When discussing length and personalization in relation to emails, there are two main areas to consider:

  • The subject line
  • The body of the email

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

1. The Subject Line

The subject line is the most important part of your email, because without a good one your email will never get opened. Studies have shown that 20 characters or less gives you a much higher chance of your email getting opened.

Studies have also shown that using the personalization feature in the subject line makes it 50% more likely to get opened. So keeping things short and personalized in your subject line gives you the best chance of your email getting opened in a crowded email box. Use the personalization code in your email marketing platform.

2. The Body of the Email

The body of the email should also have personalization, but there are several other important things to consider as well.

The first paragraph

The first paragraph should grab attention and lure the recipient into reading more. There are two reasons for this. The first is obvious. People only spend about 15 to 20 seconds scanning any email they have actually opened, so the content you put at the beginning is key to getting them to read on.

The second is that many email clients show the first sentence of an email as a “teaser” copy after the subject line, so those scanning through their email box can decide what to keep, trash, or read later.

Subsequent paragraphs

Every paragraph you include should be there for a reason. Some emails will be short and sweet. Think of the 15-second guideline above.

But for more complicated topics, or promotional emails selling an expensive or complicated product, a longer email might be better.

Therefore, in answer to the question of how long an email should be, it should be long enough to grab attention and interesting enough to make them want to learn more.

Call to action

One of the most important parts of your email is the call to action. What do you want them to do after reading your email? It might be to click a link to learn more, complete a survey, buy now and so forth. The email should be enough to make it perfectly logical for them to take the action you suggest.

Features and benefits

If you are sending a promotional email designed to sell a product, include the features of the item and the benefit/s of those features. For example, leather seats are often mention in promo materials for cars. What are the main benefits?

  • Easy to clean
  • Durable
  • Stylish

…and so on.

A money-back guarantee

Make it as risk-free as possible to do business with you by offering a 100% money-back guarantee.

Include a postscript

Studies have shown that the postscript (P.S.) of an email or sales letter is often one of the most read parts of the entire email, so make it count. Summarize your great offer and include the call to action, and your personalized and well-constructed emails should get you the results you desire.

How Length and Personalization Impact Email Performance
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