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Marketing Tango

The Rhythm of Integrated Marketing

There’s Finally a Right Answer for How Long a Sales Email Should Be

Email Marketing

Sep 20, 2018

Email MarketingHubspot looked at 40 million sales emails and the resulting analytics, all so you don’t have to.

And the results may surprise you.

When building an email blast, many integrated marketers feel like they need to tell the whole story and provide as many features, benefits, and stats as possible. But put yourself in the seat of your audience – the average office worker receives 120 emails a day, and that number balloons the higher you go up the food chain. (It’s reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook gets more than 700 emails a day.) 

So, how do you avoid TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) syndrome?

Aim for 200 words.
 

Which, admittedly, isn’t a lot. But here’s how you can pack more power into each email.

Create for Mobile First

Even if you have data that shows your prospects are opening emails on a desktop, creating an email that looks good and works well on a smartphone will help you make an impact. Think brief headlines of 5 – 8 words, shorter words that won’t break in weird places, and sentences and paragraphs that won’t make your audience scroll endlessly.

Think of Where Your Email Fits in the Larger campaign

Remember, your email isn’t working alone – it should just be greasing the wheels to get your audience to a website, a download, a brochure. Think about how to sell that transaction, as opposed to selling a year-supply of your product. It takes much less persuasion (and fewer words) to convince a prospect to visit a page on your website than it would to convince that same prospect to buy something.

Write according to the Fleisch-Kincaid

Even if you have an audience of literal brain surgeons, they will appreciate not having to parse complicated sentences with multiple clauses and dense paragraphs. Eighth to ninth grade reading comprehension is standard faire among insurance and automobile industries, and is a safe bet for many business writers as well

Show, Don’t Tell

When it comes to short, pithy emails, bold visuals are integrated marketers’ best friends. Besides the “picture is worth a thousand words” thing, a well-placed photo or  infographic creates interest and moves a reader down the page. Another potent email addition is video. Adding video to email can yield impressive results such as a 55% increase in click-through rates and a 24% increase in conversions.

If you find yourself with a 400 or 500-word email, with some careful editing, you can break it into two separate emails and get double the bang for your buck.

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