send Short or Long Emails? Which Works Best?
How long should your emails be? Well, the answer isn’t easy. If you’re like most marketers, your email frequency varies depending on the message you want to send.
In an age when many people spend more time on social media, email is often a forgotten channel for getting things done. According to OptinMonster, not only do emails have better engagement than social media (CTR is 3.71% for email and .55% for social media) but your ROI (Return of Investment) is 4400% from email marketing–not something you can overlook.
With over 10 billion messages sent every day, getting someone’s attention is more complex and harder. According to ConstantContact, people spend 10 seconds reading brand email, which is not long, so optimizing your email has been more critical than ever. HubSpot suggests that our ideal email should be between 50 and 125 words.
Great with this research and suggested data, I should start writing short emails for my campaign. But wait, some marketers have demonstrated that long-form emails work more efficiently than short emails. Even I read long emails from time to time, so we should not completely ignore long emails.
So, the question still arises which one is better? Let’s find out.
Short Emails: When Should I Use Them?
As the name suggests, short emails keep your message short and to the point. They are usually written in a few sentences, with less than a 150-word count.
A couple of advantages of using short emails are:
1. Easy to Digest
Since your email is short, it is much easier to digest without spending more time figuring out what your email is about.
2. Creates Curiosity
With sort emails, it generally creates more curiosity, and the chance of click-through is much higher.
You can get to the point with a short email so your users know what kind of message your email is trying to convey.
4. Main Content and CTA (Call to Action)
Usually, short emails have two-section, one being the main content of the email and the second being your CTA.
Most users do not have a long attention span, so with the above 4 points, you know why short emails are essential to marketers.
With every advantage, you will also get some disadvantages. Here is some reason why short emails come short.
1. May Not be Impactful
While writing short emails, you need to ensure that they are highly impactful and attention-grabbing. If you fail to do so, your user might lose interest in the product, and they might never open an email from your brand.
2. Hard to Understand
Poorly written emails can be hard to understand, so you need to choose the right words to explain your products and services.
3. Feel of Spam
When building trust, shorter emails come with a limitation. Since it is short most of the time if it is not done the right way, it may sound spammy.
Above are some advantages and disadvantages of sort email; now, let’s look at what long email has under its sleeve.
Long Emails: When Should We Use Them?
As the name suggests, long emails are generally written to be more informative. Let’s see some of the advantages and disadvantages of long-form emails.
1. Include More Information
When it comes to long emails, you can go all out and be very descriptive about your products.
2. You Can Create Personalized Email
With long email, you can write personalized mail to your customer, making them feel the product you are selling is just for them.
3. Many Parts: Intro, Main Body, Benefits, CTA, Etc.
Since it is a long email, you can have as many sections as possible.
Boring to Read
With thousands of emails coming to your Gmail account, your user might not be ready to go through your long email. If your users are bored, your click-through rate to your CTA will be lower.
Now we have gone through some advantages and disadvantages, let’s see when to use different kinds of email with some examples.
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Choosing Between Long and Short Email for Email Marketing
Let’s start looking into some of the points that could help determine which email copy will suit your next email campaign.
Keep Your Audience in Mind
Knowing your targeted audience (you can use sales funnel to get a well-targeted audience) will help you determine if you need to send out a short or long email
For example, my hobby is taking landscape photographs; I did sign up for some photography classes and newsletters with different photography websites. Now I have been getting lots of photography-related emails. Let’s take a look at some short sales emails.
Email Subject Line: “I can’t believe this happened to Joe.“
So, what do you think of this email? In this email, Serge talks about his workshop and has managed to grab my attention with a direct-to-the-point email. I am, in fact, interested and did click on his CTA and got more info.
Now let’s take a look at another email, which is very short and to the point. He is giving away a free landscape book in this email by clicking on his link.
Now you know how powerful short-form email could be. The above examples are not too long and are not too short. They are just right and were able to convey an appealing message. Tim Shield’s email generates some curiosity about his book with proper placement of the image of this book. I love photography, and I am their target audience with more chances of buying their products, which could increase their conversion rates.
Let’s do one last short email example; this is from the Red Lobster promotional email. That garlic bread is calling me, since it got my attention, I might order some seafood for delivery.
In summary, short-form email gets attention right away without long texts. The above examples are not too long and are not too short. They are just right and were able to convey an appealing message. Tim Shield’s email generates some curiosity about his book with proper placement of the image of this book.
Now let’s see what a long-form email looks like. Below is an email that I received from Josh, and he is offering a Spring Sale for his book. This email explains his book and how it helped his students get into the web designing business. Getting this long email makes sense since I don’t know him and his product, and this email grabbed my attention.
Another way of sending a long email will be in the form of a newsletter; below is one example from the Pipeline Pro. This email is long, so I just grabbed a section of it.
Long-form email works best when you have new products and want to explain in detail about your products or service and what value your user will get from them. Another excellent place for long email is sending newsletters.
Whether you are writing a long or short email, make sure you write in a conversational tone so your audience is hooked on it. Try not to use big or vague words; make it simple and robust enough so the audience can understand it.
When in Doubt, do A/B Testing
It is always a good practice to do testing before going live. The same goes for your email; try sending out long and short emails to learn about the response rate.
Mixing up both emails in your campaign allows you to experience both sides of the coin. Try sending our daily short emails and monthly or weekly long email; keep track of their performance. You don’t have to follow any rules; it is up to you and your audience’s choice.
Boosting Your Email Marketing Strategy
For email marketing, just having good content is not enough. Multiple factors will define if your email campaign is working.
Make sure you have a good email list; if this is something you don’t have, follow this post to Generate an Email List for your business.
For your email to have a better open rate, you should have a perfect subject line. The first thing your user sees is the subject; your email will never get opened if you cannot grab their attention through the subject.
Use an impactful graphic or images related to your email content.
Email marketing is one of the best personal channels for any marketer; you can speak to your customer directly, so use it wisely.
About the author
Sameer is the owner and founder of Duwal.com Digital Agency based in Portland, Oregon. Before starting his agency in 2019, he used to work with Fortune 500 Companies for over 10 years as a software developer and designer. When he started Duwal.com, he used to only offer web development services, but now after years of experience, he is offering full digital marketing service which has helped grow small businesses.