Creating a good cold email can be challenging. How long should it be? You need to take someone from “totally never heard of you” to “interested enough to click and convert” in one email. Doesn’t it make sense to put in enough information to convince them?
On the other hand, if it’s too wordy, it will probably get scanned and closed. Who has the time?
Here’s how to get your cold emails the right length every time.
How Long Should a Cold Email Be to Get Results?
It seems like a paradox: too little information and you won’t convince anyone to click on your CTA. Too much and it becomes a wall of text that will drive people away without reading it.
How do you hit the sweet spot? Follow these steps.
Pick Your Key Talking Points
Look at your audience and your product. What features and selling points are most likely to convince them? What sets you apart from competitors?
Make a list of the top three.
Next, pick the problem your audience has and your product resolves. In one to two sentences, keeping it as short as possible, describe the problem and how you solve it. That will be your angle.
Crafting Your Message
You’ve got the building blocks now. The trick is to make every sentence valuable. There should be no anecdotes, clever attempts at building a sense of camaraderie and so on. If someone hasn’t heard of you, you’re very unlikely to build rapport that quickly.
Instead, it will often ring false, which is off-putting.
On the other hand, if your email is packed with information and value while remaining fairly brief, you’re on the right track. People appreciate it when you don’t waste their time, especially with a cold email.
Remember the problem you’re using as your angle? The first step is to make a compelling subject line from it. Bonus tip: try using personalization tokens like their first name or company name in your subject line.
Open your email by highlighting the problem in one or two sentences.
Introduce your product and explain in one sentence, at a very high level, how it solves that problem.
Follow that up with one or two sentences for each of your three main selling points.
Hit them with a strong call to action.
There you go – an information-dense cold email that highlights a problem, illustrates how your solve it and why your product is the way to go.
That clocks in at 5 to 9 sentences, which is absolutely brief enough to avoid scaring people away, and still has all the information you need to include. Congratulations, you just hit the sweet spot.
Experiment for Yourself
We’re experts at cold email, but that doesn’t mean you should take “5 to 9 sentences” as gospel. One of the big tricks with cold email is just how much it depends on your audience. Some lists might perform better with longer emails, or shorter ones.
Try this: split your list into two equal halves. Create a message by following these guidelines. Then create a second one and make it a different length. Use the same subject line, same angle, same talking points – but write more.
Or chop out one of the talking points and write a shorter email instead.
Send both, and see how they do. Repeat the experiment over and over, iterating on what got better results every time while discarding the approach that didn’t work as well.
That way, you can continuously improve your campaigns and find the exact length that works best for your exact audience and product.