Long Vs Short Emails: Which Style Will Convert Your Prospects Into Customers?


You may have noticed that some emails you receive from top marketing gurus are three or four sentences tops. Other emails contain paragraph after paragraph of long, scrolling copy that seems to go on forever.

Some small business owners swear by “the scroll,” while others insist that short and sweet can’t be beat.

So which email style is right for your small business and your customers?

Here’s the long and short of it:

Short and Sweet Email Copy

Pros: Short email advocates swear by the method because of its power to create curiosity.

Without a lot of text, the copy you do use can pack a bigger punch. Strategically placed links in short emails encourage the reader to click in order to find out more information (and purchase your product!)

Short emails are also less intimidating for those who don’t consider themselves “readers” and might feel overwhelmed by multiple paragraphs.

Cons: It’s difficult to develop trust with just a sentence or two, and your audience might not take the bait and click your link if they don’t know you very well.

Also, super short emails, while highlighting a strong call to action, don’t give you an opportunity to address your customer’s potential objections.

Long, Scrolling Email Copy

Pros: With long emails, you have endless opportunities to insert multiple links, highlight affiliate offers, and appeal to a wider audience.

Long emails also give you a chance to usher your reader through your sales funnel right from their inbox – you can highlight all of the benefits of your product/service, answer all of their objections, and guide them toward the purchase.

By the time they click a link, they’ve already made up their mind to buy (or not buy).

Cons: Long emails might distract the reader from the call to action you want them to complete, especially if you include lots of affiliate links.

Some people may only skim the email when they see how long it is, missing out on crucial benefits and important information.

Finally, long emails don’t work as well when it comes to creating a sense of curiosity, because the information they contain already answers all of your customer’s questions.

The Verdict:

The style of email marketing you choose should cater to your customers’ tastes. If you are an author and have built a platform around storytelling, your audience will most likely be open to reading longer emails.

If, however, you’re in a more visual field like web design, short copy will focus attention where you need it most – on your graphics and visuals.

If you’re still not sure what your audience will respond to, try this test: create content for two separate emails, but make sure those emails have the same call to action.

For example, let’s say you want your customers to sign up for your upcoming webinar.

Send a short email to half of your list, and a long email to the other half of your list. Check back in a few days (remember people don’t always get to their email right away) and see what your click-through rate is. Which email sent more people to your webinar sign up page?

Keep in mind that you may need to toggle back and forth between styles depending on what you’re promoting. A short email may work well for a webinar, while a long email might be great for a live event or course.

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