When you create an email for your opt-in marketing list, you need to decide how long it should be. The amount of time people are willing to spend reading an email is down to 52 seconds on average.* This holds especially true for cold leads — people who have signed up for your email list but are only mildly interested in your offerings. Keeping the message short and direct is the best way to take advantage of this small window of opportunity. The offer must be appealing and brief to hook the attention of the reader.
Keeping the text short helps to create a more pleasing look as well. Large blocks of text often instantly turn off a reader. They will either click delete or vow to “get to it later” (never). A balance of bold and clear words with vivid and informative images helps to hook readers. Provide enough information to pique their interest and get them to click if they are interested in learning more.
As a general rule, readers should not have to scroll down to get to the crux of your offer. Using a summary with links to more information is a good way to cut down on email length. This also helps to qualify any resulting leads, because they have shown enough interest to click through. Trackable links also create a lot of useful feedback in the form of click statistics. Any good email marketing program such as Constant Contact or iContact can do this.
Many people read email on their mobile devices. Remember to cater to a smaller screen than your personal computer provides. Try looking at one or two of your company’s emails on a mobile device. Is it easy to read two feet away? You should consider switching to a mobile-friendly template that has a big font, a single column, and a specially-coded header image. Links are a good idea for smart phone recipients, because their screen is so tiny.
Finding a balance for the length may take a few attempts depending on your demographic and the strength of your contact list. Luckily, most email marketing services provide a detailed breakdown of your open rate and click rates. You can also look at your website statistics. Analyze and revise your strategy accordingly. Finally, if you find your open rates and clicks lower than you would like, look at what other companies are doing to grab your attention in their email marketing.
*Source: Constant Contact Oct 2013