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How long should my emails be?
It’s a valid question in the email marketing space. Too long and you risk your readers becoming bored or overwhelmed. But too short? And you might not deliver enough value.
I appreciate this question so much because it’s spurred on by two main concerns — email deliverability, or getting your emails into your readers’ inboxes, and audience engagement.
Email is a tool that has lots of technical nuances. Since deliverability issues can keep your emails from reaching your readers, it’s always good to keep a pulse on what may keep that from happening.
However, email length does not affect deliverability. Email file size does, along with other factors, but not email length.
So unless you’re including an email attachment when emailing your readers, you don’t have anything to worry about.
You can write as much as you want!
Related: How to make sure your email marketing is working for your online business — and know what needs to be improved
The other concern that prompts the “how long is too long?” question is determining the ideal length to engage your audience.
There are SO many ways to engage your audience through email. While I suggest you ask your readers what they prefer… remember that it’s not 100% their decision what you send to them.
*record scratch* “She said whaaaaat about ignoring your audience?”
I deeply believe how you do email marketing — the language or tone of your message, the formatting, and yes, the length of each email — is part of your brand’s personality.
Emails should reflect your, the author’s — or the brand’s — personality.
Over time, your audience will acquire a taste for how you write and what you share. Whether an email is long or short doesn’t matter.
Now if your audience says, “Send us more videos!” or “Can I get a link to the full blog post earlier in the email?” << Do that.
Listen to your audience, but don’t be consumed by conforming to how you “think” they want to be engaged with you.
Related: What to do when no one replies to your emails
To give you an idea of what’s all “out there” being sent around other peoples’ inboxes, here are some examples:
Ann’s emails are lengthy. So lengthy that I save them when I have a chunk of time to really take it all in. She sends emails every couple of weeks, and they’re worth waiting for. She links to many resources and uses her emails as a primary form of teaching readers.
On the flip-side, check out this short & simple email from Ramit Sethi. He has longer emails, but they’re still focused and have only 1-2 links to another resource (blog post, course sales page, etc).
Ashlyn has a lovely template she follows for her weekly emails — a thumbnail of her latest video, a link to the post on her site and links to her other latest blog posts.
Excessive gif usage in email? SAME, JORDAN. Just when I wanted to make sure I wasn’t overdoing it with gifs in my marketing emails, I got this email from Jordan and my faith was restored in being able to use our personality in emails.
No matter HOW you share with your readers, they’ll grow accustomed to your communication style — and hopefully love it.
I send gifs in 25% of my text messages, so it feels weird to me to NOT include them in emails because of how they “might be perceived.” Pssh. In my world, pop culture references and gifs bring joy and levity to an otherwise boring [to most people] subject.
Related: How to add personality to your email marketing with custom gifs
Here are the MORE important points to consider when writing your emails:
Share what’s important — your One Big Idea — and leave out what’s not. If you have more ideas, write more emails.
Consider including supporting elements — like formatting, links, gifs and photos — but ax them if they distract from the main message.
Remember and reflect your big goals. If your goals include sending people back to your site for SEO and traffic, your emails can be shorter with a link to your blog. Or if your email newsletter has exclusive content, chock it full of good stuff readers can’t get anywhere else.
Being an online business owner or blogger is hard enough without wondering, “How could this go wrong… or not connect… or be too long… or have too many gifs.”
Just write the email. Be yourself. Share value. Have fun. Connect with your readers authentically! Ready? Let’s make a plan to make it happen.
Leave a comment and let me know: Do you think long or short emails (or a mixture of the two) fit best with your personality and your brand?
If you’re not welcoming new subscribers and pointing them in the direction of your best, most beloved content — or you feel like the one you have isn’t doing the trick — it’s time we fix that. Use this free 5-part framework to make a meaningful & lasting first impression as you write your first welcome sequence for new email subscribers!
FYI : I sometimes talk about and link to tools, sites, books, and resources that I LOVE. Sometimes those companies give me a little gift for sharing if you choose to purchase something through my affiliate link. I promise to be straightforward with you and to only share things I personally use and would vouch for 100%.
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We’re Duett, an email marketing agency specializing in email strategy, email copywriting, and email automation setup with a special place in our heart for bloggers (especially those who make delicious food). If you’re a content creator craving to authentically connect with your audience so you can build lasting relationships, increase site traffic, and put your best offers forward — Let’s Duett!