This Email Newsletter is TOO LONG

by Tim Francis on February 16, 2013

I saw this complaint on Facebook:

Who agrees with me on this – most people’s e-newsletters are too painful to read beacuse they’re waaaaaaaay too long?

Length is Never the Problem

I read all 1,200 pages of Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) and wished it was longer.

I read 3 pages of Kris Jenner’s (mom of the Kardashians) autobiography and got bored.  For me it was 3 pages too many.

So if it ain’t the length, what gives?

Email Newsletters Seem Dreadfully Long When…

Imagine you get an email broadcast (“blast”, “e-newsletter”, “ezine”, etc.) to your inbox.

I know – it’s tough to imagine these days that you’ll get some kind of pitch emailed to you (I’m kidding of course).

I promise you’ll think the email broadcast is waaaaay too long if:

  • You Didn’t Ask For It: spam sucks… 1 word of spam is too long for me – that’s why spam emails don’t even get opened
  • You Asked / Agreed, But Turns Out It’s Irrelevant: I’m not into knitting, even if my fav author talks about it
  • There Isn’t Enough Value: I had better be a smarter, more inspired, more entertained, more capable person by the end of the email, or I’m opting-out
  • The Writing Sucks: it’s boring, the language is too complicated, it’s huge blocks of text that intimidate me, or any other style or formatting failure

According to Who?

There is an ultimate judge and jury when it comes to your email marketing.

A classic error marketers and business owners make is asking the WRONG people for their opinion.

If you want an opinion on your email  / sales page / advertisement… and you’re selling dating advice to men… don’t ask your mom for her opinion on your marketing piece.  If she’s not the one writing a cheque to buy your product (or whatever your desired call to action is), then she’s the wrong person to get an opinion from.

Focus ONLY on the opinions and behaviors of the people you’re targeting.  Forget everyone else.  They’re just prognosticating and filling your head with inaccurate feedback, leading to two common pitfalls:

  • false optimism: “Oh, it looks great, honey!”, and…
  • needless doubt: “Oh, people don’t buy that stuff anymore, and we all hate spam, why are you even sending that out?”

Lastly, why even ask for peoples’ opinion in the first place?  Market research is great – I recommend (and provide) it.  So is getting feedback from proven, credible professionals (I provide critiques too).

But your mom?  Your best friend?  Some guy you found on Elance for $8/hour?

Recipe for disaster.

On a Related Note, Remember the Bottom Line…

Ultimately, don’t ask people *if* they would buy.

Ask them *to* buy.

They’ll never be more honest than when their hard-earned coin is on the line.

Hope that helps,

Tim :)

P.S. And you can substitute “buy” for whatever your desired call to action is: opt-in, click, attend an event, etc.  The second most challenging thing to extract from people is their contact info… no one wants to get spammed or harassed, so they don’t give up their info for just anything!

P.P.S. …which reminds me of the expression: “Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear the words you say.”  People will pay you lip service alllll day long.  Forget it.  Just watch their actions (clicks, purchases, etc) and the truth shall be revealed.

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