What’s The Right Length For An Email Newsletter?
Not surprisingly, there’s no one standard length that will work for everybody. Testing different lengths and/or surveying your subscribers can give you the information you need to decide on what’s right for you.
Cynthia Edwards at MediaPost’s Email Insider recently wrote an article giving basic guidelines to start with based on the type of newsletter you’re sending out.
Here’s a summary of her advice:
Magazine-style Newletters: Use short copy.
If your newsletter is primarily used as a portal to content on your website (examples given: Martha Stewart Living and The Baby Center), then it’s best to keep your copy short.
Utilitarian: Use a combination of different copy lengths.
If subscribers expect useful information inside the email itself (without clicking) then it’s best to include at least one longer article and then fill out the rest of the newsletter with links to external content accompanied by short teasers.
Hybrid Newsletters: Use medium-length copy.
For hybrid newsletters — which attempt to both inform readers and promote a product or service — you can include a large excerpt from an article and a link to finish reading on the site. That way there’s plenty of information in the email itself, but your promotional message isn’t lost.
Single-Topic Newsletter: Use long copy.
For single topic newsletters, you can include all the information readers want into the email itself. You don’t even have to provide a link to external content.
Cynthia goes more in-depth on each of these types of email newsletters in the full version of her article.