Less Is More

There are lots of examples all around us of things being the way they are because that's how they've always been. Apparently us humans could live happily without an appendix and a gentleman will always walk, and later drive, on the left so the right hand can either greet a passing gent with a handshake or pull out a sword to defend against them.

It's a little like this with email. The majority of emails are now opened on a mobile phone and so the days of endless copy flowing down across several pages of preview pane are gone. People just don't have the screen size, let along the patience, to read your brand's answer to Moby Dick. In fact, research shows that the sweet spot is somewhere between 50 and 125 words.

It's the same for headings. Under the same principle that we're mainly talking about small, mobile screens with email today, there is a much small window to work with. Hence, SendGrid research suggests that email marketers are now getting the point where they have reduced subject lines to an average of around seven words. That's quite a reduction on the days of minor essays appearing in the header of the average email in a desktop inbox. 

What's more, the company's research has actually found that the sweet spot is less than seven words. The highest engagement comes from a mere three words. 

So three-word headers and one hundred and fifty words should be set as the absolute maximum on body copy. That's quite a reduction from the old days when you didn't have to think quite so long and hard about length. But now, less is more. So, short and sweet from me today. Just in case you're reading this on a mobile device!

2 comments about "Less Is More".
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  1. Neil Mahoney from Mahoney/Marketing, February 3, 2017 at 5:20 p.m.

    Regardless of age, most good copywritrers and Ad Men in general knew that short copy was better-read than long,  I used to advise my clients to focus on their 3 greatest strengths.  Let the salespeople handle the details.

  2. Chuck Lantz from, network, February 3, 2017 at 5:32 p.m.

    So, when what are arguably the two most famous words ever uttered on the Silver Screen; "Mongo contrite" were spoken, Mel Brooks was proving that he was way ahead of his time? 

    I knew it!

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