Email Persuasion – 7 Reasons Why You Need To Put Your Email Messages On A Slimming Diet

In my previous post I explored why many
of the top Internet Marketing Gurus
craft their emails in a certain style

Skinny People Make More Money Online, Fat People  Get Ignored !!




Following on from that I wrote a quick 7 point list
showing the reasons why writing narrow email messages
will increase you response rate and make your communication
more effective

1)  Narrow Messages Are Easier To Read

A narrow  message  allows you to scan through it  quickly.  Your message can be absorbed in a single glance. The foveal vision in our eyes can only see detail in a small  area of the screen; Everything on the periphery is ignored. Peripheral vision is designed to detect movement.  Always be  respectful of human physiology.

2) We Are  Conditioned  To  Read Newspaper Columns And Magazine Print

Our  brains are already trained to read things in this format so make your messages feel  familiar, Observe the style of your favourite print newspaper or magazine and replicate it in your messages

3) People Have A Limited amount Of Time And  Attention

By making your message brief and to the point you are respecting peoples time. If you don’t grab peoples attention in the first 3 seconds you will lose them so summarize your whole email in the first sentence so busy people can decide if they want to read further

4) Mobile Devices Will Be The New Way People Consume Information On The Internet

Ipod,  Iphone, Nokia N95,  Amazon Kindle;  A whole new generation of technology is awaiting  adoption by the mainstream, look ahead and make sure you can communicate across the platforms of choice

5) As People Get  Older Their Eyesight Can Degenerate

The number of older people using the internet is increasing.  Don’t alienate a huge potential audience. Use large sans serif fonts  and  choose 14 or 16 point text. For someone with poor eyesight a well formatted email made up of short sentences is much easier to read than a huge block of text

6) You Can Take Total Control Of Your Formatting.

Using hard carriage returns ensures your message will be read exactly  as you intended it to be on any browser and in any device.  If you are using embedded hypnotic commands and emotional triggers this can be crucial to their effect and overall impact

7) You Want People To Take Action

You want people to read your  message  and know  what you want them to do next. Top marketers usually  convey the essence of their entire message in the opening sentence followed by an immediate call to action. they include several links at different places and  they use services like to make their links shorter and more attractive.

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This post was inspired by a Marketing Online Live Podcast  from Paul Colligan and Alex Mandossian. I Love Ed Dale in case you were wondering and hope he has a good sense of humour


  1. Ian,

    THis is a great concept and one we all need to remember. I use aWeber for managing my email lists and have been very happy with them.

    It is built in with a ‘recommended width’. However if you are preparing your own emails a good text editor which tells you how wide you are is UltraEdit. There’s a free and paid version.

    Another good point about narrow columns of text and greater white space with hard carriage returns (hitting the enter key) is it LOOKS like it’s less and will be easier to read.

    The PERCEPTION of ease is very important to getting the compliance you want…where you visitors read all your stuff because they believe it will be easy.


  2. A quick update to this based on more recent experience with smartphones…

    The principle is absolutely right. Thinner emails are more readable. But…

    Use hard returns really screws up the formatting on mobile emails (e.g. iPhone) and actually makes them harder to read.

    The reason is that on an iPhone the usually recommended 56 character is actually about a line and a quarter to a line and a half. it’s longer than you’d normally get. So as a result you get weird one and a half line lengths. So your email that should look like this.

    This is an email with short lines.

    By using short lines I’m making
    sure that it’s easy to read and
    that readers take action.

    Ends up looking like:

    This is an email with
    short lines.

    By using short lines
    making sure that
    it’s easy
    to read and that
    readers take action.

    A better solution is to embed your email in a fixed pixel width table. That will insert new lines for you on a wide screen so that your lines are short and easy to read on a full sized screen but it will allow the iPhone to format the emails itself without funny mid line breaks appearing.


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