The length of your newsletter can dramatically affect its open and click-through rates. A well-constructed newsletter can strike the perfect balance between providing enough value to keep subscribers informed and engaged without overwhelming or underwhelming them.

Best Length for Email Newsletters

Neil Patel recently published his results from A/B testing email length. As one of the world’s top internet marketers, businesses should take these findings to heart. Here is what he said:

We recently ran multiple A/B tests to find the perfect email length.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Emails containing 100 to 249 words consistently got the highest click rates (above 3.5%) in our experiments.
  • Next came emails with 99 words or less and emails with 250 to 459 words.
  • Emails over 500 words performed the worst, with click rates under 1%.

Interestingly, shorter emails up to 99 words performed much better on our own list than when we tested them with 26 companies in different industries.

This shows how important it is to run your own tests. What works for me may not work for you.

We have been following Neil for a long time and adopted his practice of short marketing emails years ago. We have also found them to have the best results.

Other reputable sources, such as Constant Contact, suggest that short email newsletters perform significantly better than long ones. They say:

We’ve found 20 lines of text — or about 200 words — results in the highest email click-through rate for most industries.

Long Marketing Emails Might Make You Look Like a Spammer

You may delete hundreds of spam emails daily by looking at the subject line and pretext. But for the ones you open, most of us have learned that a lengthy email is a red flag that it might be spam.

This is why the best marketers sending unsolicited emails keep them short and often don’t include images.

Besides the fact that long marketing emails look like they are possibly spam, no one likes to receive a novel-length marketing email. When emails get too long, they can overwhelm recipients and trigger spam filters, landing messages in the dreaded junk folder instead of inboxes.

To trim down your lengthy emails, focus on one key message – don’t try to cram everything into one email. Use a clear and concise subject line that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. Utilize visuals like images and videos to break up text and make your emails more digestible. Include a powerful CTA (call to action) that tells people exactly what you want them to do.

Identifying Your Audience’s Preferences

Understanding your audience’s preferences is a cornerstone of creating an engaging newsletter. Your audience’s reading habits, interests, and the time they’re willing to invest in your newsletter should influence its length and content.

Remember that unique segments may prefer different lengths and types of content. Utilize surveys, feedback forms, and engagement metrics to build a data-informed profile of your subscribers, ensuring your newsletter aligns with their expectations and needs.

Balancing Content Quantity and Quality

Striking a balance between the quantity and quality of content is crucial for newsletter efficacy. Your subscribers seek value in their inboxes, so it’s vital to have substantial and meaningful content.

Quantity should not compromise quality — every line should serve a purpose and deliver information that resonates with your readers. It’s about hitting that sweet spot where content volume meets content value, creating a newsletter that is both comprehensive and captivating.

The Role of A/B Testing in Newsletter Length Optimization

As mentioned in Neil Patel’s quote above, A/B testing is crucial in determining the optimal newsletter length for your audience.

By creating two newsletter versions with varying lengths and content structures, you can empirically assess which elicits a better response.

Measure engagement through open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. This feedback loop allows for data-driven adaptations to your newsletter strategy, ensuring that you cater to what your audience genuinely finds engaging and valuable.

Understanding and Preventing Gmail Clipping

Gmail clipping occurs when your email exceeds Google’s size limit of approximately 102KB. If this happens, Gmail automatically truncates the message to improve loading times and user experience. The recipient must click the “View entire message” link to access the full content.

Avoiding Gmail Clipping

As a marketer, problems resulting from Gmail clipping include:

  • Reduced Readability: Clipping disrupts your email flow, making it harder for readers to consume your message.
  • Missed CTAs: Important calls to action (CTAs) might end below the fold, hidden behind that clipping link.
  • Spam Suspicion: Clipped emails can sometimes resemble the structure of spam messages, hurting your deliverability.

If Gmail is clipping your emails, keep the total HTML size of your emails under 102KB. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Simplify Code: Use an HTML minifier to remove unnecessary code, comments, and white space. Be careful with minifiers designed for general web pages because they might remove important email-specific code.
  • Optimize Images: Compress images for the web and avoid using too many.
  • Keep Text Concise: Strive for short, impactful copy. If additional content is needed, link to a page on your website with more information, which will indirectly help with your SEO.
  • Test Repeatedly: Use inbox preview tools to see how your emails render in Gmail before sending them to your list.

The best way to avoid Gmail clipping is to keep your emails short and sweet. Prioritize the most essential information in your emails while providing links for those wanting a deeper dive.


What is the best length for a newsletter?

The best length for a newsletter is approximately 20 lines of text, or about 200 words, which often results in the highest email click-through rate for most industries. However, this is a general guideline, and the ideal length will vary based on your audience’s preferences and the actions you want them to take.

Neil Patel found that shorter emails of up to 99 words performed best for his audience. So, adjusting email length is essential based on the insights you gather from testing.

Why should newsletters be short?

Newsletters should be short to accommodate the limited attention span of readers and the typically quick pace at which they scan their inboxes. Concise newsletters increase the likelihood that subscribers will digest the content entirely and act on it, thereby improving communication engagement rates and effectiveness.

What is the ideal length of an email newsletter for you?

The ideal length of an email newsletter depends on your unique audience and their reading preferences. Consider their time constraints, interests, and how they typically consume content. Testing and measuring engagement is crucial to determine the perfect balance for your subscribers. Tailoring your newsletter to these insights will yield the best length.


Finding the sweet spot for your newsletter’s length requires understanding your audience, crafting engaging content with compelling visuals and CTAs, and utilizing metrics and testing to refine your strategy.

For most businesses, your newsletter should not be more than 200 words and should have minimal images, if any. Neil Patel found that shorter emails of up to 99 words performed best for his audience. So, test to see what size email newsletters work best with your audience, especially before sending long emails as a regular practice.

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