Making your marketing emails shorter is a skill you need to develop

Ways to omit needless words and improve your email stats

Mike Holden
4 min readMar 24


With each word in your marketing email, you increase the chances someone will stop reading.

Late in high school, I was introduced to this quote:

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. — William Strunk, Jr.

I’ve thought about this concept often over the years, but it wasn’t until I began writing marketing emails and newsletters that I saw the true value in practicing what it preaches.

Inboxes can be busy places, in a busy job, in a busy world. Readers will click out of what you’ve sent them, if you don’t get to the point quickly.

But, there are many ways you can work at making your emails shorter.

Be the reader, with every sentence and paragraph

You could wait until the end, after you’ve written an entire email, to go back and eliminate words you don’t need. But, there’s another way and it makes sense to deploy both tactics.

While you’re writing, try to be the reader. After a sentence, look to see if you were too wordy. As you close out a paragraph, check for ways you could have said less. Think about the Strunk quote above as you work.

Just get the reader to the next sentence

The whole idea with most marketing emails is to get the reader from the subject line, into your email and continuing to read what’s next.

Ask yourself, as you write, if your reader would keep going. Think about the roadblocks in your text that might give them a reason to close your email.

As you write a sentence, focus on how it will get them to the next sentence and so on, until you have them to a point where they’ll take an action.



Mike Holden

Marketing leader with 20 years of experience. Dad of 6. Get ideas in the No Budget Marketing newsletter.