How long "should" an email message be?

12 replies
I'm rewriting a series of free ebooks that I previously distributed, into a free autoresponder coaching course.

Since most of the ebooks are a bit long, I'm wondering what a good target would be for the length, and how much of the message should be included before I encourage the reader to "click" to read the rest, or if I "should" (there's that word again!) include the whole educational message in the email and forego any click-through training opportunity.

What you folkses think?

Thanks,
Kirk
#email #long #message
  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Originally Posted by Kirk Ward View Post

    I'm rewriting a series of free ebooks that I previously distributed, into a free autoresponder coaching course.

    Since most of the ebooks are a bit long, I'm wondering what a good target would be for the length, and how much of the message should be included before I encourage the reader to "click" to read the rest, or if I "should" (there's that word again!) include the whole educational message in the email and forego any click-through training opportunity.

    What you folkses think?

    Thanks,
    Kirk
    You can quote a relevant section and put the full text of that piece up as a blog post on a private blog that they gain access to when the join the list.

    You can create a nice looking PDF of the section and link to that from the email.

    Or you can just make your "official" course subject emails long and meaty and condition the readers to expect it.

    Think TalkBiz. I'm kinda bummed when Paul sends a short one! : )

    Best,

    Brian
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[780390].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author 4Highflyers
    Hi Kirk,

    If you build them long enough to create desire and curiosity to read more,
    then you can also get data on the click-throughs...

    If you use the whole message, you won't as easily know how many are
    actually reading through what you provide.

    Another option is to follow up later on with short-sweet emails linking
    to the full article (or a pdf of it).

    If you really want to go to town, you could split test by switching the
    signups between 2 lists: 1 using the full message, the other with the
    [click to continue] option.

    Best,
    Adam
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[780403].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Anthony Stillwell
    Hi Kirk,

    Generally (in my opinion) your messages should be short teaser messages designed to get people to click over to your site where you have the full email formatted as an HTML page along with some way to monetize that content. Adsense, affiliate links, etc. I remember a time when people would sit and read long emails but now more than ever people tend to check their emails with external devices like cell phones.

    Because of that (and other time pressures) people tend not to read long emails as readily as they once did. Short messages would work well because they would get people to look forward to getting your full message. Anticipation is ALWAYS good to build into any message.

    An example would be three short emails I wrote recently as a followup to a product. The first email set the stage for what the following emails would be referring to so they could be a little more generic to get the click.

    ----------

    EMAIL #1

    Subject: Have you seen this video yet?

    Hi,

    This is YOUR NAME from http://www.YOURSITE.com

    Can I ask you something?

    How long have you been studying Internet marketing?

    You may not realize it yet but you probably already know
    enough to become a well paid consultant for millions of
    business owners across the United States and abroad.

    I know it's hard for you to imagine but the average, everyday
    business owner (who doesn't study Internet marketing like you
    do) most likely doesn't know 1/100th of what YOU know about
    putting a business on the web to attract new leads.

    And the thing that really blows MY mind is...

    Most of them couldn't care less about learning what you know.
    They'd rather pay YOU to do what they want done for them.

    Watch the video and see how easy it can be:
    http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/easymoney.html

    Hundreds of other marketers have already seen this and they
    all pretty much went wild when they realized just how easy
    this kind of business model is compared to working their
    fingers to the bone selling ebooks and affiliate products.

    Here's a much easier way to get paid. Watch the video:
    http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/easymoney.html

    Take care,

    YOUR NAME
    http://www.YOURSITE.com

    ----------

    EMAIL #2

    Subject: Did you watch the video I sent yesterday?

    This is YOUR NAME from http://www.YOURSITE.com

    Did you get a chance to check out the funny video I sent you
    yesterday? The video is funny because it's so easy to follow
    and make money with that it's almost like getting paid to
    sit down. Now that's a job even I can do well. ;-)

    Here's the video again:
    http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/easymoney.html

    Before I saw that video for the first time, I never imagined
    getting paid for doing something so easy.

    Take care,

    YOUR NAME
    http://www.YOURSITE.com

    ----------

    EMAIL #3

    Subject: Did you know some restaurants will pay you to eat there?

    Hi,

    This is YOUR NAME from http://www.YOURSITE.com

    How often do you eat out?

    Probably not as much as you used to because of the economy but
    what if you could get restaurants to pay you and your family
    to eat there? Would you go more often?

    If you're in a hurry, check out the report written in blue:
    http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/easymoney.html

    It really makes me laugh when I think about the things we
    marketers come up with. I mean who would have ever thought
    about getting paid to eat? Learning as much as you can about
    marketing allows you to do SO much.

    This is just one of those perks. Enjoy.

    Make sure you check out the report written in the blue box:
    http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/easymoney.html

    Take care,

    YOUR NAME
    http://www.YOURSITE.com

    ----------

    For this email series, the first email told what the product is about and the following emails picked out specific areas of interest in the sales letter that would make people curious to find out more. What I've found is that when you give away too much in any one email, people tend to think they already know what you're trying to show them and they won't bother to come and see.

    What you want is traffic to an HTML page using email to generate it.

    Also, I've found that emails where I include the subscriber's name and a question in the subject line got triple the open rate as previous emails about the same product that did not. I ask a question in the subject (which gets people to open the email) and then don't fully answer it in the email itself which gets people to click to find out what the email is about.

    ----------

    While I'm sure some may disagree, I suggest you summarize what your email course will be about in the first short email then in each following email, pick out something specific people will learn how to do and use that to get them curious enough to click for the full lesson.

    IMPORTANT: Please use tracking links in your emails so you know how many people are clicking through. Also use HTML emails that look just like plain text emails so you can track the open rates as well. Know how many people open and clickthrough to the full lessons. When you know the numbers, it's easy to see how any changes you make affect them.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[780700].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jay White
    Got a video that addresses that very question, Kirk (along with a bunch of others)

    YouTube - EmailCopyMadeEasy's Channel

    Have at 'em!

    JW
    Signature
    Copywriters! Want to Get More Clients and Make More Money? FREE Webinar: www.GetCopywritingClients.com
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[780765].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JonesersRX7
      Originally Posted by Jay White View Post

      Got a video that addresses that very question, Kirk (along with a bunch of others)

      Removed - no links yet... see original post

      Have at 'em!

      JW
      With this guys credentials I was intrigued to visit and glad I did as I learned something -- I only watched the bottom 3 related to this question so go watch and see if it assists you with your question.

      How many emails should be in an email series
      How wide should my email be
      How long should my email be
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[780879].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
        Originally Posted by JonesersRX7 View Post

        With this guys credentials I was intrigued to visit and glad I did as I learned something -- I only watched the bottom 3 related to this question so go watch and see if it assists you with your question.

        How many emails should be in an email series
        How wide should my email be
        How long should my email be
        I thought they were good too.

        Thanks!
        Signature
        "We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice."

        Dr. Samuel Johnson (Presiding at the sale of Thrales brewery, London, 1781)
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[784812].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author gpsterra
    Kirk,

    I agree with Anthony. You want people conditioned to click on your links. In fact, I would even say that his emails are too long.

    Either way you do it, be consistent, so you know how to write when you do throw in the sales email. It shouldn't be any different from your content emails.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[780817].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
      Wow, the feedback here is great. Well written and well thought out, and with good reasoning. I'm impressed. I know the WF gives a lot of support, but I have to say this is some of the best I've ever gotten. Thanks to everyone of you!

      I have to say that the short (and the shorter the better) email appeals to me the most, as I would also like to know which messages are getting responses.

      I'm thinking that approximately three short paragraphs, in the 150 words (plus or minus) range, with a teaser about what I'm going to tell, and offering more in the way of an incomplete sentence just before the "read the full article" link is the way I'm going to structure these lessons.

      I have an intro ebook and twelve volumes that follow, each on a different topic. I'm also thinking that each topic can be broken into details about several different facets of the topic. If I expand those, and add a few more angles, I could have a full years worth of course, with a related product in each message, or group of messages.

      Does that sound good, bad or indifferent?

      Kirk
      Signature
      "We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice."

      Dr. Samuel Johnson (Presiding at the sale of Thrales brewery, London, 1781)
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[780862].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Brian W. Wang
    When I use e-mail, I make them short and to the point. I try to make them as personal as possible, so that it connect to readers.

    The best way to do this is to engage the reader and make conversation with them.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[780833].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Anthony Stillwell
    Kirk,

    I have an intro ebook and twelve volumes that follow, each on a different topic. I'm also thinking that each topic can be broken into details about several different facets of the topic. If I expand those, and add a few more angles, I could have a full years worth of course, with a related product in each message, or group of messages.
    Here's my thinking...

    A 12-month course could work but it seems to me that people are more concerned with how fast they can achieve X result than they are with getting a prolonged amount of content.

    You may consider...

    Creating 3-7 follow ups for each course you have and selling each course instead of giving away all the content in a long email series. You could create short follow up emails that lead to more detailed information on a web page then sell the complete course that way. Or you can use a service like TrialPay Solutions: Get It Free to give away the complete course and still get paid for it.

    This way you aren't directly asking people to pay for the complete course but you are still getting paid for it. This may be more effective than asking people to pay for it outright or hoping they buy related affiliate products. Since you'd be preselling your complete course in your emails, it would only be natural for people to want more information on the topic you're preselling and it would be better (in their eyes) if they didn't have to pay for it. With this option, people are getting the info they want for free and you're getting paid for your efforts as well.

    Just something to think about.

    Anthony
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[784768].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
      Anthony,

      That is great feedback. I am still close enough to the beginning of the rewriting that I can do that. I think I will. 12 three or four part courses will work. $7 type things.

      thanks.
      Signature
      "We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice."

      Dr. Samuel Johnson (Presiding at the sale of Thrales brewery, London, 1781)
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[784810].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Anomaly1974
    I think a few people actually beat me to it ... and nothing can replace the actual results from real world testing ... but if it were me ...

    A list of all heads and subheads with a teaser ... likely the introductory sentence? ... of each section.

    The point? Your subscribers can scan through the email to see if there is anything in the current course that they want or need ... (maybe a reminder that they need the whole thing in order to have a viable foundation on which they can build their career and/or virtual online empire) then have it set up as an interior section of your website, (preserving perceived value for your subscribers) while still being able to get them to your site. Monetize the online version some, but not bombarding them with ads, and offer links back to your main pages allowing them to "discover more about this" on your regular web pages ...

    Just my two cents
    Signature

    Yes I really am giving away homes and vacation packages in the Philippines. Ask me if you want to know more.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[785831].message }}

Trending Topics