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Short VS Long email copy

Short VS Long email copy

By on Jan 1, 2018

Reading time: 3 minutes

There are key types of emails that you can send to your list: long-form emails (usually in the form of a sales letter), or short emails.

Which should you choose?

The short or long email copy?

It depends on a number of factors:

It depends on your industry. Some audiences simply need more information than others. A short email may work well to inform people about an upcoming webinar, while a long email might be great for a big live event or extended course.

It depends on your product. Sometimes you have to provide a more detailed explanation about what you offer. Other times, a short description and a brief call to action is enough.

And it depends on the campaign itself. A longer email may fit better into the style and format of your campaign messaging, for example. Or a quick message may be more appropriate – or maybe it’s a bit of both.

So which email style is right for your small business and your customers?

Short Email Copy

Keep it short. Usually a brief description and a call to action is enough.

If an introduction is necessary, avoid adding any unimportant information.

Focus on your message, and don’t cover more than one topic or offer. You’re only going to have the reader’s attention for a few seconds, so make a standout call-to-action. Stay on point.

Limit the body copy to easy-to-read paragraphs. You can use images to reinforce your message; photos or graphics often take less time to understand than words, and can convey more information at a glance.

Short emails can awaken curiosity.

By strategically placing links in short emails, you can encourage the reader to click and visit your website in order to find out more information (and purchase your product).

Short emails are also good for new subscribers, who might feel overwhelmed by multiple paragraphs.

Long Email Copy

A long email is basically a sales letter.

Even though your email is long, it doesn’t have to look like a textbook. Use subheads, bold text, bullet points, and numbered lists.

This makes the letter easier to scan for important information and easier for the reader to digest.

So now comes the next big challenge: what to write about? Here are a few thoughts:

  • The major pain points your product eliminates,
  • How it makes your customer’s life better,
  • How your product is different than the competition,
  • What customers say about you,
  • How they can benefit from your product.

With long emails, you create numerous opportunities to build trust with your customer, explain your product in more detail, and place multiple calls-to-action in the body copy.

Long emails also give you a chance to push your reader through your sales funnel right from their inbox. You can highlight all of the benefits of your product, answer all of their questions, and guide them toward the purchase.


The style of email marketing you choose should be designed to fit your customers’ tastes.

If you’re still not sure what your audience will respond to, test it: create content for two separate emails – one short and one long – but make sure you use the same call to action.

Send a short email to half of your list, and a long email to the other half of your list.
Check back in a few days and see what your click-through rate is on each. Which email performed better?

Related articles:

7 reasons why nobody opens your email

How to fit your blog into the sales funnel

Benefits VS features in a sales copy

The pros of writing a monthly email newsletter