Make email copy long enough to tell the story

Legend has it that President Lincoln was asked how long a soldier’s legs must be to qualify for his Union army. His answer: “Long enough to reach the ground.” Whether this is true or not is unclear, but the truth behind it can be applied to a subject of heated debate: The copy length of marketing emails.

Melinda Krueger’s latest column addresses the debate with an extremely well-reasoned approach. She writes:

Use as much copy as needed to give readers all the information they need without a preconceived notion of what the “right” amount is. In some cases, you will get fewer clicks but more conversions (sales, donations, leads) from more copy-intensive e-mails, as they deliver more pre-qualified buyers.

She goes on to provide great tips for breaking up longer email copy to make it seem less daunting. Her point is right on, though. Don’t fret over the length of your email copy. Instead, make sure it is optimized for clarity, brevity (to the extent possible) and excitement.

Finally, don’t forget to test, test, test!