Thanks to the fact that email has been around for more than two decades now, researchers have had plenty of time to study how people use and respond to email and have identify certain factors that influence its success (success meaning that people open the emails and do with it what the sender intended).
Here are some considerations that many communication experts accept as best practices.
- Keep character counts to a minimum – 50 characters or less.
- Use between six and 10 words.
- Capitalize The First Letter In Every Word.
- Personalize the subject line with the recipient’s name if you can.
- Don’t reuse the same subject line. Even if you resend the same email as a follow-up, use a fresh subject line.
- Punctuation isn’t necessary. (Don’t worry about it.)
- Keep content to 100 to 200 words, with a strong call to action to click through to more content (on a landing page or website or in an attachment).
- Make sure the message is consistent with what’s included in the subject line.
- Use one idea per paragraph.
- Break up blocks of copy with headlines and images.
- Rely on bulleted list to summarize, but make sure bullets are short. Each bullet should be only one line.
- Use an easy-to-read font such as Arial or another sans serif option in 10- to 11-point size.
- Don’t simply copy and paste content from Microsoft Word or Google Docs into an email. Word and Docs are rich-text editors and contain hidden code that could cause formatting issues. Import the content as plain text and/or write the text directly into the email. On important emails or ones that you send to many people, always send a test message to yourself and a few others before sending the email to everyone so you can make sure it is properly formatted.