There’s no hard-and-fast rule for email newsletter length, though a good general rule of thumb is no longer than one printed page or roughly 500 words.
If you can accomplish your goals with fewer words, that’s often better. The less time you ask readers to give you, the more likely they are to follow through.
However, before you can determine your target length, it’s important to decide which newsletter format you’ll use. Here are a few of the more popular newsletter formats and the type and length of content that typically goes with them.
If your goal is to drive traffic back to your website, include multiple articles to increase the odds that something grabs their attention, but keep the copy for each one short. Write one or two engaging paragraphs for each and ask readers to click through to read the rest.
Many companies send out newsletters that feature teasers for the blog posts they published that past month, which also helps reduce the cost of producing the newsletter regularly.
If your goal is to have your audience read your entire message, then it’s in your best interest to include the entire article in your newsletter. Generally, you want to stick to 500 words or less.
We recommend that clients consider posting this article on their blog as well, so they get more use from the content. And even though you’ve chosen to feature this single topic, you can still link to other content that you’ve recently written on your blog. You can provide post titles as links or include short teasers of a few sentences each.
Product Offer Newsletters
Short and to the point. The offer should be right upfront and not buried in copy. The fewer words you can use to convey your marketing message, the better.
Clear images of the products are crucial for this type of newsletter, as well as a prominent call-to-action button and/or link.
Many newsletters aim to inform their readers while also promoting a product or service. In this case, you can include a longer excerpt with a little more substance, between 250 and 350 words, and link to your site to read the rest of the article. You’re providing valuable information to your reader but not letting your promotional message get lost.
General Best Practices for Email Newsletters
Here are a few more general guidelines to keep in mind when putting together your newsletter.
- Include social media buttons. Allow your readers to connect with you using their preferred method.
- Link back to your website. Even if you’re utilizing a single topic newsletter format, make sure you give people a way to get back to your site.
- Don’t forget a call-to-action. Most newsletters want to motivate their readers to do something, whether it’s to purchase a product or service or remain connected to their brand. Determine your goal, and make it easy for people to accomplish it.
- Add an image. Or several. It will liven up your newsletter and keep it from feeling too dry or text-heavy.
- Keep paragraphs short. When reading on the internet, people skim, and they may jump over large paragraphs entirely.
Need help putting your newsletter together? WR Digital Marketing can take care of the process from start to finish: writing, designing, sending, and list management. Contact us to get a quote today.