Your emails aren’t working like they used to, and it’s likely because they’re too dang long. Look, I get it — brief emails can feel wrong. Somewhere along the line, we all got it in our heads that we need to fluff up our writing. We feel compelled to write long emails, and it’s not just emails — as marketers, we cringe at blog posts under 1,000 words. We’re dejected to find out the average top-ranking post on Google is 1,700 words (or more) — we knew we weren’t making them long enough!
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We look at Apple’s “Think Different” and wonder how they managed to come up with something so concise. Why do marketers feel so compelled to write lengthily? It may be that the longer content is, the more value it seems to have. We feel like we’ve delivered something awesome to our boss, but the truth is, if the boss likes long emails — the boss is wrong. Customers take one look at this monster of an email which is trying to do a million things at once, they’ve just barely met you, they feel overwhelmed, and they check out.
Or worse, they’ve been your customer for a long time, and they’re used to your shenanigans with these longer-than-a-Texas-sunset emails, so they blatantly ignore your retention efforts. They click one of two horrid little buttons:
Delete, or worse, unsubscribe.
Marketing noise is louder than ever. Our customers see thousands of marketing messages every day. They don’t have the time or the interest to read all the crap we’re throwing at them in a long email. There’s too much noise. We should have spent more time cutting. The ideal length of a sales email is:
The average length of a single page in a book is 300 words. If a sales email needs to be this short, our retention emails need to be even shorter. Think about it. You’ve got a customer. They’re tuned in. They love your product or service. But maybe they don’t really love you. Not yet, anyway.
And then you start bothering them.
But even if you avoid these pitfalls, long emails aren’t going to retain customers.
Instead, they’re going to annoy your customers, reduce open rates, and slash away at click-through rates for those poor souls that actually do open the emails.
So Much of Customer Retention Is Just About Not Annoying Your Customers
Every email you send to existing customers needs to make them glad they signed up to your email list. Short, sweet, to-the-point, and either intriguing or filled with value is the way to go. And if the offer isn’t right for your customer, at the very least it needs to not be a massive waste of their time. Your customers should be able to read the subject line, open the email, and finish reading in 15–45 seconds. Even if the offer isn’t right for them, not much of their time will have been wasted, and in a world of thousands of marketing messages a day, that’s huge.
You won’t have annoyed them, and you still stay top of mind. And the customers for whom this is the right offer at the right time, the message comes through clear as day. When marketers write those ridiculously long emails trying to agitate a problem in my head over and over, I cringe. I don’t have time for this nonsense. And neither do your customers. The more valuable the customer, the harder they work, the more money they make, the less time they have for BS marketing tricks.
Quick and to the point is appreciated. A clear offer is infinitely more effective than a fancy offer. Your emails will succeed when you stop using up your customer’s brain power and just get to the point. So tighten up those emails and check out the Superb Sam Hurley’s 3 No-Nonsense Ways to Grow Your Business (Faster) in 2019.
And good luck out there, marketer.