As you craft your email newsletter, you want to pay close attention to every small detail. Naturally, you want to know the ideal length for your email newsletter.
Truthfully, there is no magic formula for creating a newsletter that yields the kind of readership, loyalty, and conversions you’re looking for. Instead, finding the ideal length for your newsletter takes time and testing to see what works with your specific audience.
But that’s good news. Any marketer looking for a quick fix or magic formula isn’t going to have the perseverance they need to create a long-term newsletter that works. That means less competition for those marketers who are willing to take their time and do the work.
How long should an email newsletter be?
Some research shows that the perfect length is about 20 lines of text, or 200 words maximum, for the highest click rates. But creating a newsletter that converts isn’t as simple as just sticking within the ideal length.
Consider your audience.
Your audience plays a major role in the ideal length for your newsletter. Does your target audience spend time reading long-form blogs? Maybe your audience only wants to see headlines and pick what they’d like to read from that.
Remember that unique segments of your audience may prefer different newsletter lengths. You don’t have to send the same format to everyone.
Consider your content and action.
If you’re encouraging subscribers to RSVP for an event, they’ll probably need more information to decide whether or not it’s right for them. In this case, your newsletter may contain several sections with bios for the speakers or artists, the event’s purpose, the venue, and more.
Straight newsletters can get away with minimal copy—sometimes even just a few words will do. In these cases, you’re only asking your subscribers to click over to a landing page.
Even promotional emails don’t necessarily require a novel’s worth of copy. If you have to spend 500 words explaining the value of your product or service, there’s a good chance people will get distracted. Always err on the side of brevity.
Run some A/B tests to see what length works best.
Best practices are one thing, but your audience is full of unique people. Break your subscriber list up into different segments and create newsletter campaigns of different lengths. Run A/B tests to figure out which length performs best with different segments of your subscriber list. Plus, segmented campaigns can improve your revenue by 760%.
Segmenting your subscriber list can improve your revenue by 760%.
How to measure the results of your email newsletter
To hit that sweet spot, in terms of length, you’ll need to measure the performance of your email newsletter.
Log into your Campaign Monitor dashboard and click on the name of the campaign you want to check. Here, you’ll be able to see how many people opened your emails, clicked links, and converted.
If people are opening your emails but not clicking the links, you may need to reevaluate your length.
Maybe you’re giving your subscribers too much copy to sort through and they’re getting distracted, instead of getting inspired to take action. On the other hand, maybe you’re not giving your subscribers enough copy to understand your email’s purpose.
Try experimenting with different types of copy and lengths to see what works best by running some A/B tests.
Does it really matter?
Yes and no. The “ideal length” is not a hard-and-fast rule.
If you only stuck with best practices for every email without making unique accommodations, you’d never be able to provide your subscribers with the unique and personalized content they want.
Instead, figure out what works for not only your subscriber list, but specific segments of your subscriber list. A parent who works full time may prefer shorter and super concise emails, while someone who’s retired may have more time to read through your longer emails.
Now you can narrow down the best length for your email newsletter based on your industry, audience segments, and content type.
Keep in mind that what you say and how you say it is much more important than length. Even if your industry or content requires lengthy copy, you should still write in a concise and conversational fashion. Always write as though you’re writing for one specific person who doesn’t have much time to chat.
Are you ready to learn more about writing engaging copy? Check out this Knowledge Base resource covering email copywriting best practices.